With sales records broken every year, only fools ignore this huge sales opportunity. In fact, it’s quickly become the biggest event on the ecommerce and retail calendar. We’re talking, of course, about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Like the hyperactive twin offspring of the New Year sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gone from American niche to global phenomenon.
And for those savvy business marketers, it’s become increasingly competitive too.
If you’re looking to get the jump on your competitors this year (or any year for that matter), a social media strategy for Black Friday could be key.
We’ve taken a look at using PPC for Black Friday and holiday season sales before. But there is a way to really build the anticipation and potentially get those scenes of stampeding customers (albeit digitally) to your online business.
We’re talking about your Black Friday social media marketing campaign.
Black Friday & social media
Facebook and Instagram consume huge amounts of people’s time. On average, Americans spend 58 minutes a day on the ‘Book, and 53 minutes a day on the ‘Gram.
In fact, 1.8 billion people visit Facebook each day, and there are 22 billion visits each month. The US is the biggest market by far, with around 23% of all Facebook visits coming from America.
Another stat for you… According to one study, 76% of consumers buy products they’ve seen in social media posts.
So, although paid search is perfect for hooking in those potential customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, building that buzz means leveraging the power of social media.
With a good social media campaign, you can win new followers and subscribers, improve your brand visibility and even start early with your pre-sales (if that’s your thing).
So how can you use the power of social media to smash your Black Friday sales goals?
1. Exclusive offers on your social media channels
Whatever your Black Friday offer, a great way to win more followers and potentially ring up more sales is to announce exclusive discounts or offers on your social media.
Aim to build the buzz for this around two weeks before Black Friday itself. The strategy could be that you’ll be running your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but… Social media followers will get to find out first and could even get exclusive offers or free extras (with discount codes etc).
By generating a buzz and getting your customers excited, you can hope to attract people who may already be interested in your product and are considering making their purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Running ads on Facebook or Instagram to let customers know about these ‘unmissable offers’ can help to spread the word even more.
2. Use timed offers
Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are time limited by definition, you can add another level of ‘limited offer’. Timed offers, even on Black Friday itself, can activate that FOMO element for buyers – and if you let potential customers know in advance you could see products flying off your digital shelves.
Timed offers create a sense of immediacy, and a need to act on impulse. With a ticking clock, the pressure is on to get the offer while it’s on the table.
You can also drip feed these deals over the course of Black Friday, or the holiday shopping weekend.
Social media can be used to highlight these timed offers before they go live. Your social media followers or email subscribers could get early bird offers, or exclusive access to these deals before the day – or even the ability to pre-order at these limited time prices.
3. Branded hashtags
The power of social media can be the difference between a decent Black Friday turnover, and record sales.
One way to do this is to encourage the use of a branded hashtag in the run up to the big day. By encouraging your current subscribers to use your branded hashtag, you can build a buzz, get more followers and get more eyes on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales offers.
How can you get people to share your branded hashtag?
- Offer entry to a prize draw
- Promote followers on your own page (for example if they provide a selfie with your product)
- A free gift or discount code for participants
If you’re using this type of branded hashtag, this means you’d need to include your brand name, or something similar.
For example, here at ClickCease, we might use #ClickFriday or #CCBlackFriday2022.
Once again, paying to promote this campaign with ads before the big event can help to maximise the results.
Another option is to use other trending hashtags in the run up to the big event itself. Of course #blackfriday and #cybermonday are going to be trending. But it’s hard to get the visibility on high volume hashtags like this.
4. Have a unique content strategy for Black Friday
With the potential to really nail those online sales during the Black Friday weekend, having a social media strategy will help you hit your targets.
This means eye catching and regular social media posts, both organic and paid.
Some ideas for unique content for your social media accounts might include:
- A sneak peak at some discounts you have coming up
- Reviews and testimonials from happy customers – social proof goes a long way
- Memes and fun content related to Black Friday to ramp up the excitement
Use social media posting software to schedule your posts in the run up to the holiday shopping season. Hootsuite is one of the best, but there are plenty of alternatives such as Sprout Social and Twittimer.
