The biggest sales event of the year for ecommerce marketers is almost upon up.
In the US alone, $6.2 billion worth of products were sold during Black Friday 2018, with Cyber Monday generating a whopping $7.9 billion.
It’s not unheard of for a brand to double their yearly revenue on this weekend alone.
But only if they know how to properly leverage the tools available and the spirit of the holiday.
If you’re looking to dominate the Black Friday – Cyber Monday 2019 holiday, read on. We’re about to cover everything you could want to know on the topic.
Table of Contents
Black Friday’s Growth
The Role of Social Commerce Across Black Friday – Cyber Monday Weekend
How to Prep Your Social Sales Strategy for Black Friday
The Formula That Drives Massive Black Friday Sales
The Value Offer
The Viral Offer
The Identity Play
Black Friday’s Growth
Over the last 5 years, Black Friday has grown in more ways than one.
In addition to YoY increases in sales and revenue, it’s also grown to include countries across the globe.
The potential benefits of running a well planned Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) campaign have never been greater.
Just look at these stats.
Year on year growth in the US.
And up to a 9900% increase in interest from countries across the globe.
Ad spend, sales, revenue, and profit are increasing year after year.
The Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend is the biggest sales opportunity for brands across the globe.
And whilst now is the best time to start prepping your campaigns, you need to do a little more than everyone else to really make an impact.
You need to look less at what kind of sales you should be running, and more at how you should be engaging with your audience.
And when it comes to connecting with your audience, one channel and marketing approach reigns supreme.
Conversational marketing through social platforms.
The Role of Social Commerce across Black Friday and Cyber Monday
There’s a lot that goes into getting your online store ready for Black Friday.
Can your web host take the increase in traffic?
Is your checkout process robust enough to deal with an influx of payments?
How much will shipping be slowed down due to an increase in orders?
All these questions require a lot of attention and are key to making Black Friday a success.
But none of it will matter if you can’t get that traffic to your online store in the first place.
And increasing that traffic comes back to understanding your customers.
In 2018, 66% of shoppers used a mobile device to search for their BFCM deals.
Mobile requires it’s own optimization strategy, and with more than 50% of shoppers preferring the medium it’s simply smart business to create a mobile-first experience.
However, you might not have the time or resources for such a large undertaking.
Of that 66%, a majority used social media to search for the best deals.
This makes connecting with potential shoppers easy for any brand. Social platforms are already set up specifically for mobile devices.
All you need to do is leverage these existing systems to connect with a huge audience, right?
But hold on.
Impressions, engagement, and clicks are a far cry from the revenue you’re trying to generate.
The good news is that in 2018, the share of actual orders that came from mobile devices was 49%. Up from 42% in 2017.
It sounds like a slam dunk, right?
Social is perfect for connecting via mobile, and 49% of your customers (likely more this year) are willing to buy straight from their mobile.
However, we think there’s an inherent problem in this approach. One which we can help solve.
You see, whilst social usage and purchases might be growing, they could be higher.
The existing social media purchase funnel is fragmented and confusing. Users have to go through multiple steps across several digital properties – of which only a handful are optimized for mobile conversions.
The secret to massively increasing your sales across this year’s BFCM weekend is to convert users where their intent is highest.
The turn their excitement at finding your product into an actual “take my money” moment.
And the most effective way to do this (with conversion rates of up to 68% – average conversion rates sit at 20-30%) is with a social, conversational commerce strategy.
In short, you use live chat or chatbots to allow users to:
- Express an interest in your product
- Ask questions and get immediate, real-time answers
- Select the variants (color, size etc) within the chat
- Purchase the product
- Receive their receipt
From a single location directly on their social media feed or Messenger service.
Here’s a quick look at what that sort of solution might look like to the customer.
Social conversations drive better engagement and immediate sales.
They’re the future of our industry and are already generating thousands in extra revenue for the brands using them effectively.
But don’t think simply slapping a conversational checkout on to your social feed will be enough.
There’s a number of steps you need to follow to run effective campaigns.
How to Prep Your Social Sales Strategy for Black Friday Weekend
Social commerce might have an incredibly high conversion rate, but it still needs a well thought out strategy and approach.
Below are the steps you should take to ensure this year’s BFCM sale is your most profitable yet.
