For some people, holiday shopping seems to begin as soon as they’ve finished eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day. If you drive by the local Target or Walmart on your way home from grandma’s, you will probably see a line of people outside, just waiting for the doors to open at some absurd hour in the morning.
The few weeks before Thanksgiving, our mailboxes overflow with catalogs and fliers from companies advertising their holiday sales. Increasingly, companies have found another way to reach consumers during the holiday season – social media.
According to a recent Forbes article, from 2013 to 2014, Black Friday mentions on social media doubled and Cyber Monday discussions were up 75 percent. During the holiday season, companies have an opportunity to expand their social media presence by offering incentives to the consumer.
Offering incentives to the consumer is the best way for a company to increase their engagement. Most incentives this year came in the form of discounts and giveaways. This Black Friday weekend, many companies offered a percentage or dollar amount off a purchase for new followers or retweets on Twitter, or the chance to be entered in a giveaway for “liking” or “sharing” something on Facebook.
A lot of their social media success over Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be attributed to how easy it is for the consumer. For example, if Nordstrom posts on Facebook that if I “like” a picture of a Marc Jacobs purse I’ll be entered to win it, why wouldn’t I? Social media is not only easy, it is also fast. The five seconds it took me to hit “like” on a photo could give me a (albeit slim) chance to get something for free.
Retailers benefit long-term by capitalizing on the consumer’s inability to resist a giveaway or discount. If you enter a giveaway or get a discount code from a brand, you will forever be subscribed to their e-mails or social media updates. The more they flood your social media feeds, the more brand recognition they have, and from their perspective, the more likely you are to purchase something from them again. Lucky for them, the majority of us simply can’t say no to a good deal, and they are able to increase their social media engagement for not just the holiday season but for the future.
– Lindsay Hamilton