What Black Friday Shopping Can Teach You About Social Media

As Thanksgiving approaches, so does another holiday tradition: Black Friday. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding store hours on Thanksgiving weekend. Many stores are even refusing to open Thanksgiving Day. Despite this controversy, shoppers  (myself included) will be out ready to snag the amazing deals. It may not seem likely, but your social media strategy could learn a thing or two from these determined holiday shoppers.

Have a plan

Anyone who knows anything about Black Friday knows that you can’t go in without a plan. You need to know your objectives (what you want to buy) and how to accomplish these objectives. Most stores release specials weeks in advance  to shoppers and many pass out maps that illustrate where you can find items in the store. The same lesson applies to social media: you’ll get nowhere without a plan. While there are no “specials” when it comes to social media, you can still work special content into your strategy such as random holidays (National Hotdog Day, anyone?). The more you know in advance, the more quality content you can have at the ready. It doesn’t hurt to know your way around the social media landscape as well.

Be early to the party

“The early bird gets the worm,” is true in both Black Friday shopping and on social media. Getting early access to tools or being an early adopter not only propels your social reach, but also tells followers that your brand is innovative and not afraid to take risks. Black Friday shoppers may get that 70″ TV by being first in line, and you get the competitive advantage. Knowing new tools and platforms better than competitors helps you get ahead and better utilize them. One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t be first for everything. The best Black Friday shopper may only get two or three doorbusters based on demand. Likewise, no company has the bandwidth or resources to be the first on everything, nor should they be.

Divide and conquer

Teamwork is crucial at work and for shopping. Many Black Friday shoppers go as a family, allowing them not only to bond, but also to secure more items. Social media can be used the same way. Different demographics use different social channels. By using a certain channel to focus more on one specific demographic than people in general, you will reach your target audience better. Treating every social channel differently is a must for your social strategy.

Make yourself heard

We’ve all seen the videos or heard horror stories of Black Friday shoppers fighting over items or carts. These shoppers are very vocal about what is theirs. Brands must do the same to reach their audience. The average person sees approximately 5,000 advertisements per day. Your brand makes up 1/1,000 of those messages, if you’re lucky. With consumers being bombarded so many times per day, you have to make your brand stand out. Whether through visuals, clever placement​s, or other strategic components, you have to ensure that your message is one of the few they recall. Make sure your brand is heard through the clutter.

Whether or not you plan to brave the shops next weekend, you can integrate these takeaways into your social strategy. I’ll definitely be out scoring some deals next weekend so follow me on Twitter (@kattals) to see how it goes. For more posts like this, you can check out my personal website: The Ways of K. If you’re not sure what to get this Black Friday, here are a few ideas.

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