Black Friday Advice from 3 Social Marketing Pros

2015 proved to be the most social #BlackFriday to-date, and no-doubt, the social demand will grow in 2016 as audiences continue to prioritize mobile and e-commerce. #BlackFriday hashtags will overpopulate the social universe, brand mentions will soar, eye-catching campaigns will dazzle and delight, and consumers will crave information and expect light-speed responses more than ever before.

As a social marketer, this blurb might’ve induced gut-wrenching anxiety—leaving you pleading with the Black Friday stars to have mercy on your company’s social accounts.

This year, channel that angst into preparation, and take some tips from these social media pros who have rocked the retail space and dominated the beast that is Black Friday.

Mall of America

Known for introducing the nation’s first social-powered blizzard, Mall of America capitalized on the biggest shopping day of the year by creating an unforgettable wintry activation. People from around the world were encouraged to use #Twizzard to control the weather inside one of the largest malls in the U.S. Once every 1,000 tweets using #Twizzard were published, Mall of America—in partnership with AT&T—would send out a flurry of Twitter-powered snowflakes to create an indoor blizzard - a Twizzard. Audiences were driven to this engaging in-store experience where they then captured their moments via social, spinning up an impressive amount of user-generated content for Mall of America.

However, things don’t always go according to plan. Take it from Erin Vande Steeg, Senior Social Media Communications Strategist at Mall of America.

On social, and on Black Friday especially, things don’t always go according to plan.

 

Here’s a pre-holidays gift in the form of advice from this social media maven, who—after five years of experience in the industry—recognizes that no matter what we do, social media has the power to flip the conversation on its head. She urges that you need to be prepared for both the good and the bad.

  • Erin Vande Steeg | Mall of America | Senior Social Media Communications Strategist: Be prepared to scrap your plan and hit restart. The social conversation can be as unpredictable as your grandma’s secret casserole recipe.

Reebok

This shoe and apparel retailer inspires people to be their absolute best. To be at their personal best on Black Friday, Reebok takes a dose of their own medicine by focusing on the bigger picture: On the holiday, the brand aims to foster deep connections and create an experience that their customers won’t forget.

A brand that encourages fans to take Reebok with them as they reach their personal goals, it’s no wonder that Reebok takes such a strong customer-centric stance. Senior Manager, Global Social Media, Ben Blakesley of Reebok, essentially says, Black Friday is one day of 365: maximize the mileage of this day by making memorable interactions.

  • Ben Blakesley | Reebok | Senior Manager, Global Social Media: Remember: Your brand is more than just #BlackFriday deals. Create real connections via interaction & experience that will last beyond 1 day.

Hot Topic

This alternative retail chain is dominated by the forces of music and pop culture, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they capitalize on this characteristic. Producing clothing and accessories for an audience interested in music, gaming, and more, Hot Topic recognizes the need to associate their brand with top influencers and celebrities in the space. This need only increases when Black Friday rolls around, and Katherine Miller, Social Media Manager, is ahead of the game:

  • Katherine Miller | Hot Topic, Inc | Social Media Manager: Lots of organization and planning! Tap into your influencer network - they can be your best asset to rise above the Black Friday noise.

This Black Friday, internalize these tips and prepare yourself for social domination. Don’t hesitate to press restart, create connections that transcend the biggest shopping day of the year, tap into your influencer network, and—a personal bit of advice—always be open to an unexpected opportunity, as you never know where it might take you.

P.S. Social care top of mind this holiday season? Check out our new solution for social care—and let us know your own best tips and tricks in the comments.

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Caitlin Cavanaugh is the Brand Marketing Manager for Spredfast, where she spends her time building the world’s most #SmartSocial brand through the power of customer voice. When she’s not chasing a revolutionary success story, you can find her embarking on her next hunting or fishing expedition or baking up a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies.