As you organize your inventory and finalize the employee schedule for the Black Friday rush, don't forget about the importance of promoting your sales.
Traditional marketing channels like radio or television, fliers and word-of-mouth are still necessary, but a big part of your game plan should be your social media strategy. With an increasing number of social media users and platforms, your posts matter more than ever this year.
Follow these social media tips and tricks in preparation for Black Friday and its holiday shopping counterparts.
Before you consider content…
Forget about store fixtures and bulk retail supplies for a minute, and focus on how attractive your store's social media persona is. While the photos and information you post is the crux of your social media campaigns, it's important that your profiles are ready for the additional attention the updates garner. Marketing Land explained that a cohesive look across platforms is ideal. Your profile pictures and cover photos should match, as well as any color schemes you use. These should be consistent with your website and perhaps even store decor, depending on how heavily you focus on branding. Standard Marketing suggested changing your cover photos on Facebook and Twitter to a promotional image that advertises your Black Friday deals.
Look at your options and objectives
Especially if your company uses several social media platforms, you'll greatly benefit from a bit of extra organization. HootSuite recommended creating a spreadsheet that lists each of your profiles and the objectives you have for posts that appear there. You might find that one or more of your pages won't fit with your marketing campaign, so it's helpful to rule these out before you spend time crafting strategies. Based on the differences between the popular social media platforms, your content should be tailored to the audience and medium. Instagram and Pinterest are very visual platforms, while Twitter and Facebook combine text, audio, video and images. Kabbage suggested using Instagram and Pinterest – the main websites for photos – to crowd source for promotional ideas. By browsing these pages that tout eye-catching photos, you're able discern what shoppers are looking for, and what can turn them off.
What to post
All of your promotional posts should mention Black Friday, because that's what users are looking for, according to SocialMediaToday. Additionally, creating a sense of urgency with your content can bring traffic into your store. This is done by arranging a series of discounts that change throughout the day and night, meaning shoppers have to get to your store quickly before the deals are gone.
The source explained that fresh and catchy posts are vital for Black Friday promotions. You want followers to stop scrolling when they see your content, because it stands out against the other information. Graphics are a great way to do that – photos of stunning store displays, for example – but you can make any post more successful based on when and where it appears.
When to post
Marketing Land provided plenty of insight on the best times to send out social media updates. Everyone's familiar with the Christmas creep that's been bringing the holiday season closer to Halloween, and your social profiles should follow suit. Start posting information about Black Friday deals and events earlier than before, and don't shy away from Thanksgiving Day posts. While it used to be rare for shoppers to browse social media during the holiday, the fact that sales start before midnight on Black Friday drives traffic to Facebook, Twitter and the like. There should certainly be an update about the store roughly 24 hours before it opens for the weekend on your Facebook page, but Twitter users are easy to target a few days before Black Friday, especially Tuesday.
Your posts should appear on social media platforms during the highest-traffic times. If you don't have enough staff to assign someone to social media updates, you can use a program like HootSuite. This service allows you to prepare social media posts and set them to go live at a certain time. According to its website, you can also see how many retweets and mentions you have, check on your Klout score and view analytics about clicks and engagement.
Even if there isn't someone constantly manning the computer to keep up with social media, at least one person should be trained to deal with customer service over the Internet. It's common for people to tweet at companies they patronize, for both complaints and praise, and you should respond to those customers.