The Black Friday holiday shopping tradition has been turned on its head, thanks to social media and Facebook. While retailers continue to encourage customers to rise before the sun on the day after Thanksgiving, they are adding ever more Facebook deals and apps, as well as mobile tools, that can be used throughout Thanksgiving week.
And customers are ready to get started with holiday shopping. According to information from Facebook, posts containing words related to holiday shopping are up 160% compared to a month ago, and mentions of “Christmas” are up 157%.
How do brands stack up? Black Friday staples Target and Walmart have the highest “People Talking about This” metrics, with only retailers rounding out the top ten. (PTAT tallies the unique Facebook users who have generated a “story” about a brand page within a seven-day timeframe.) As of yesterday, the top 10 brands on Facebook in order of descending PTAT were as follows: Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Old Navy, Express, Toys ‘R’ Us, Kohl’s, Gap, Best Buy, and Lowe’s.
By Tuesday morning however, Walmart appears to have surged into the top spot, with Facebook reporting 1.3 million PTAT for it versus 1.1 million for Target.
Yuletide Facebook Tactics
While Facebook users are busy talking about holiday shopping and their favorite retailers, these brands are responding with Facebook-exclusive deals, special holiday shopping related Facebook apps, and donation programs.
Macy’s is offering a robust set of holiday shopping tools via its Facebook page, including My Macy’s timeline app, which allows customers to find products and sales, make a shopping list, and share items with friends, including when they have purchased certain items. The company has also revamped its mobile app with store maps and even a place for parents to reserve time with Santa for their kids, reports AdWeek.
Gap turned to mobile app Postagram, which allows users to create real, printed postcards from their Facebook, Instagram, or mobile camera photos to send to friends. Gap is giving away 1 million of these postcards to users who want to send them to friends along with personalized messages.
Kohl’s is giving back this holiday season and launched a campaign where the retailer will donate $1 to Toys for Tots for every new person who “likes” its Facebook page from November 23 to December 24, up to $500,000. Additionally, consumers can go to the Kohl’s Facebook page to get exclusive offers and vote on which items they want to go on sale.
Beyond the retailers with high PTAT stats, Fab is offering exclusive Facebook discounts, PetSmart is asking fans to vote on their favorite holiday gifts for pets, TinyPrints is offering 25% off holiday cards and address labels to its Facebook fans, Samsung is testing fans’ “Shopper IQ,” and FedEx is connecting its Facebook page to a mobile app that allows users to ship gifts to friends and family directly from Facebook.
In order to compete during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is no longer enough for stores to just open their doors early. A presence on Facebook, and exclusives or deals just for Facebook fans, are becoming a necessity for brands to capture not only the ambitious in-store shoppers, but also the online-savvy ones who want to shop and experience holiday cheer from their homes.
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