Step 1: Prepare All Potential Customer Touchpoints
A crucial step in setting up a successful Black Friday strategy across your channels is making sure your potential customers never have to spend more than a few seconds to find your best deals, or encounter any roadblocks to buying them.
Here are a few ways you can do that.
Set up a conversational landing page and link to it everywhere
One of the easiest things you can do to increase sales and conversions is to introduce a sales specific landing page.
You’ll see Amazon do this for Prime Day, and big box retailers do it for every holiday imaginable.
Take the below example from Walmart’s 2018 campaign as an example.
These kind of landing pages are great because they list all sale items in one location.
However, they still fall prey to the confusing customer journey that plagues ecommerce sales.
Users have to manually search through these items to find the category, product, and offer they most want or need.
If you could make this central repository of sale items easier to search, you’d reduce the purchase journey length and increase sales.
And the easiest way to do this is to add some form of conversational element to the page. Something that allows the user to ask questions which lead them to the ideal product for them.
We’d recommend a chatbot that triggers on the page before asking questions that help you understand the customer’s needs.
Tha chatbot can then coax the user toward the purchase with an automated chatbot checkout.
As you can see above, the user has been lead to the product they might want and on the right they can checkout through chat.
That chat checkout is fully automated (much like the questions can be) and works seamlessly on mobile or desktop.
Adding this level of cross-device streamlining to your purchase journey should massively help increase your overall conversions. We see it generate an average 20-30% conversion rate, with some brands achieving up to the mid 80% CVR.
Update social media profile descriptions and call-to-actions
Once you have your landing page, the next best thing is to link to it across your social media profiles. Add it to your bio along with a simple call-to-action.
For example, if you still haven’t added any Black Friday-specific discounts, you might say something like: ‘Best Black Friday deals on [women’s fashion] are almost here!’
Make sure your CTA makes it obvious that the link is about Black Friday—it will be more effective than a generic discount message.
Now, you can just roll out these promos on social and redirect people to your conversational landing page.
However, with the right tool (like Jumper) you could allow people to convert right there on the social media post.
The automated checkouts and chat sequences you set up in Jumper aren’t just to be used on a webpage. You can actually serve them through social media.
For example, you could share a post which says something like “Black Friday Deal of the Hour! – Aasics Running Shoes – to buy now at 50% off, comment #RunWithRyan below”.
That hashtag starts a direct chat from social media which includes the automated checkout you’ve already set up.
The below is what customers will see after commenting.
This method is perfect for reducing the purchase journey down to 2 steps that take place on the platform the user is actively engaged with.
Not only that, but it’s the same checkout you’ll set up for the web page popup or any other touchpoint.
You’re simply reusing the same back end processing across multiple client facing channels.
Pin key posts to the top of your profiles
Start sharing your landing page and perhaps a wait list for deals across social as early as possible! Play around with video, image, link posts, and GIFs.
Do this once or twice a week during the weeks leading up to the Black Friday weekend. When one of your posts gains traction and attracts engagement, pin it to the top of your Twitter and Facebook profiles so that they’re visible to new visitors and followers.
This will increase the recall of your products and offers for your audience once it’s time to shop.
If you are running hourly flash sales with a conversational checkout, be sure to pin those posts to your profile at the top of every hour.
Step 2: Tease Your Upcoming Deals and Drive Early Traffic
In the final weeks leading up to Black Friday, it’s time to get more specific and start teasing specific deals you’ve prepared.
Keep in mind people are looking for the best deals on products they want, but this doesn’t mean you have to drive yourself into bankruptcy. Even offers like free shipping or limited-edition product variations can work really well.
To get the most of these teases, follow the below.
Schedule at times your audience is active
To ensure maximum impact of each post, make sure you’re scheduling shares when customers are most active.
The best way to do this and avoid wasting time is by analyzing your audience insights and scheduling ahead.
To look into times when your audience is active on your main social platforms, you’ll want to refer to:
- Facebook Page > Insights > Posts
- FollowerWonk > Analyze (for Twitter)
- Instagram > Insights > Audience > Followers
Then, you can use free tools like Buffer and Later to schedule your posts at the best times instead of posting manually every day.
Install Facebook pixel and create a custom audience
As interest grows in Black Friday deals, so too will your traffic.
As soon as you start promoting, teasing, and hinting at deals you want to be tracking your potential customers.
Because it means you can start running retargeting campaigns right off the mark.
You can, as soon as midnight on the first day hits, start promoting the products people have viewed back to them.
Retargeting is an incredibly powerful tool for driving sales.
We’ve got a guide on Facebook ads here that’ll help with targeting. But in this piece, I’m going to explain a little more on how to use the Facebook Pixel with Jumper.
Jumper comes with an in-built Pixel option.
All you have to do is go to your dashboard and find the Pixel option under:
Growth tools > Facebook Pixel.
Click that and add the Pixel ID to the box.
With that added, you’ll be able to track more than you would from a simple pixel addition to your site.
You’ll also be able to track people who engaged with your Messenger and conversational pages.
This opens up a ton of new opportunities.
For example, you could run an initial tease of a product and ask people to respond to a specific post if they’d be interested in buying once the deal goes live.
For those that respond through Messenger, you could then send them a targeted ad or sponsored message when the deal is available.
This way, you build a pre-release list of highly interested buyers that’s targeted to the product before Black Friday even lands.
Step 3: Create Meaningful Conversations on Social Media
The first two steps focused on the work leading up to Black Friday. These next steps are focused on what you can do to drive sales on the sale weekend itself.
Monitor your mentions and comments to answer questions
For most stores Black Friday is a time of crazy discounts and deals.
Interest, traffic, and customer queries will skyrocket during this period.
And if you’re not prepared, then you can drown in the influx of new work that needs to be done.
There are numerous different tools to help you manage this influx of queries.
For example, Facebook’s Business Manager inbox, Hootsuite, TweetDeck and more can all help you collate the questions from a few different sources.
But it’s still not enough.
Especially as most customer queries are responded to with something vague like “please email our support team on…”.
Your users want an answer through the channel they’re using. They don’t want to have to switch between channels and streams to make it easier for you.
A unified inbox that links to all major customer question channels will help you:
- Manage a huge number of queries from a single location
- Respond immediately to questions through the customer’s favorite channel
- Track and optimize customer support on a company-wide level
Jumper comes with a unified inbox that’ll help you achieve exactly the above.
You’ll be able to respond to users through different social channels and messenger apps.
Speed of response is a key differentiator in day-to-day ecommerce.
When users are bombarded with flash sales from multiple brands, being quick on the draw could be the difference between closing hundreds of extra deals or losing thousands of dollars in revenue.
Intentionally join conversations
All the strategies so far are bound to bring you reach and traffic, but you don’t have to just sit and wait for it.
A passive approach to business is doomed to fail.
Using something like TweetDeck, you can monitor for specific hashtags or keywords being used on Twitter and jump into the conversation.
For example, you might add a product name along with ‘Black Friday’ (so iPhone 11 Black Friday), or a hashtag you’ve seen your customers use.
When you see someone tweeting about a deal they’re looking for, you can genuinely engage and potentially turn them into a customer.
One of my favorite ways to look for questions specifically is by adding a question mark to my search. Here’s how I did it with Black Friday and iPhone:
Try this tactic with your own products to quickly find potential customers!
Step 4: Turn Conversations Into Sales With Jumper
Conversations are great for building rapport and relationships with potential customers.
But you’re running a business, and you want to turn those conversations into sales.
So how do you now make sales from these conversations?
Easy: with Jumper.
Here’s the lowdown: jumper gives you the ability to turn social interactions into sales with simple actions like commenting a hashtag.
Sounds too good to be true? You can try it out for yourself by commenting on a post on our demo Facebook account:
When you encourage your followers to comment a specific hashtag to purchase a product, Jumper takes them into an automated sequence.
By following these directions, they can order any size, color, and amount of products they want to—all of it without any extra customer work on your part.
Here’s an example of an automated chat that achieved a 68% conversion rate for Marvel. Note how the chatbot asks questions like time of showing and preferred cinema before getting ther user to check out.
So what does it take to make this possible for you?
The answer: As little as five minutes of your time.
Hop over to the Jumper signup page to create your free account (your first 10 sales are on us!) and follow simple directions. Your setup steps will include:
- Creating your jumper account: set up your business name and product categories
- Configuring your account essentials: add your logo, support email, payment options, and social media integrations
- Setting up products: add names, images, hashtags, descriptions, attributes, quantities, and more
- Personalizing messages for your automated conversations
- Setting up tax and shipping rates
In this process, you’ll essentially create your product base within Jumper.
And if your web store is hosted on Shopify or WooCommerce – or you’ve got products with Printful – you can easily connect your products by connecting your Jumper account to your store!
Once your Jumper account is fully set up, you’re ready to make the most out of all the social media engagement you’ve created by this point.
Your followers can easily shop from you without ever leaving Facebook or Instagram through a quick and frictionless checkout!
Step 5: Retarget Visitors With Easy-to-Shop Ads
Remember Facebook Pixel we mentioned earlier?
This is where that will come in handy.
You can make ads that specifically drive people to comment a certain hashtag to purchase an item, rather than send them away from Facebook.
This is a step you should practice and set up before Black Friday itself so that you can launch it with a few clicks when the day comes.
The best strategy here is to create custom audiences based on people who visited specific web pages, which is one of the options in custom audience setup.
Here are key steps of setting up your Facebook campaign:
- Select Engagement as your objective, since you’re going for comments
- Under Custom Audiences, select Create New. Depending on your targeting, you should either go with;
- People who visited a certain page
- People who sent a message to your Facebook Page
- Click Create Audience
- Proceed with campaign setup and formats as normal
Test this campaign for a few hours and adjust your budget, visuals, or copy as necessary.
Remember to prompt your target audience to comment with a specific hashtag or use the click to Messenger ads and Jumper’s JSON code to trigger a specific checkout.
This can massively increase your conversions and result in some happy customers!
You’re Ready to Own Black Friday on Social Media
Your visibility and success with sales on Black Friday depends on you, and that’s good news. It means you have full control over it and can take specific actions to drive success.
Remember that as many as 61% of holiday shoppers begin searching online for their purchases prior to the Thanksgiving weekend, and by following our guide, you can be prepared in time and become the preferred place to shop.
A Jumper account will make you unstoppable, so make sure to sign up now and avoid spending another day without a social commerce strategy this Black Friday.
Before we sign off on this article, let’s take a look at a few real-life campaigns to learn from.
The Formula That Drives Massive Black Friday Sales
Your audience is being bombarded by deals, discounts, and offers of all types on Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend – and not just from your competitors, but from all sorts of brands
How can you cut through the noise? How can you make your brand’s social commerce campaign stand out against all that competition?
The formula is simple:
- Capture your audience’s attention
- Move them towards a clear campaign goal
- Make the experience positive, memorable, and shareable.
Of course, that’s easier said than done.
To build on this BFCM piece, we’ve deconstructed a couple of highly successful sales campaigns to help you better optimize your next campaign.
If you apply concepts from these examples, you’ll run an incredible campaign this Black Friday.
We’ve gone a step further though, and also outlined how you can build on each campaign with the use of a social commerce chatbot.
Campaign A: The Value Offer
1. Best Buy
When you think of Black Friday Deals, Best Buy probably comes to mind.
The big-box tech store is known for consistently leading the way with storewide discounts each year during Black Friday Weekend.
Best Buy’s discounts are attractive for general shoppers.
Simply show up at a Best Buy store or visit their website on Black Friday and you’ll find a deep discount on a pricey piece of tech.
They do more than just slash prices everywhere though.
Best Buy and several other big-box retailers have turned their Black Friday campaigns into extended sales that run outside of the standard Black Friday to Cyber Monday window.
By publishing a catalog of discounts early in November, Best Buy lets its audience know what they can expect throughout the month – not just on Black Friday weekend.
The tech giant then runs a very responsive social media campaign that publishes reminders about specific deals being offered at the time.
These would be the ideal social posts to populate your Pixel retargeting audiences mentioned earlier in this piece.
It’s a simple funnel and it drives massive engagement.
What could be done better
Best Buy put a lot of effort into the teasing of upcoming deals.
However, as far as we can tell there’s little that’s one on the back end of those deals.
Engagement isn’t tracked and product-specific retargeting doesn’t seem to be a priority.
With the pixel retargeting mentioned earlier in the article, Best Buy could massively increase engagement and sales.
Not only would they be able to remind users when the sale goes live, but with Jumper they coul do so through Messenger which has engagement rates far higher than email and regular paid ads.
Taking it a step further, Best Buy could set up a chatbot through Jumper to manage this type of campaign.
Then all they’d have to do is stay on top of their ad optimization for impressions and clicks.
Kohl’s is a large department store chain found across the US.
In 2014, Kohl’s ran a wildly successful Black Friday campaign that took the traditional model used by Best Buy and went way beyond it.
Kohl’s used a two-step strategy.
First, they generated social engagement by asking trivia questions.
Second, they reached out to responders in a highly personal manner – sort of like helpful shopping assistants.
This resulted in some staggering numbers, including a 400% jump in social media engagement from the previous year and a 234% shift in positive sentiment.
How did they accomplish such big numbers?
Kohl’s leveraged its leading position with popular brands and timely product lines, like Disney’s Frozen.
It also built its campaign as a contest with a branded hashtag, #KohlsSweeps. They encouraged responders to answer the trivia questions and would follow up with sales links.
What could be done better
Social commerce has evolved significantly since Kohl’s ran this campaign in 2014.
The idea of engaging an audience in a contest and then following up with personal attention towards a sale – that was a relatively new concept.
However, the concept of using customer engagement to further reach on social media is still key to social commerce success today.
If Kohl’s were to run this campaign again, they’d run into a few issues.
- More people on social means they’d be inundated with responses
- The growth of multiple platforms means those responses might be spread across numerous channels
- All they’re doing is fostering good relationships. It’s important but doesn’t necessarily lead to sales
If Kohl’s was to run this today they could massively improve on the engagement and sales by introducing a few modern social commerce solutions.
- Linking all of their social and chat presence to a single, unified dashboard
- This would help them more easily manage and track a wider range of customer queries and engagement
- Retarget those who engaged with their pages and posts with direct sales offers
- They’ve indicated they’re interested, a retargeting campaign when the offer is live will sell more
- Allowing users to checkout directly through their social media feeds with a social commerce solution
- Why complicate matters? Allow user to checkout directly on the platform they’re most engaged with
By applying these streamlining options Kohl’s would make it easier to purchase and would massively increase user satisfaction through faster support.
Both of which would lead to a higher engagement and conversion rate.
Campaign B: The Viral Offer
MeUndies is an underwear company with a strong, creative social media presence.
For Black Friday 2016, MeUndies made waves with its Facebook Live event.
MeUndies focused their efforts on a two-hour window in the middle of Black Friday. They used the Facebook event to dish out exclusive deals and discounts.
Instead of running a generic weekend campaign or asking their audience to stick around for a whole-day event, MeUndies set out a much more finite chunk of time.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales activity peaks between 9 am and mid-day.
MeUndies designed their campaign to run at an off-peak time (3 pm – 5 pm PST) when they faced lower competition from other Black Friday sales.
Additionally, the use of Facebook Live video was a fresh break from the standard coupon and catalog bombardment we’re used to seeing from big-box retailers.
What could be done better
In the future, MeUndies could drive engagement with live video events and channel their audience through a chatbot-managed sales link.
The benefit here would be that users wouldn’t have to break from the platform where sales are being dished out.
A user could potentially be completing the purchase for sale #1, whilst at the same time still learning about sale #2.
For example, in the red box in the image they could run their live video and in the yellow outline chat on the right share the sales links.
If a user is on desktop, the chatbot checkout wouldn’t pull them away from the video and ongoing sales.
They could pre-prepare a number of links and have them pinned to the top of the chat or shared periodically.
Then when an offer is expired simply switch out the link
If a particular discount is expired, simply remove the relevant link.
A social commerce chatbot like Jumper could help them streamline the purchase funnel and also allow the brand to create scarcity and deadlines.
Chubbies is an offbeat apparel brand with humor running through everything it does, from its clothing to its marketing campaigns.
Every year, Chubbies runs a Cyber Monday (or, “Thighber” Monday, in their words) campaign that’s up there with the best of them.
The brand runs an hourly product giveaway; 12 products over 12 hours, 8 am – 8 pm PST.
The key to Chubbies’ success is the quality of the products they give away. These aren’t the throwaway, $1 add-on “gifts” you may see at a bigger retailer. Instead, Chubbies selects products that their audience would gladly pay for.
The hourly giveaway and premium products means that they’ll have a highly engaged audience on Cyber Monday, throughout the day.
Remember, it’s one thing to stand out for a moment – but Chubbies stays front-and-center all day.
In addition to great products during its sale, they have a dedicated landing page for people interested in their big sales event.
It’s also worth noting that their videos are short – often under a minute – and very shareable. Their social content isn’t sales-y, but always does a great job of highlighting attractive products in a fun way.
What could be done better
Chubbies has a big (450,000+ followers), engaged audience on Instagram.
The hourly product feature is practically built for Instagram and a social commerce chatbot like Jumper.
Chubbies could set up an all-day hashtag contest, encouraging people to engage each time they wanted to get one of the 12 gifts.
All they’d have to do is change the link in their bio every hour to point their buyers to the right checkout page, change the copy in their posts to direct people to the bio, and let Jumper handle the sale.
5. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is an outlandish card game that’s definitely not PG-13 – they describe themselves as “a party game for horrible people”.
Like Chubbies, it’s a brand that’s known for going big on Black Friday Weekend.
Instead of hourly gifts, though, Cards Against Humanity swings for the fences with a prank guaranteed to have people talking.
In past years their pranks have ranged from big fundraising drives to digging a giant hole in the ground and filling it up.
One year they just spent the money they raised on themselves, then shared what each staff member bought.
You never really know what you’re getting with them…and that’s sort of the point. They’re consistently wild, and their audience wants to take part in their stunts.
Here’s a list of Cards Against Humanity’s annual Black Friday pranks.
What could be done better
Cards Against Humanity rarely posts a true sales pitch on any social channel. It’s heavily geared toward engagement and potential virality.
Their annual Black Friday pranks will create a big spike in traffic to their social channels. That means a lot more people to sell to, right?
Staying true to the brand is extremely important, so using a prank as an obvious sales hook is probably the worst thing Cards Against Humanity could do.
However, it’s also a terrible waste to let that huge level of engagement slip through their fingers.
The way we see it, Cards Against Humanity could do two things to increase their sales.
First, they could add a sales-enabled chatbot with a Jumper link to their social bios. With this, Cards Against Humanity can quietly, comfortably allow its audience to buy a flagship card set, for example.
In addition to more sales, Jumper would help the brand collect buyer contact info. This would allow Cards Against Humanity to build future engagement campaigns. After all, everyone always seems up for their antics!
However, if they wanted to steer clear of actual sales, then they could integrate Jumper with their Facebook Pixel.
Instead of using a simple page for engagement, get people to engage with a chatbot. Then, once the Black Friday gag is over, they have a list of interested people they can retarget to through Messenger.
Campaign C: The Identity Play
REI is an outdoor apparel and gear brand with a strong social media following.
Like several brands on this list, REI sticks to a tried and true formula. Each year, it repeats the same type of campaign.
In REI’s case, it’s the anti-campaign. Their #optoutside message is geared to get people outside and active. They go so far as to shut down sales while everyone else is going into sales overdrive.
It’s certainly countercurrent and stands out from the sales-centric noise of other brands. More importantly, “opt outside” is a highly relevant message for its audience – dedicated outdoors people.
The hashtag #optoutside is a great way to go past suggesting and instead encourages engagement.
REI’s audience responds in a big way to the weekend’s call to action, and the brand is met with a deluge of hashtag replies. It’s a user-generated content (UGC) gold mine.
What they could do better
In its current form, REI’s #optoutside campaign drives a lot of basic engagement.
Could they take the message further and ask for one step beyond hashtag replies?
The natural next step would be to turn the hashtag campaign into a contest or giveaway.
Creating an attractive incentive like a product giveaway would likely drive even more engagement, better UGC, and more sales (while the online store is back open.
As we’ve covered earlier in this piece, Jumper can handle contests and giveaways.
It’s literally built for hashtag responsiveness.
Currently, REI’s Instagram bio link takes visitors to a Like2Buy page, where they can browse a wide range of products featured in posts. Like any ecommerce store, it’s a good way to get people looking at many products.
The thing is, it doesn’t have anything to do with the #optoutside message.
With Jumper, REI could run a laser-focused hashtag campaign and take what they’re already doing to another level, without deviating from their brand identity and Black Friday seasonal message.
Like REI, Patagonia is an outdoors apparel and gear brand. They’re also known for effective Black Friday campaigns focused on engagement rather than sales.
Patagonia doesn’t shy away from politics or a strong identity.
The brand’s mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”.
In the lead up to Black Friday 2016, Patagonia announced that they would donate 100% of all sales to charity.
The promotion grabbed a lot of attention and triggered a big response. Instead of an expected $3.5 million in sales, Patagonia raised $10 million. Even more impressively, 70% of online sales came from first-time buyers.
What they could do better:
Like REI, Patagonia’s social bio links aren’t very specific. At best, they take users to general ecommerce platforms.
If Patagonia wanted to double down on their political messages during Black Friday, they could introduce campaigns that were more closely aligned to their core values.
In the lead up to the US midterm election – an important moment for environmental policy – Patagonia’s social posts were peppered with reminders to vote.
The brand also shut down stores during election day in order to enable its employees to vote.
Although it was two weeks away from Black Friday, Patagonia could have leveraged the sales season to push its audience to act out its (and their) values by voting.
It doesn’t have to be purely political acts either.
Patagonia can encourage its fans to engage in other brand-aligned actions, like recycling used gear.
Either way, the way to take advantage of identity-based engagement like this is to create more focused call to actions on its social media profiles.
With Jumper, Patagonia can direct its audience into an automated sequence that supports a specific goal, be it sales or social. Doing good can work wonders for a business – 94% of people would switch to a brand that demonstrates altruism.
With 3.6 million followers on Instagram alone, Patagonia could create highly active contests and giveaways around virtually any product. The key, though, is to create some specificity and scarcity.
Modcloth is a fashion and apparel brand serving women of all sizes.
In 2017 Modcloth made waves for a Black Friday blackout coupled with a $5 million donation to a charity dedicated to helping women transitioning back into the workforce.
Like REI, Modcloth did the most anti-sales thing possible – shutting their doors for the day. They also created a branded hashtag for their anti-campaign, #blackfridaybreakup.
Modcloth went a level beyond REI and Patagonia, though.
The brand created a hashtag contest linked to the spirit of their charity donation.
Modcloth invited its audience to participate in the campaign by nominating someone giving back to their community, tagging social posts with the branded hashtag, #blackfridaybreakup.
The winning candidate was chosen from the pool of nominees. The prize was up to $4500 from Modcloth to support the winner’s project or cause.
Modcloth did a great job tapping into its audience’s identity.
The brand aligned an attention-grabbing, socially beneficial action with a similar call to action from its audience.
What it could have done better
Like REI and Patagonia, Modcloth uses a third party app link in its Instagram bio, taking users to a general ecommerce page.
That means that while it runs a focused hashtag contest like #blackfridaybreakup, Modcloth never connects that engagement into a specific sale.
That’s particularly relevant in this case, because although Modcloth’s Black Friday blackout is only 24 hours long. That means the rest of the weekend and Cyber Monday are still big sales days for the brand.
Modcloth would do well to offer some specificity during the rest of the weekend, or at least on Cyber Monday.
By using Jumper, Modcloth could set up a second contest or giveaway, this time around a flagship product line.
By doing so, the brand would be offering its audience another chance to engage – this time directly with products.
It’s easy to focus on the winners in a contest. What about everyone else, though?
They probably want a second shot – why not give it to them?
It bears repeating that using Jumper for contests and giveaways would allow Modcloth to collect valuable audience contact info.
What are you going to do for Black Friday?
Social commerce is exploding, and you have more tools than ever before available to you.
The question is, how will you use them?
In order to build a successful Black Friday campaign, take note of what’s already working for the top-performing brands. What can you apply to your audience?
Whether it’s an extended sales window, hourly product features, or other concepts, there’s one common thread to the campaigns we looked at: they could all benefit from social commerce chatbot integration.
The key to your Black Friday social commerce campaign is figuring out how to engage your audience and then keep their attention while walking them through a specific goal. Do that and you’ll create a memorable win-win for you and your audience.
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