One of the biggest sales opportunities of the year is right around the corner and the dates to remember this month are Friday, November 24th and Monday the 27th.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
These iconic shopping dates are no longer just about business - they've taken on a status as unofficial holidays all their own. These days, which products of all kinds can be found for fractional prices, stir up a buying frenzy of comical proportions.
What is Black Friday?
Traditionally, in the United States, Black Friday marks the first true day of the holiday season, coming one day after the nation's Thanksgiving celebration, which is always the last Thursday of the month. Over the years, the date has spun up globally and companies around the world are now looking for a slice of the apple pie – to make another Thanksgiving reference. Even facelift has come up with a very special offer for the last quarter this year - find out more about it.
And when we say Black Friday comes "right after", we aren't kidding. It is not uncommon for some stores, particularly large electronics retailers, to open their doors to lines of very chilly shoppers in tents at 3 or 4 in the morning. In 2011, a few major US retailers began their sales at midnight. The following year, some competitors went as early as 8 PM on Thanksgiving.
This actually sparked quite a bit of controversy regarding the wellbeing of employees and how they're expected to be ready to work immediately after celebrating the nation's largest secular holiday with family.
And what is Cyber Monday?
Formed as a follow-up to Black Friday, the following Monday has become a chief online sales date. Historically, the focus has been on tech and electronics. This, plus the fact that it's online is what inspired the use of the word "cyber", but the trend has grown considerably, and just about any business with an online store can and should take advantage.
Luckily, this date is considered a bit safer in a literal sense. Fewer shoppers are trampled, or seen fist-fighting one another over the last console release as they are just a couple days earlier. This makes the day a heck of a lot more comfortable for shoppers and gives online retailers just the right amount of room to get their products out the door with enough time for orders to arrive before the gift giving season begins.
Black Friday facts and figures
Using our detailed social media analytics tool quintly, we took a deep look at trends and other relevant social media intelligence surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, and here are two key takeaways:
We saw from our research that Black Friday is still getting bigger every year. Cyber Monday also has gained popularity throughout the years ->The number of posts in 2021 increased by 42% in comparison to 2019. We anticipate that this trend will only continue.
We also discovered that even though live videos are not used as much, they had a higher interaction rate than other types of videos and photo content in the run-up to Black Friday in all three analyzed years. It will be interesting to see whether this trend will follow suit in 2022 and whether this feature will be utilized more.
Getting in on the action
If your business hasn't yet started taking advantage of these upcoming sales holidays, it's not too late. We've gone and condensed some best practices for you to implement without further delay!
Your social media teams need to be ready in the run up to these days, as well as during that whole crazy weekend by being well positioned in advance.
How to create an effective social media campaign to boost your sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Prep your social networks
In order to announce your participation in Black Friday and to start highlighting your offers and promotions, it is important to keep up to date. Try creating profile banners or other thematic page elements that highlight your upcoming offers.
This is an opportunity to change your Instagram bio, alter your profile pictures, and coordinate everything across all your social networks. You can also publish a post or two and then pin them at the top of your feed on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to announce the best upcoming deals.
Create a sense of urgency
By definition, Black Friday lasts only 24 hours, and naturally creates a sense of urgency. The use of CTAs allows you to accentuate this feeling of FOMO even more. For example, you can use terms like:
"Order Now", "Sign Up Now", or "Limited Offer".
Be careful not to overuse them, however, as the effect can be diminished and you'll start to sound repetitive.
There are other ways to stimulate a sense of urgency. For example, you can set up flash sales on specific products for a limited time during the day. Why not set up a countdown on Instagram for even more engagement?
Don't be afraid to get creative!
Research and use the right hashtags
If you're not already taking advantage of hashtags, you're probably missing out big time.
Hashtags are the best way to associate your social media posts with a certain topic and stick it into the most relevant news feeds for your industry and content types. Hashtags are more relevant to certain networks than others. Instagram is the best platform for capitalizing on a wide spread of hashtags, where a post can contain as many as 30 tags. With platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, it's often best to choose 2-3.
Especially when working with Instagram, be sure to implement a combination of generic hashtags and more niche, product-specific tags to create a larger spread for your content. It's tougher to compete with these smaller hashtags, but the rewards are greater.
Some of the most widely used hashtags could include #blackfridaysales #cybermonday, or #blackfriday2023, among variations. On Facebook in particular, our quintly research showed that #blackfriday and #cybermonday performed especially high during the weeks leading up to the dates.
Complement these generic hashtags with others a little more specific to your brand or products. Think about tags with only a few thousand mentions, rather than millions. These more specific tags are less likely to be seen, but more likely to drive engagement or sales when they are.
Think of your hashtagging strategy like investing: there is safety in diversification!
On platforms like Instagram and Twitter, you can easily search for the hashtag #blackfriday to see a spread of similar hashtags being used, and find a bit of inspiration.
Highlight your offers
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are obviously an opportunity to highlight your offers and promotions. This is a good opportunity because modern social networks excel in this area. There are several options available to you. Here are just some examples:
Create gift guides to help your customers find the perfect gifts for their friends and family members! You can then share the guides on your social networks.
You can also decide to offer free shipping on your customers' orders.
Sweepstakes work extremely well on social networks during sales periods. In addition to creating engagement, it is a way to communicate your latest offers in a fun way to your community.
Capitalize on social commerce
More and more social media platforms are integrating features that allow you to sell your products directly via social networks. For example, on Instagram, the "Instagram Shops" feature or "Shop the Look" on Pinterest allow you to make social networks a digital showcase for your products!
These features are not yet available in all countries, including Germany. Their emergence is, however, on the horizon, and you can read about social commerce in way more detail in one of our white papers. Or watch the recording of our webinar with our partner suxeedo on that topic.
Partner with influencers
Social media influencers are a force to be reckoned with. Famous figures, celebs, and other people of note are some of the most potent promotion opportunities you'll find anywhere, so much so that influencer marketing has become a specialization in the industry.
You can try leveraging user-generated content (UGC) from relevant nano-influencers in your social media strategy to promote your Black Friday offers. Nano-influencers are users with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. While this seems small by some standards, organic shares from a web of smaller influencers can have an equally powerful impact and costs considerably less.
But if you have the budget, pursuing big names in your industry can also be well worth the investment!
Getting a head start
This year, more than in previous years, consumers expect a high-quality, personalized digital experience. As consumers prepare for holiday purchases, guiding them down the right path to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is essential.
This means planning your posts in advance but also keeping an eye on the interactions of your communities across different social networks. Comments and customer reviews, for example, can give insights into expectations and allow your team to design and present your offers better.
Facelift allows you to plan and optimize all your content from one central hub. Your team can use its publishing features to schedule posts well in advance across all major social media platforms.