Don’t Be Scared Of Black Friday! 6 Tips For A Successful Black Friday Social Media Campaign
I spent over 10 years working in senior roles in the retail industry, during those years the biggest event of the year was always the January sales! Over the last couple of years things have changed. It appears Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales are taking over the popularity of the January sales! If you own a business especially a B2C business and don’t recognise this, you may miss the boat as far as your seasonal sales profits are concerned. If you wait until 26th or 27th December to start your Christmas sales, as they did back when I worked in retail, then your customers may have already grabbed their bargains and plan on relaxing at home and eating their Christmas dinner left overs, rather than braving more sales.
So with Black Friday being one of the biggest shopping days of the year why are some of the larger retailers such as Asda turning their backs on Black Friday?
The chaos that ensued in Asda stores across the country was well documented last year. So it’s pretty understandable that despite its popularity, the thought of Black Friday scares the powers that be at Asda. I don’t know about you, but I remember watching the news features on the Black Friday sales at ASDA last year in horror, seeing scenes that can only be described as pure madness as people clambered and fought each other to grab a bargain!
Asda's official line is that they want to avoid the same kind of scenes as last year and spread out the £26 million it is investing in Christmas sales over the period. “This year customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales,” said Andy Clarke, CEO of Asda.
I have been reading though the various reports Asda have issued regarding Black Friday 2015 and I completely understand where their CEO is coming from, however I was surprised to find that at no point had he mentioned the option of an online ONLY Black Friday event! I can’t help but wonder……..Why haven’t a large brand such as ASDA thought outside of the box when it comes to their Black Friday marketing by embracing Black Friday via their online outlets rather than focusing on their stores?
In my opinion as a social media marketer, an online assault on Black Friday with the help of social media could provide them with the benefits of Black Friday and great pre-Christmas sales, minus the chaos. Yes it could mean that delivery and returns processes may become a little more difficult because of the aftermath of an online sale, but you would have this issue with any type of sale anyway. As with the January sales the positives of the sale would out way the negatives! It seems that I am not alone when it comes to my opinion on the Black Friday sales, retailers such as Argos appear to be in agreement with me, as they are fully embracing the Black Friday madness via online marketing methods.
Like me, they believe they can avoid the chaos and reap the benefits of the Black Friday sales via online shopping, clever online marketing and social media strategies that work well alongside each other. Internet based retailers such as Amazon wouldn’t dream of skipping Black Friday, they fully embrace it and profit HUGELY from Black Friday fever. In fact it’s the Amazon style retailers that benefit the most from the Black Friday sales and so can you! If your business is participating in the Black Friday Sales this year here are 6 tips to help you create a successful Black Friday social media campaign that will compliment your other online marketing:
1. Blog posts & regular social media posts
Write a good quality blog post advertising your participation in the Black Friday sales, then share it across all of your social media sites. Alongside writing a blog post advertising your event, ensure that during the build up to your sale you are writing regular social media posts across all of your social media sites advertising the fact that you will be participating in the in Black Friday Sales, you could go with a theme such as a countdown, for example 10 Days to go until our Black Friday event! Here is a sneak peak of what to expect………. Social media posts such as this will help you to create a buzz around your Black Friday event. When writing your social media posts you should ensure the standard of the posts are good and they include quality images that your customers and potential customers will be enticed by.
2. Update your social media profiles and banner images
Create temporary new profile and banner images for your social media platforms that advertise your Black Friday event, but still represent your brand. Here is an example of a promotional Facebook banner that Argos used for one of their sales.
As you can see they are clearly advertising their up and coming sales, but have kept it in line with their branding by sticking to their brand colours. Something similar to this would work brilliantly for most businesses.
3. Facebook giveaway and/or competition
Let’s face it, most of us love a bit of healthy competition! So try running a Facebook competition to draw your customers (and potential new customers) in by appealing to their competitive side. Create a Facebook competition that gives your Facebook followers the chance to win one of your Black Friday Sales products. As part of the entry to the competition you should ask your followers to help you spread the news about your Black Friday event by liking, sharing and commenting. Asking your followers to like and share as part of your competition, will increase the amount of people you are able to reach and market your Black Friday participation to a wider audience.
4. Instagram posts and pins
Instagram is one of the largest image based social media sharing sites around, so you should most definitely take advantage of its powers. To help you promote your Black Friday event, upload images of the products that you plan to discount in the Black Friday sales so that followers can see how great your offers are going to be. Oh and don’t forget to get pinning! All of the images that you upload to Instagram regarding the Black Friday sales, should also be pinned on your Pinterest account. If you don’t have an Instagram and Pinterest account set up for your business yet you are missing a trick! And I recommend you set up accounts as soon as possible. To find out more about the benefits of Pinterest for your business, check out How to Create a Pinterest Account and Use it to Increase Your Website Traffic
To learn more about the benefits of Instagram for your business, have a read of the following - 5 Reasons To Use Instagram Social Media Marketing For Business
5. Video promotion
Grab your customers attention with a video, don’t worry it doesn’t need to be anything flash! A simple video of you, or a member of your team talking about your up and coming Black Friday promotions will help you to create a buzz about your event, and get the information about your flash sale across in a way no other form of social media can! It gives your brand a face and a personality, it also gives you a chance to actually show your products in action. People love this and it helps a great deal to build trust between you and your customers! Post your video on sites such as You Tube, and create short videos using apps such as Periscope. If you are unsure about how to use Periscope for your business here is a quick guide: What Is Periscope?
6. Twitter retweet giveaway
Running a Twitter marketing campaign that includes a giveaway is an effective way of marketing your company’s Black Friday event, it will also increase your Twitter followers in the process. Advise your Twitter followers that to enter your Twitter giveaway they need to retweet your message about your Black Friday event. The reason I advise you do this is because each time someone retweets your message, it goes out to all of the Twitter users who follow that person, so retweets from your followers will, mean increased exposure for your event and brand. I also recommend that you specify that entering the giveaway is a quick and easy process, as it will encourage your followers and their followers to enter.
When running a Twitter give away for your Black Friday event, remember to come up with a hashtag that represents your campaign and encourage anyone that enters your giveaway to incorporate it into their tweets when retweeting about the giveaway. When it comes to social media especially Twitter, hashtags can be extremely powerful and can really help to increase the success of your social media marketing. To find out more about the power of a hashtag check out the following infographic – The Power Of The Hashtag and How Important It Has Become
So to summarise, thanks to online marketing and social media you don’t have to follow Asda and run scared when it comes to launching a Black Friday event. If you want to avoid the crazy scenes we have all seen on the highstreets, put in place a good online marketing strategy that includes a social media marketing campaign. Take advantage of the internet and all it has to offer by concentrating your Black Friday efforts on your ecommerce sites and other online outlets. It has been forecast by the research firm Experian and e-retail industry association IMRG that this year’s online Black Friday sales will reach a massive £1.07bn! These are stats that no sensible business owner can afford to ignore!
To really maximise your results you could compliment your efforts with a good inbound marketing campaign and email marketing strategy, for tips on how to do this read: How To Improve Your Marketing Strategy