How Target Won Black Friday on Facebook


Peter Claridge

August 8, 2014 5 min read

Updated on September 18, 2019

I don’t know how people work up the energy to go Black Friday shopping after the extravagances of the day before. I’d be one of those that spent $1bn in online deals rather than one of those standing at the doors at 6am, waiting for the store to open. Infact, can we even call it Black Friday when stores look to get a jump on the competition by launching their sales on Thanksgiving? Amazon went one step further and had a Black Friday Week, which the dictionary tells me is an oxymoron.

Unmetric looked at 15 of the top retail brands to understand more about how the retail sector leveraged social media in one of the biggest industry events of the year. Virtually every retail brand mentioned something about Black Friday, although there were a few notable exceptions like Zara. On average, most brands mentioned the day in eight different posts in November. Some brands were more extreme though, Express, went in to something of a Black Friday frenzy, posting about the upcoming event a total of 15 times and often several times a day. Bath & Body Works also screamed at the top of their lungs about their upcoming Black Friday events.

Target's Various Black Friday Facebook UpdatesThe real winner here is Target. They posted 8 updates about Black Friday, and saw huge engagement on all of their posts. I can’t be certain, but given how much engagement Target saw for all their Black Friday posts, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were using Facebook’s sponsored post option to reach as many people as possible. The reason I say this is because last month Target saw an average engagement score of 72, but the Black Friday posts scored an average of 225 (if you work for Target, please let us know how you did it!).

Toys R Us Black Friday PostsAnother brand that was able to connect well with its fans was Toys “R” Us. They posted 9 updates about Black Friday and saw consistently high engagement on each post. Toys “R” Us focused on customers getting their ‘game plan’ on and doorbusters – who knew Black Friday was so tactical!? Regardless, it certainly resonated well with their fans, who – I assume – are mostly made up of parents, liking Toys R Us on behalf of their children.

Black Friday Timeline

The chart below shows an aggregated timeline from the 15 retail brands that we analyzed. Most posts were made during Thanksgiving week, but engagement was highest in the week before – people were probably too busy having good turkey and cranberry sauce to engage with brand posts! It seems people are more interested in finding out what the deals are ahead of time rather than being told to get to the store to take advantage of the offers.

The big day itself saw the most posts as 9 out of the 15 brands tried to reach as many people as possible. Infact, clothing retailer, Express, posted a total of 7 posts on Black Friday with the first one coming shortly after midnight. Other brands that posted on Black Friday settled for a more reasonable 2 or 3 updates throughout the day.

Many retail brands used every opportunity to post about their upcoming Black Friday sales, with the first post appearing on the 2nd November from none other than Amazon.

Top 5 Most Engaging Black Friday Facebook Posts

Here’s a run down of the most engaging retail posts from Black Friday:
Target certainly stole the show with three of their posts being in the top 5 (and they weren’t even the most engaging posts from Target during this period – Walmart, watch out!).

#1 – Target – Engagement Score of 609

Posted on the 12th November and with over 114,851 likes, 7,039 comments and 5,582 shares, this was by far the most engaging Black Friday post by any brand on Facebook. Infact, this one post received almost as many Likes as all 11 of Walmart’s Black Friday posts!

Target's Most Engaging Black Friday Post

#2 – Bath & Body Works – Engagement Score of 575

Bath & Body Works posted a total of 14 posts about Black Friday, but only this one really struck a chord with fans, posted on the 16th November, it scored 24,821 likes, 18,729 comments and 3,627 shares. The post received an unusually large number of comments due to the brand asking fans to comment “I’m a BBW VIP” to win a bag – which, last time I checked, was against the Timeline rules. Just an FYI, Bath & Body Works 😉

Bath & Body Works Most Engaging Black Friday Post

#3 – Target – Engagement Score of 533

Target’s second most engaging post about Black Friday, the iPad offer, certainly seemed to be a hit with the fans. The post generated 102,637 likes, 5,602 comments and 4,788 shares when it was posted on 20th November.

Target's Second Most Engaging Black Friday Post

#4 – Target – Engagement Score of 429

This was Target’s first post about Black Friday on 10th November. The post generated 71,723 likes, 7,013 comments and 4,500 shares.

Target's Third Most Engaging Black Friday Post

#5 – Toys “R” Us – Engagement Score of 330

It’s nearly Christmas which means children have had their Christmas list ready for the last 3 months now. Toys “R” Us saw good engagement on all their Black Friday posts, but this one scored the highest. Did you get your game plan on?

Toys "R" Us Most Engaging Black Friday Post


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 10 day free trial.

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