- Walmart topped the list for brands with the best Black Friday social media campaigns this week, according to analysis from the social data intelligence company Talkwalker provided to Marketing Dive. The retailer's high placement was based on the strength of its Google Home promotion and its exclusive introduction of Ferrero's Kinder candy egg to the U.S., a product that previously was banned in the country and offers a unique pop to Walmart's selection.
- EBay landed in second, driven by its #DidYouCheckeBay social media and influencer campaign, with a 69,000% increase in engagement with the hashtag this week, reaching over 2 million users. Amazon followed in third with Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals getting more than 77,000 mentions in the past week alone.
- REI got the fourth spot on the list by expanding on its now three-year-running effort of keeping its stores closed for Black Friday. This year, it's added a search engine that helps its customers find outdoor hiking trails. Talkwalker found that Black Friday mentions are overall up 140% this week over the year-ago period.
As retailers enter the tail end of a year that's been deemed 'apocalyptic' — at least in a business sense — devising a clever and engaging Black Friday strategy is essential. The deals day is now a holiday staple for brick-and-mortar businesses, but reaching people through traditional TV and print advertising channels is difficult as those people are spending more time on their phones.
Talkwalker's analysis points to some strategies that could prove winning, including leveraging influencers, offering exclusive products — there's clearly a lot of excitement around Kinder eggs — and going against the grain of what shoppers expect to get out of Black Friday, per REI's example. While REI might be shuttering its doors for the deals day yet again, it's still marketing heavily around the #OptOutside campaign, as the effort's proved a viral sensation and netted a ton of earned media in the past. The brand might not drive sales this weekend, but it's got a lot of people talking about it, which will still matter heading further into the holidays.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, e-commerce disruptors like Amazon and eBay are also staking out more a claim in a space that's historically been under the thumb of brick-and-mortar businesses. Talkwalker specifically called out buzz around Amazon's Black Friday pop-ups that started appearing this week in the U.K., attempting to translate the hype around the American sales day across the pond. If Amazon can continue to capitalize on Black Friday in this way, in the U.S. and abroad, retailers should be worried that their foothold in some crucial territory might start to slip.