You’ll also need to understand how you can build a buzz around your brand and it’s offers. A few short videos, some punchy copy and some carousel images can reap big dividends.
And of course the growing and super popular Instagram Stories is a great tool.
It’s also a good idea not to saturate your feed with too many posts, as this can have the opposite effect and desensitize potential new customers to your offer.
Two to three organic posts a day at most should be sufficient.
Boosting certain posts with Facebook Ads will also help to maximise the reach to get the most engagement on the big day. You can always use Facebook to promote your best performing organic posts, or create specific ads to promote.
5. Use landing pages from your social ads
Linking straight to your product pages can be overwhelming, especially on Black Friday. People are often looking at multiple sites, trying to find the best deal, and they don’t want to be filtering, searching and generally navigating a huge inventory of deals and offers.
If you’ve gone to the effort of setting up a campaign on your social media for the crazy holiday shopping weekend, make it easier for your visitors to check out.
Individual landing pages can help to maximise conversions and reduce abandoned carts.
These might be for a specific product or service, or for a general category. For example, you might have a Black Friday sale on ski goggles in general, meaning a link to your ski goggles Black Friday sales page should help visitors make a decision.
But you might also be offering discounts on a specific brand, for example, North Face ski wear.
If you’re running a Black Friday promotion for North Face ski wear, make sure that when the customer clicks the ad, the first thing they see is a selection of discounted North Face ski wear.
6. Run ads in the run-up to the holiday weekend
Paid ads on Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend tend to skyrocket. One way to get around this is to target customers and build your following before the big event.
Let customers know that you’re going to have the best Black Friday deals, and get them to follow your socials, or sign up for your emails.
Remember that shoppers start looking for deals as early as October. And many shoppers will make their major purchases for Christmas and the new year in November. This is especially true of high priced ticket items, such as technology or vacation packages.
There is no harm in running an ad in October highlighting that ‘Black Friday This Year Will Be Bigger Than Ever’.
Social media gives your promotions the best chances of being shared widely and potentially going ‘viral’. The press also loves to jump on stories related to Black Friday deals, so some early buzz can really help.
Hook them in, tell them to sign up in advance for exclusive deals and discounts. Get them ready to head straight to your website on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to snare those incredible savings. And not Amazon….
7. Pre-Black Friday deals
When everyone else is offering sales on Black Friday itself, you can even hook a few extra sales in the run up. It doesn’t need to be your headline items. So if you’re planning to slash the prices of your Samsung phone stock on Cyber Monday, you could save the big deals for the big day.
Instead offer discounts on older models, lower spec models and accessories.
Whet their appetite for great deals, show them what you can offer – with lower priced items – and promise bigger and better come holiday shopping weekend.
Again, using social media is one of the best ways to get these kinds of deals to go viral.
8. Maximise your paid social reach
Perhaps most obviously, for the best sales, you want to get your ads seen by the right audience. Even if your Black Friday social media campaign is put together perfectly, the proof is in the engagement and targeting.
Meta for Business Ads platforms, including Instagram, give you some great control over who sees your ads. You’re able to target audience by interest, age, location and other demographic factors. And optimising your ad targeting is crucial to your success with Black Friday marketing.
Knowing your audience is the best way to do this. With an understanding of target demographics you can choose when best to run ads, settings to use and even the type of language to use.
Despite this granular level of targeting, there is still a problem with ads targeting non-genuine accounts. There are huge numbers of duplicate and fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram, many of which are used for fraudulent engagement.
Once you’ve set your targeting, a sizeable percentage of your ads can be viewed by bots, people outside your geo-target and automated accounts. And then, to make matters worse, if you’re running retargeting or remarketing campaigns, you’ll end up targeting these accounts multiple times, wasting you even more money.
ClickCease offers click fraud protection for Facebook Ads, minimising your ad impressions by these non-genuine actors.
If you’re planning on running a paid Black Friday social media campaign, try our free 7 day trial and run your own traffic audit….