Nov 3, 2018
#BlackFriday or #GivingTuesday: All, One, or None? How to Choose Your on-brand Holiday Social Strategy
Are you ready for the holiday season?
It might feel like you have plenty of holiday prep time if you’re talking about buying gifts and planning menus. When it comes to capitalizing on the holidays with marketing, though, it’s time to get it in gear.
The days after American Thanksgiving are among the most crucial in terms of a company’s holiday sales. It seems like every year we add a new holiday, too. So far we have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.
Chances are that you’ll be hard-pressed to come up with a good holiday social media campaign for all of these. It’s usually best to choose one or two and concentrate your efforts.
The problem is that you have to decide which one. Let’s compare the two that seem to be the farthest apart: Black Friday and Giving Tuesday.
Comparing Holiday Social Media Promotions: Black Friday vs. Giving Tuesday
Before you throw your team full-bore into a social media campaign, let’s compare two of your key options.
Pros and Cons of Black Friday Promotions
While it started in the US, Black Friday is now an international shopping phenomenon. If you’re thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, here’s what you need to know.
Pro: A Larger Holiday Social Presence
By a wide margin, Black Friday is a more well-known holiday than Giving Tuesday. As a result, you know that more consumers will be actively looking for promotions on that day rather than on Giving Tuesday.
When it comes to social media, the Black Friday shopping day is even more important. As people browse social media on their phones, they can find your promotions and click on them for a fast and impulse-driven purchase.
If you think people don’t use mobile devices for shopping, think again. Last year, 64% of shopping traffic on Black Friday came from mobile devices. That’s a huge audience for your social media campaign to capture.
Con: Hefty Competition
While the massive popularity of Black Friday means a larger consumer base, it means more competition as well.
With so much money up for grabs, countless retailers nationwide are launching Black Friday campaigns. That means even if someone is looking specifically for Black Friday sales, it will be tough for your campaign to stand out.
Pro: Market to a Captive Audience
Black Friday presents a rare opportunity for retailers. On a normal day, you have to convince consumers to do two things: first to spend money at all and second to spend it on your product in particular.
On Black Friday, that first part is already in the bag. Consumers have a shopping list, and they’re actively trying to buy as much as they can on that day to get ahead on their holiday shopping.
As a retailer, this means you’re working with a captive audience. It takes far less to convert viewers or users into paying customers, so it’s a huge opportunity you don’t want to miss.
Con: Not Everyone Is a Fan
If you jump onto the Black Friday train, be aware that not everyone thinks it’s a fun and lighthearted tradition.
To some, Black Friday and the chaos it incites are symbols of a materialism they oppose. Others see it as a time when retailers take advantage of customers by misrepresenting their sales.
Before you choose to do a Black Friday social media campaign, think about how you’ll deal with the potential backlash.
Pros and Cons of Giving Tuesday Promotions
If you want to get away from the materialistic image of Black Friday, Giving Tuesday is on the other end of the spectrum. Charities are front and center on this shopping holiday. In many cases, retailers donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to a select charity.
If you’re thinking about getting involved, here’s what you should consider.
Pro: Gain Ethics Points
If you’re looking for a great PR move, Giving Tuesday is right in your wheelhouse. It’s an opportunity for you to show your philanthropic side and appeal to your customers’ moral compasses.
It will depend on the cause you choose, though. If you promote a charity whose cause is near to many of your customers’ hearts, you gain an even better reputation in their minds.
Con: Risky for Your Bottom Line
Giving Tuesday is a bit of a gamble. Let’s say you choose to donate 10% of the day’s profits toward a charity. You’re gambling that the promotion will increase your sales to make up for that 10% hit.
While it’s a safe bet that 10% discounts will pay off, 10% donations aren’t as solid. You’re placing a bet that your customers will care enough about that charity to buy more when there’s a donation at stake. If they don’t or if they’ve blown their entire budgets on Black Friday, your bottom line will suffer.
Pro: Not as Much Competition
As we mentioned, Giving Tuesday doesn’t yet have the massive clout that Black Friday does. It gains more and more awareness each year, but the two still aren’t comparable.
In some respects, that’s an advantage for you. While the internet will be flooded with #BlackFriday, #GivingTuesday has less competition for your digital marketing.
As an added bonus, Black Friday happens first. That means you’ll have three days of solid marketing time after to the chatter about Black Friday has died down.
Con: Need to Handle with Care
As much as you stand to gain on Giving Tuesday from a PR perspective, you have a lot to lose as well. Many charities and causes have some degree of political flavour, whether they lean right or left.
To avoid alienating customers, it’s a good idea to choose a cause that’s as politically neutral as possible. If you do choose to get more political, analyze your demographic to find out if most of your consumer base aligns with what you believe.
Finding a Direction for Your Shopping Holiday Social Media Campaigns
Without a doubt, it’s smart to take advantage of the season with one or more shopping holiday social media campaigns. Choosing which ones, though, can be tricky. The pros and cons above can help.
If you prefer to leave your holiday marketing in professional hands, contact our expert marketing crew today.