Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Paid Social Strategy Tips for Your E-Commerce Brand

September 23, 2022
by Joanne Rodrigues

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) might be the most important and profitable days for every e-commerce business in the world. The Thanksgiving weekend comes around every single year, yet many e-commerce brands are shockingly underprepared with their digital marketing strategy. Implementing a social strategy too close to the actual sale could be holding you back, while using the same old marketing techniques year after year will only lead to customers losing interest in you. Online shoppers today are smarter than ever before. They want exclusive deals tailored directly to them and expect them to be delivered at lightning speed. You need to do everything you can to keep up with, and stay ahead of, changing times. 

Big Weekends Call for Big Social Strategies 

Research from the National Retail Foundation shows that last year’s holiday weekend attracted  179.8 million unique shoppers, with close to 50% of them shopping at sales way before Thanksgiving. Online shopping provides consumers with the flexibility of shopping anytime, from anywhere. It has also opened up a lot more choices for the customer in terms of pricing, service, and shopping experience. A paid social strategy that is precise and well thought out is the only way to make an impact during the busy holiday season.

Brands are starting their sales earlier and earlier these days, in a bid to get their customers to bite on to their deals before the big rush of discounts. This also enables businesses to take advantage of cheaper ad costs. The biggest shopping weekend in the world should be on top of your priority list, and we are encouraging you to put your paid social strategy into action much earlier than planned. 

These Tips Will Help You Nail Your Paid Social Strategy This Black Friday and Cyber Monday

1. Start Early

As the holiday season approaches, most people try their best to plan ahead and check things off their shopping lists in advance. Some shoppers do get a thrill out of last-minute deal hunting, but if you want to make the most out of both types of shoppers then you need to start preparing early. Every single e-commerce brand you know, including your competitors, is going to be participating in the big weekend sale. You want to grab the attention of your target audience before your competitor does. The closer Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the higher the costs of advertising. Running your ads earlier will help you take advantage of cost-effective Cost per thousand (CPM) and Cost per click (CPC) rates.

Use words that ignite a sense of urgency and that make your paid social posts memorable when required. We love ads that say ‘Limited time offer’, ‘Exclusive access’ or ‘Early bird deal’. These push shoppers to take action immediately and quickly. Tap into their sense of FOMO. 60% of people make a purchase within 24 hours simply because of FOMO, and Facebook is the leading cause of this phenomenon. 

Pushing your paid social campaign early will also give you the chance to test what works and what doesn’t. This will help you refine the plan as Thanksgiving weekend approaches so it performs exactly as you intend it to on launch day. 

2. Optimize Your Social Media Channels for Direct Transactions

More and more people are shopping directly through social media channels, and it is the perfect opportunity to secure some BFCM transactions using paid social ads. It is predicted that social commerce sales will be worth $2.9 trillion in the next four years, so the time to utilize this revenue stream is now. 

Stores on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest allow purchases without leaving the platform, and enable customers to complete transactions in fewer steps. Social media users are on the platform looking for connections and interacting with their network. They already follow your brand for a reason and are actively looking for content that interests them. Making your directed ads shoppable provides you with a unique opportunity to sell to a targeted audience. 

Optimizing and simplifying your shopper’s path-to-purchase makes your e-commerce brand more desirable over others and will ensure that customers come back for more. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are busy days. Use social commerce to make things swift and easy. 

3. Invest in Your Loyal and Existing Customer Base

While a majority of retail brands will want to use their Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions to attract new customers we want to remind you that your existing customer base is also waiting patiently on the sidelines to see what you’ll be offering them. Don’t forget about your past loyal customers who could really benefit from the BFCM discounts, and use your paid social strategy to make them feel special. These customers are your trusted fan base who already know and understand your brand. 

They are likely to pay close attention to your advertisements to catch a glimpse of deals and promos that new customers might miss. Offer bundle deals on items that were bestsellers to previous customers. You already know what they like, entice them by upselling and cross-selling. According to a 2022 HubSpot Blog survey, upselling and cross-selling can contribute to up to 30% of overall revenue. This is a great way to attract quicker and more conversions by playing into the customers’ expectation that bundle purchases will save on overall holiday expenses. 

Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Paid Social Strategy Tips for Your E-Commerce Brand

4. Employ Influencer Marketing

It is a well-known digital marketing fact that using influencers to promote your brand works. Influencer marketing expenditure is projected to hit $4.6 billion in the US alone by next year, so why not combine it with your paid social strategy? Getting the right influencers to create content for your BFCM campaign will boost your brand’s authenticity and attract a new set of shoppers with minimal effort from your side.

Influencers provide your social ads with the face and voice of a real, trusted personality without becoming only about selling. Social media users know exactly how and when to spot an ad. Soften the blow by using faces they relate to. 

Promote content from a range of influencers across the key purchase points of your sales timeline. Micro and mid-tier personalities can be utilized early to build awareness and for teasers, while macro and mega-influencers can be employed for quick and immediate action on the weekend itself. Remember, going with how many followers an influencer has is not enough. Look at their audience and values, what messages they share and if their goals align with your business. Our in-depth guide will help you get started so you can pick the one that is right for your e-commerce business this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

5. Deals, Promo Codes, Discount Coupons and Free Giveaways

What’s one of the first words that come to mind when your customer thinks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? Codes, codes, and codes! The avid and experienced online shopper knows that they need to find a promo code before completing a transaction. They’ll be following you on social media, scanning through your tagged posts, and paying close attention to every paid social ad you publish. Each of your ads needs to have a clear discount code the shopper can use when they checkout. Encourage them to save and screenshot them. You can also give them an added discount if they refer their friends to your brand.

Use paid social ads to cross-market by encouraging your audience to sign up for your email newsletter for added promotions. Planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday giveaways, promotions, and discounts in advance will help you keep costs under control in the long run.

6. Cater to a targeted audience

One of the best features of paid social advertising is the ability to target your ads to specific audiences. Filter through the platforms’ customization options to target by demographic, region age, marital status, interests, and even past shopping habits. The more targeted your Black Friday and Cyber Monday paid social strategy, the higher the chance of enjoying more revenue and conversions. 

Use the right keywords and hashtags for targeted reach. This will ensure that your ad is seen by those searching for it in the first place. According to Meta, more than 562 million people can be directly targeted on Marketplace. This is a significant reach for you to tap into this BFCM.

Social audience targeting does not have to be complicated. It just needs to be tailored according to your brand’s needs at specific points in time. Capitalize on your best-performing content and direct it toward the most responsive audience. Create niche customized buyer personas and A/B test your paid social ads. Seek help from professionals (like us!) to streamline and simplify this process for you.  

Implementing a paid social media strategy that will increase your holiday sales in 2022

The countdown has started, but there’s still time to prioritize and optimize your Thanksgiving Weekend e-commerce marketing strategy for 2022. As an e-commerce business operating in today’s highly competitive world, you need a Black Friday and Cyber Monday social marketing plan that generates awareness and excitement for your sale, while enhancing the customer’s shopping experience.

The best way to set yourself up for success, and stand out from the noise, is by investing time and resources into maximizing your plan’s impact. It can be overwhelming for many which is why our highly specialized paid social team will work with you every step of the way to amplify your digital presence and get the results you need. 

Whatever your budget or goals, reach out to us today and get your Black Friday and Cyber Monday social strategy up and running.

About the author: Joanne has lived in five countries and is always on the hunt for a new city to explore. After a Masters in English Literature from the University of Leeds, she landed an internship at Google that ignited her passion for all things digital. She has 10 years of experience in content writing, reads 2 books a week, and loves ‘90s pop culture.

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