In the past, Black Friday shopping has been the stuff of legends - shops brimming with customers, queues of people lining the streets and the occasional frenzied fight breaking out.
But after the events of the last couple of years, and the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on retailers, Black Friday in 2021 looks to be a very different occasion altogether.
With online shopping now being the safer option for consumers, social media is more crucial than ever for helping your brand to secure those all-important pre-Christmas sales.
So, how can you set up your Black Friday social media campaigns for success this year?
It starts with a little creativity and lots of organisation.
Here are our top tips for ensuring a successful Black Friday for your brand.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days in the retail calendar.
Originating as an American holiday in the 1950's, brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce shops traditionally celebrate Black Friday by offering big discounts and promotions in-store and online.
The popularity of this shopping holiday has spread across the pond and beyond in recent years, and is now celebrated in an estimated 50-60% of countries worldwide.
For brands and businesses, Black Friday is a chance to kick-start Christmas sales and isn't an opportunity to be scoffed at. In Britain alone, the average consumer will spend £275 on Black Friday in 2021.
And, with consumers pegged to spend record amounts between Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year, it's definitely time for your brand to muscle in on those sales!
What day is Black Friday 2021?
With all of the fantastic sales opportunities that Black Friday brings for brands, it's useful to know exactly when the event falls on the social media holiday calendar, so you can start planning your brand's Black Friday social media campaigns.
Black Friday falls every year on the Friday after US Thanksgiving. In 2021, Black Friday is on the 26th of November.
Black Friday social media campaign tips
Now we know the power that Black Friday holds as a consumer holiday, it's time to start making your brand's Black Friday social media campaigns even better this year.
Here are our top Black Friday social media campaign tips:
1. Start your campaigns early
They say the early bird catches the worm, and the same is true for social media marketers! The earlier you can start promoting your brand's Black Friday deals on social media, the more potential customers are going to hear about them.
Build anticipation with your campaign by creating countdown posts, sneak peaks and deal reveals for your followers to get excited about.
Notice how supermarket chain Walmart began their 2021 Black Friday campaign in early November, giving them plenty of time to drip feed their followers with great deals before the big day.
2. Build urgency around offers
When writing your social media post captions for Black Friday, make sure to incorporate phrases like 'limited availability' 'while stocks last' or 'available for a limited time only' to increase the chances of converting your followers into customers and generating sales.
This is exactly how makeup brand Glossier advertised their Black Friday sale on Instagram.
3. Use hashtags to increase reach
There are plenty of other reasons why you should use hashtags in your brand's Black Friday social media campaigns, too. For example, hashtags can help increase your brand's visibility and attract new followers to your profiles.
In 2020, fashion brand ASOS included their very own hashtag in their Black Friday Instagram promotions - #ASOSBlackFriday. This was a smart move because it will have increased the organic reach on the post and helped the brand to maintain a strong sense of identity amongst the frenzy of deals and offers happening on the day.
4. Plan your content and schedule it in advance
Organisation is a huge part of a social media manager's job, especially when promotional campaigns roll around!
Make sure to plan out your brand's content and promotions in a social media calendar beforehand, so that you can keep on top of your priorities as Black Friday gets closer.
It's also worth investing in a social media scheduling tool like Sendible to save time and help take out the legwork of manually posting to each social media platform.
5. State when your promotions will begin and end
To avoid confusion for your customers, make sure to always add a note or disclaimer to your content or post caption letting them know when your promotions will begin and end.
Similarly, if your brand is planning to continue its promotions into Cyber Monday, make sure to let your customers know.
Notice how supermarket chain Target specify exactly when their Black Friday deals start and end, so customers have their expectations set from the outset of the promotion.
6. Allocate resources to reply and engage with customers
Great social media customer service takes time and resources. So, before you release your brand's Black Friday social media campaign into the world, make sure you've got the capacity to answer any questions that customers might have about taking advantage of your promotions.
If you're a one-man or one-woman team, think about scaling back the number of social media posts you create to promote your Black Friday offering, as well as which channels you decide to post them on. Afterall, do you really have time to reply to comments on multiple posts as well as messages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter?
Remember that bad customer service on social can make a big, negative, real-life impression, so never take on more than you can handle.
7. Make use of unique platform features
There are so many unique features to each social media platform that social media marketers can take advantage of this Black Friday.
Why not experiment with Instagram Video by creating your brand's promotions using Reels or Stories? Or create a poll on Twitter to ask your followers what kind of deals they'd like to see from your brand this Black Friday.
Hulu's Black Friday social media promotions on Instagram consisted of a Carousel post which viewers had to scroll through to reach the deal on the final image - great for creating suspense and engagement!
Black Friday presents a huge opportunity for brands to generate sales and new customers.
Why not try out our campaign-boosting social media tips this Black Friday and see how you get on?
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