Black Friday to Cyber Monday – Find out which brands made the most of the busiest shopping weekend of the year, and how.
Aishwarya Krishnamurthy August 8, 2014
The day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday as it is popularly referred to, has evolved from a gimmick used by retailers to encourage customers to begin their holiday shopping, to something that resembles World War Z. The image that Black Friday brings to mind is an aggressive, violent (I may be exaggerating, but not by much) mob of shoppers stampeding into stores in pursuit of whatever offer, sale or deal seems the most appealing. When brands realized that the same image seemed to be scaring away some shoppers from venturing out on Black Friday, the clever gimmick genies added a new, completely made up day – Cyber Monday, which had the flash sale elements of Black Friday, but took place online, and therefore avoided the crowds, the endless queues, and didn’t require full body armor! We took a look at how brands leveraged the weekend, and best captured the attention of the hordes of consumers.
1. Country Outfitter
Engagement Score: 2,621
Brands aren’t required to be terribly clever with their Black Friday promotions. However, this doesn’t mean that a fair amount of strategizing isn’t required to draw in an audience, encourage engagement and make people want to stick around. Country Outfitters made the most of the weekend by starting their Black Friday ‘Flash Giveaways’ early on Friday morning, and stretching Cyber Monday into an extended Cyber Week. By offering discounts and gift cards linked to the number of likes and shares a post received, they kept customers engaged through the weekend. Their highest engagement score came from the post below, which not only entered participants in their biggest lucky draw giveaway, but also linked to the brand’s website where they could avail exclusive discounts.
Through the week prior to Thanksgiving, Kroger ran a daily contest similar to the game show “Password”, where contestants guessed the name of a brand based on three clues for a chance to win a $25 gift card. The plan worked beautifully as engagement spiked through the week, and reached a peak with the post below.
PetFlow pulled at the heartstrings in order to pull at purse strings. Their Black Friday promotion was done Trojan Horse style, slipped into posts featuring images of adorable pets, like the post below that garnered their highest engagement score.
This Boston based online retailer had a slew of weekend offers from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Here again, the post with the most engagement simply promoted the Black Friday sale and provided the necessary link to access the website. Other posts regarding discounts received lukewarm responses and engagement, so I assume the engagement had more to do with the shoes in the image than the Black Friday offer.
The general spirit of giveaways seeped into most Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns, and Little Debbie was no different. The post that received the highest engagement was a Cyber Monday contest, where customers had to like the post and comment to participate in the contest, thereby boosting their engagement score.
Getting to the finish line before most competitors start the race, Express launched its Black Friday campaign on the day before Thanksgiving, hoping to capture the attention of consumers before other retailers started. Their most engaging post was the launch of the early Black Friday sale.
While Black Friday is primarily an American tradition, its success has not escaped the notice of brands across the globe. This year, brands from around the world hoped to capitalize on the Black Friday spending spree by offering Black Friday deals and discounts.
1. ASDA – UK
Engagement Score: 1,577
The UK based supermarket (albeit, owned by none other than Wal-mart) posted only two Black Friday related posts – one, a teaser on the 28th, and one announcing the start of the campaign on the day itself. They clubbed the latter with a Black Friday giveaway contest (a pattern is discernible), promoting engagement as consumers vied for the chance to win the TV in the image.
The only automotive brand in the top fifty most engaging posts for Black Friday, Chevrolet Brazil attempted to exploit the concept of Black Friday by offering discounts on select vehicles. Their most engaging post garnered an impressive engagement score, which should encourage more non-retail brands to capitalize on the spendthrift tendencies of consumers around this period.
Special Mention: While Xbox did have a Black Friday offer, the posts that deserve a special mention in my opinion are the posts comparing Black Friday to various video games. The three images may not have brought in their highest engagement scores, but did promote their products while poking fun at the entire Black Friday craze (and supporting my World War Z analogy!)
As mentioned earlier, Black Friday promotion hardly requires too much effort. If marketing can be compared to dragging a particularly disinterested horse to the water and hoping it drinks, then Black Friday promotion is akin to having a very thirsty stable of horses and simply pointing them in the right direction and watching them lap up the water.
The Engagement Score calculation is based on the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and estimated impressions, so a page with a lower fan base can still have a better engagement score than a page with a huge fan base even if they don’t get as many interactions. All data has been compiled and analyzed from the Unmetric application which tracks dozens of metrics to enable brands to benchmark themselves against competitors and their industry sector. Gain access to all this data by claiming a 6 day free trial.
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