In the world of PR and Social PR, its rare that a manufactured moment can become a trending hashtag to get the nation talking. So when a gift-horse like Black Friday comes around, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
We have been speaking to our clients about the impending marketing snowball that is Black Friday and have been encouraging them to capitalise on the opportunity across all social media platforms.
The history of Black Friday started much earlier than people think. In 1905, Canadian department store Eaton’s began the first Thanksgiving Day parade by bringing Santa on a wagon through the streets of downtown Toronto. In 1913, eight live reindeer pulled Santa’s “sleigh.” By 1916, seven floats representing nursery rhyme characters joined Santa in the parade. In 1924, the Eaton’s parade inspired Macy’s Department Store to launch its famous Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City.
Macy’s wanted to celebrate its success during the Roaring twenties. The parade boosted shopping for the following day. Retailers had a gentleman’s agreement to wait until then before advertising holiday sales. The rest, as they say, is sales and marketing history.
In 2013 Asda, which is owned by American retail giant Walmart, had a Black Friday sale and offered huge discounts on a range of goods, including TVs and laptops.
The promise of ‘earth-shattering deals’ sparked mayhem as customers wrestled their way to the front of the checkout and actually traded blows over cut-price TVs.
Since then UK retailers around the country have embraced this ready-made consumer marketing and PR initiative and why wouldn’t you?
Why would you not plan and small sales promotion, where you can focus on one product or service?
Why would you not use the trending hashtags when as estimated 35 million consumers will be searching for deals, offers and information.
Why would you miss out on profiling your brand to a captive audience?
You don’t need a massive budget, just a bit of planning and setting some time aside to reach consumers. You still have time!
There is a counter argument that the whole initiative is just too ‘American’ for us stiff-upper-lip Brits, with the essence of Black Friday too brash and crass for some of us to digest. However, with High Street stores experiencing a challenging time right now, why would you not get involved? We think that there is nothing to lose if you pitch it correctly.
Even Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has a show, blogs and his own social media hashtags all designed to point consumers in the right direction.
What’s stopping you? Get your meme out, add that hashtag to tomorrow’s status and get engaging!
Our top five tips to get involved:
- Create a one off sales offer. Keep it simple and focused. Either produce a discount code or % off one product.
- Use free Apps like Canva or PhotoPea to help produce eye grabbing graphics or memes.
- Use the hashtags on your social media and make sure to interact in real time with all enquiries or comments.
- Add a small budget to your social media update, all only take approx. £20.00 to be really effective! If you have a physical store, why not boost your posts to a geographically targeted area?
- Manage your expectations. If you haven’t really thought this through, then it just wont work.