Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the years for businesses and consumers alike.
The value of Black Friday and Cyber Monday reliably increases every year. In 2017, Black Friday and Cyber Monday mounted a record $7.9 billion in sales, topping 2016 by 18 percent.
The average person spends $289.19 over Thanksgiving weekend.
It goes without saying that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday social media campaign is going to pay dividends, if you do it right.
Here’s some data about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, along with some tips and best practices, to help you nail your social media campaigns heading into the holiday season.
Dial in your mobile experience
In 2017, 40 percent of Black Friday transactions took place on mobile phones. That’s 11 percent more smartphone transactions than 2016.
Each year, smartphone use reaches a new landmark. There’s likely to be even more mobile shopping this year.
The challenge with mobile shoppers is that it’s very easy for users to turn their attention away from the purchase they’re making. If the buying experience is too difficult or unclear, people very quickly opt out.
So, while you’re probably already optimizing your social media advertising for mobile (aren’t you?), it’s important to check your landing pages, online storefront and checkout flow for mobile compatibility.
Update your social media profile
We’ve talked about supporting your social media advertising with an active social media profile before, and the advice holds up for social media advertising on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Here are three quick ways to make your social media profile do some work to support your paid ads:
- Create a custom profile picture and cover photo that promotes your Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns.
- Add a call to action button that takes visitors to your Black Friday landing page.
- Pin a post to the top of your profile that announces your best Black Friday/Cyber Monday discount.
This way your advertising and your social media business front deliver consistent messaging.
Let people know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over fast
Two of the most effective selling tactics in history are scarcity and urgency. There’s a lot of marketing and psychological research to back this up.
Fortunately, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both of these built in.
You’re not making anything up if you say that your Black Friday deals end at midnight, and the sales numbers are so high that it’s completely reasonable to say that things might sell out.
The trick is reminding people of that urgency and scarcity as they’re shopping. There are two really effective ways to remind people of the time constraints and stock limitations:
- Add a live countdown timer to keep people aware of exactly how soon the sale will end.
- Add live stock counts to your product pages. This gives your product pages inherent scarcity.
These are fairly easy additions to your web pages. There are even some apps for platforms like Shopify that are designed to add things like timers to your pages.
Brand your campaign
The best way to beat your competitors is not to compete with them. Go where they’re not selling.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are marketing territory in themselves. If you’re using the normal lingo, the only way to get attention is by yelling, “Black Friday sale!” louder than everyone else, which may not even be possible.
So, keep the typical hashtags like #blackfriday and #cybermonday in your lineup, but add something to your campaign that nobody else is going to be using.
Creativity is the key here. A great example comes from Chubbies shorts. Last year they branded Cyber Monday as “Thighber Monday” to promote their holiday sales (and short shorts).
Talk about these commercial holidays in terms that only your brand would use, and avoid the marketing shouting match with your competitors.
Appeal to your most passionate customer segments
This one is a great job for your regular social media posts. Obviously, it works in your paid social ads too, but it’s a really great way to make your social media posts fun and engaging.
Amazon nailed this one last year when they posted a picture of a cat sitting in an empty Amazon box with the caption, “Remember that all Black Friday deals come with a free cat bed.” Appealing to people who love their cats and taking pictures of them. Brilliant.
People make buying decisions emotionally. So engage with your most passionate audience on social media to prime them for buying on Black Friday.
Use your blog
Companies are gradually starting their Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising earlier and earlier each year. Last year, the ads started as early as October 1.
You can start your ads early if you’d like. But you can start preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday by creating helpful posts on your blog.
The cool thing about using your blog is that you can start adding content much earlier without annoying people with premature Black Friday ads.
Here are some examples of content that you can post almost any time that will support your social media campaigns:
- Buying guides for specific customer segments. These are practically evergreen content, if you do them right. Enthusiasts are always looking for the best products, even when there are no holidays in sight, so helping them find the best stuff never goes out of style.
Evo.com has an amazing collection of content like this. They have buying guides for skiers, mountain bikers, rock climbers, runners and plenty more. It adds value to their site, and they can leave the content up all year. All they have to do is update it just before Black Friday and Cyber Monday every year to refresh traffic to the blogs and get more conversions when they run their sales.
- Product reviews. The most analytical buyers—which can be the toughest to sell to—do their research before the sales start, so they can get the best product and the best deal when the sales roll around.
Start providing value to them during the research stage. You’ll get more customers and conversions when you start running discounts.
- Product use tutorials. These will bolster your social media campaigns and ease the strain on your customer service department. In order to make a buying decision, people need to know what the product is and what it does.
Articles that demonstrate how to use certain products help customers understand what a product does and envision how they might use it in their own lives. On the other end, people may need some help once they get their purchase out of the package. So having some tutorials ready can minimize customer service calls.
Your blog is a huge asset, so be sure to leverage it to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Social media posting volume goes up during the holidays because people are doing stuff they want to share. Most of these posts are static. They’re either pictures or text.
Adding some movement to your ads can help them stand out on people’s timelines. Video ads and ads that flash a sequence of pictures break up people’s timelines and help stop the thumb.
But keep it reasonable. Some companies have resorted to rather crass methods to get attention, which can actually damage your brand.
This one is a no-brainer, so I’ll get straight to the nuance of it:
Free shipping is one of the highest converting discounts. 108.5 million shoppers spent $3.34 billion online in 2016.
There’s obviously a huge number of sales that could be won by offering free shipping. So be sure to let people know that you’re offering free shipping through your social media channels, and include it in your ads.
There’s good news for brick-and-mortar businesses, too.
In 2016, 99.1 million Americans shopped in store. Thirty-five percent of retail shoppers checked prices on Amazon before buying. So, price matching is another effective discount. It’s definitely a great option for retail businesses who can’t offer free shipping.
For marketers, the holidays are truly a season. The best thing to do for your holiday social media campaigns is to start planning early. The sales season is a long few months. Start building your social media content and ads now, and determine which tactics will be best for your business.
Once you’ve got your campaigns dialed, stop by the Strike Social Facebook page and let us know what you’re doing with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads!