By: Lindsey Lotze | Lil__LiL0
As yet another holiday season rolls around, so did the infamous Black Friday. Black Friday has seen its fair share of back lash from consumers who declare it is preposterous for employees to work through the wee hours of the morning, and others who are genuinely concerned for the safety of their lives as they fight through the crowds to participate in conspicuous consumption. Yet somehow, this hellish tradition seems to live on, despite the disapproval of many, due to the enormous revenue surplus it provides to large retailers.
This 2016 holiday season, there has been a massive social media outreach by retailers who are striving to obtain consumer foot traffic into their brick and mortar locations. With 2015 being the first year that Cyber Monday surpassed Black Friday in overall revenue, retailers took to their marketing efforts in order to entice consumers to come out to their stores to attain the best deals. Data confirmed that 1.4 million tweets included the mention of Black Friday, topping that of the previous year. Additionally, the most reputable hashtags were: #BlackFriday, #CyberMonday, #KohlsSweepstakes, #OptOutside. Interestingly, two brands utilized strategic social media practices in order to create not only a PR stunt, but additionally improve brand recognition and loyalty among its new and pre-existing consumers. Kohl’s annihilated all of it’s competitors by achieving the title of owning 10% of the social media chatter that occurred leading up to Black Friday. This is due to the fact that their Kohl’s Sweepstakes allowed consumers to tweet about the Kohl’s brand in order to be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate. REI did the antithesis of promoting their participation in Black Friday by creating the hashtag #OptOutside in order to promote consumers and employees to spend their Friday after Thanksgiving engaging in outdoor activities. This anti-participatory method was truly revolutionary for the industry and received excessive positive PR. Since last year, REI has doubled their #OptOutside participation on social media.
Whether retailers are participating or sitting out on the Black Friday madness, it is certain that a strategic social media plan will aid in gaining traffic or gaining recognition to one’s brand.
Carlson. (2016). Black Friday Wins with Social Media. Retrieved December 01, 2016, from http://www.readypulse.com/black-friday-wins-with-social-media-in-2015/