Social Media, Sales and Black Friday: Who Played Well?

Hashtags, targeted ads and integrated campaigns as we head towards the holidays...

Social Media, Sales and Black Friday: Who Played Well?

The final numbers for the #BlackFriday 2014 deals aren’t in just yet and the holiday shopping and social media frenzy continues on December 1st, 2014 as advertisers, retailers and consumers mark Cyber Monday.

Sales results may vary this year on Black Friday, on both sides of the border, but the consistent factor is the growing use of Twitter, especially promoted posts and hashtag campaigns, and Black Friday Facebook ads. Even in the onset of CASL legislation, marketers are managing their email blasts and email marketing continues to be powerful for organizations of all kinds.

In a very crowded social space, who stood out in the #BlackFriday content + commerce collide?

  • American retailer, Nordstrom, has just began to set-up shop in Canada. Canadian competitors should take note of the rising social star that is the Nordstrom social strategy. According to the Shareablee Social Scorecard, by social media analysis firm Shareablee Inc, the American fashion retailer is dominating the “top 10” ranking with a 46.2 percent increase in Facebook activity from November 1-21. The brand has had 885,000 engaged actions such as likes, comments, shares, retweets, and favorites across its social media channels. Given their strong e-commerce focus and good command of social, the Nordstrom factor is one to watch for organizations like Target that have yet to deploy e-commerce and moderately engaged Facebook. Despite a lack of activity in other areas, especially online shopping, Target has had an active Twitter campaign in Canada, including coordinated hashtag campaigns and promoted posts nationwide.
  • If you were in the digital space on Black Friday, it was a busy day for many – Black Friday 2014 was one of the busiest online shopping days of the year! Forbes Magazine notes, “Black Friday 2014 online sales grew 20.6% over Black Friday 2013, driven by mobile shopping, promotions, and email marketing.” The combined emphasis on digital, promotions and email marketing makes integrated campaigns particularly impactful for Canadian brands. 
  • As Twitter ads continue to play, Leon’s Canada ran a promoted post campaign advertising their Black Friday deals. Leon’s also uses email and traditional print well; watch for final results of their Black Friday promoted Twitter posts to see how their national campaign did on Black Friday. They are a useful example of campaign integration and Leon’s played well with a $188 couch in Canadian stories.
  • Facebook ads continue to pop-up, especially ads geo-targeted to particular regions of Canada. Walmart and Target are big stops on Black Friday but increasingly, small businesses are using the Facebook Advertising feature to drive sales too. The beauty is in the budget: spend as little as $5 or as much as you need to execute your campaign. Casper, the start-up sleep innovator from New York, has now made its way to Canada. Their ads were active with clear Canadian messaging that Casper is now in Canada.
  • The play for video space on Black Friday was seen as Macy’s debuted new Facebook video ads for the first time. Running videos out of Facebook, instead of diverting traffic to YouTube, is generating up to 30% more views for many users.

What’s next? Our detailed Black Friday, part 2, and a focus on Cyber Monday…

More from The Digital Collide…

Karen Moores
About Karen Moores

Karen Moores owns TOWN Content + Commerce, a digital start-up focused on helping Atlantic Canadian companies meet the growing content + commerce demand in Canada. Her blog, The Digital Collide, will share twice-monthly news on digital marketing trends impacting Atlantic Canadian brands. Ring in 2014 with future blogs including a perspective on branded content impact on sales, profiles of brand worthy content + commerce case studies that offer valuable lessons for Atlantic Canadian companies and tips on using visual and technical tools to drive sales. Modern marketing with a brand storytelling twist and all the news, data and trends you want to heart from ABM bloggers and writers. ------ "I've been fortunate to write in the pages of Atlantic Business over the past year as a freelance writer. It's a magazine I've always loved - a contemporary approach and an investigative journalistic perspective covering business newsmakers, issues and trends that affect people in the region I call home. Now, twice a month I am lucky to share strategies and stories that will help companies of all sizes, in sectors of all kinds, tell their brand story in a digital marketplace. The evolution of content + commerce is evolving rapidly in other markets: The Digital Collide will provide a forum for discussion on how we can do it, here, as we use content and digital strategy to export new products, showcase new services and drive commerce via content. New trends like 'shoppable' content are happening for some of the world's biggest brands - our blog wants to help Atlantic Canadian business leaders capitalize on the next marketing movement." - Karen Moores

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