Black Friday is upon us

It has been predicted that this year’s Black Friday will be the fastest growing online sales day of the year, with an estimated 28% year-on-year growth in sales (Social Bro) in the US. Over here in the UK Black Friday has also been taking retailers by storm, thanks mainly to the campaigns initially led by “The Three A’s” a term coined by Nick Bubb, an independent retail analyst consisting of Amazon, Apple and Wal-mart’s Asda.

Outside of these three this year retailers such as Tesco expect sales to beat Boxing Day sales as it prepares to discount products by as much as 70%.

But it is not just about the sales – Black Friday is taking social media by storm. Across the pond, for example, Black Friday overtook Thanksgiving conversations. Roughly 278,000 posts were stamped with the hashtag #BlackFriday versus 85,000 with #Thanskgiving. (Data from the Marketing Cloud).

Despite the excitement, a study by Crimson Hexagon analysing 900,000 posts on Twitter showed an equal split in positive and negative sentiment towards the shopping experience.  Nevertheless, 46% of Twitter users plan to shop on Black Friday, proving the platform is a key battleground for winning customers.

So as the chaos unfolds in the streets and online let’s look at some of the best campaigns this year.

Amazon reigns supreme starting its campaign early, (a week earlier) hosting Black Friday deals every 10 minutes. Tweets included the hashtag #Unwrap[product] as below.

Amazon also tweeted sneak previews of products that would go on sale on the day, this kept users engaged and built anticipation across its audience thus ensuring the brand was at the forefront of users mind when shopping for Black Friday deals.

Asda used #asdablackfriday and the tag line “It’s almost time” releasing a video in the run up to showcase products on sale.

Currys has started a bidding war using Twitter asking users to bid between £1 and half price – those that guess the price correctly could win a code to buy the product at that price.

It seems that a key learning from these campaigns is to start early and create engagement– Black Friday is definitely about the deals but engaging your customers earlier and building anticipation will ensure brands are at the forefront of users’ minds in the shopping frenzy.

This useful infographic from Social Bro provides more details on how brands can take advantage of this shopping extravaganza.

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