For many, holidays create traditions.
Halloween? Wear everything for the company party. But not this year.
Thanksgiving? Tables full of food and no empty space in the house. But not this year.
Black Friday? Overflowing carts but still stressed out about the perfect gift. Definitely this year … but it will be different!
Our new normal has become different when it comes to holidays and traditions in 2020. But as Black Friday approached, we wanted to understand what this actually means for this worldwide shopping vacation. We took advantage of the advanced hearing from Sprout Social to take a look at what deals are looking like this year, how shopping has changed, and what nuances we can find in the best social media campaigns on Black Friday that are in the midst a global pandemic.
Big deals are still a big deal
Black Friday is absolutely still this year and the conversation is bigger than ever on social media. From November 1st to 22nd, 2020 there was:
- Almost 1.7 million Black Friday posts by more than half a million authors (529,327)
- More than 99.3 billion potential impressions on Black Friday content
- More than 4.2 million engagements (Comments, shares and likes) on Black Friday content
So what? People talk about Black Friday. In the retail world, increased excitement often leads to increases in website traffic, sales, and sales. This is good news for an industry that has been hard hit by the pandemic.
Since we’ve seen both Amazon Prime Day and Singles Day records this year, we could look forward to the biggest Black Friday ever.
But how is it different?
One day is not enough
Do you remember how scandalous it was when retailers started Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day and then Cyber Monday came? Oh how times have changed In the midst of the pandemic, businesses start earlier and go longer when it comes to discounts.
We can see this in the hashtags and campaign slogans.
- “This year we’re doing Black Friday all season” (Best Buy)
- “Black Friday Now” (target)
- Black Friday “Deals For Days” (Walmart)
- Black Friday “Early Access” (Macy’s)
- “Too big to wait for Black Friday deals” (Kohl’s)
We can see this at the time of the discounts.
Similar to 2019, there were 13,600 Black Friday posts from November 1st to November 12th mentioning “early” which isn’t surprising or otherwise. Businesses have always built anticipation for post-Thanksgiving deals, but what has changed is a dramatic 86% decrease in the use of “sneak peek” in those posts.
Translation? Companies don’t hold back business, but they do give discounts throughout the month to:
- Incentives to shop early on vacation (both online and in person)
- Try to avoid shipping delays
- Make a step ahead of returns logistics
- Discourage iconic massive coronavirus filled crowds
Walmart in the spotlight
Annual trendsetter Walmart demonstrates all of this with its Black Friday social media campaign, which includes:
- Name: “Black Friday Deals for Days” with the brand hashtag #DealsForDays
- Six big business days in November, each with their own mini campaign pushes
- Exclusive online offers, similar to Cyber Monday
- Fun and creative countdowns
It’s officially “Add Everything to Your Cart Month” as our Black Friday deals go online tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST. Get the hottest savings on tech, household, toys, and more while supplies last! #DealsForDays
– Walmart (@Walmart) November 5, 2020
Security starts in the social area
Unless these people break down the doors to get a vaccine somewhere, the traditional flood of buyers is exactly what companies want to avoid in the midst of a global pandemic.
While social distancing and wearing masks have been trending on social media throughout the pandemic, it’s still an issue on Black Friday.
For many businesses, security begins in the social arena, not the moment a person steps through their doors. You can do this through social contributions that:
- Prioritize and encourage online purchases, not in person
- Encourage them to use contactless pickup or roadside pickup
- Educate customers about business security expectations, such as: B. social distancing and wearing masks
That content is a key element of a brand’s social networking strategy these days, whether they’re preparing for Black Friday or talking about their reopening plans.
Can you handle a 91% increase in comments?
If hiring additional seasonal help is a typical pace for your business, some of these places should be for account reps on social media, as the number of comments on Black Friday 2019-2020 from November 1-12 increased by 91.4 % has increased. 91%!
Consumers will increasingly be getting in touch with questions about products, frustrations with returns and delays, discount clarifications, and real excitement for your offers.
It’s important to watch out for this surge, as 40% of consumers expect their questions, comments, and messages on social media to be answered within an hour, as shown in the Sprout 2020 Index. 79% expect it within 24 hours.
Comments and direct messages that fall through the cracks are often missed opportunities and revenue. Worse still, lost loyalty: 49% of consumers will unfollow a brand in the social arena for poor customer service.
People expect Your brand is active and engaged on social media. Black Friday campaigns and postings are no exception.
Black Friday takeaways
- When creating campaign strategies, social listening data is a powerful and indispensable tool for analyzing year-on-year trends and your competition.
- Incorporate an “early and frequent” mentality into your year-end social campaigns, especially for online shopping deals.
- Help keep people safe. First, identify the social security priorities and expectations.
- Make sure no one falls through the cracks in your comments and inboxes by responding quickly, accurately, and sincerely to your profiles.
For more ideas on building a thriving social media ecommerce presence, check out this article on Setting Up Your Ecommerce Strategy for Success.