As a Digital Communicator to online retailers, yesterday’s global event is one I watch annually with eager eyes.
Black Friday, having just recently been imported to the UK from America in 2013, died a sort-of-death as quickly as it started when big retailers like Asda decided the sales weren’t worth the PR damage suffered in 2014 and cancelled the craziness.
Of course many eCommerce sites decided to go ahead, partly because their customers would be waiting on the deals on the second last pay day before Christmas, and partly because there is something to be said for at least being seen to be part of the online conversation.
But the media and brands alike seemed almost frightened to mention the phrase for fear of backlash, so there was most definitely less Twitter action this year than last. However I still noticed a few organisations using the hashtag well for awareness-raising and positive sentiment.
As I come down from the madness with a cup of tea on this, that has now been crowned “Civilised Saturday”, I bring you my favourites:
How do you get involved in Black Friday when you’re a luxury brand that doesn’t engage in sales or deals? Like this.
But if you are trying to sell a car, this would be a clever way to entice people to come for a test drive.
Museum of Modern Art
And how do you remind people of cultural experiences with more depth than shopping? Cleverly, like this.
Localised content with real customers benefitting from your deals makes for great shareable content. Especially if it’s funny.
How do you keep science and theory relative to a modern, consumer-driven, digital generation? Just like this.
This tweet is an annual tradition for the animal rights organisation but it’s actually the kind of informative snippet people appreciate on a shopping day.
As with Science, it’s a great time for Government agencies, Public Sector services and anyone else who normally has to “be serious” online to show some personality and get in on the conversation.
It can be a tightrope for charities to bring people back to compassionate reality without feeling the backlash of forced guilt, but stories like this walk the line well.
Likewise, animal organisations and conservation centres had a great opportunity to play on words with the colour-themed day.
A lot of online retailers successfully mocked the violent supermarket scenes to entice shoppers to purchase from the comfort of their sofas. The above image was my favourite!
Black Friday Going Forward
Will the consumer event survive the damp squid that it became this year? I can’t be sure, although I’ll guess that Cyber Monday will always remain a big event as we move evermore online and the realities of our delivery/postal services fail to keep up with the speed!
What I do know is that, regardless of whether you’re selling something or not, there is a lot to be said for being involved in mass online conversations. As long as you do it authentically, sporadically and with relevance and compassion, people will warm to it - as the share numbers on the tweets above prove.
After all, it only costs a tweet.