Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are rapidly approaching.
They represent two critical days in the seasonal shopping cycle of consumers that can define the overall profitability for the entire year, for the majority of Amazon sellers and online retailers.
While following best practices for attracting new customers, reactivating former ones, and giving current customers incentives to spend more are fundamental concepts that are an essential part of any Amazon seller’s game plan for increasing revenues during BF/CM, there are often other tweaks that can be implemented to help deliver significantly higher sales figures.
The Impact of Social Media on BF/CM
With the ever-increasing reach of Social Media Marketing, both online and with brick & mortar businesses, retailers have encouraged their customers to share their best finds on social media (engaging on Facebook, showing off purchases on Instagram, or tweeting out the best BF/CM bargains).
The ease of social media sharing allows these deals to go viral, expanding a brand’s reach, bringing more shoppers than ever before through retailers’ virtual and real doors.
In addition, they are using social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to keep their customers engaged in the weeks leading up to BF/CM, as well as to keep shoppers informed (updates pertaining to holiday closings and store hours).
As an Amazon seller, you must account for social media’s impact and ability to deliver greater profits throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Take a closer look at your current social media strategy for BF/CM.
Is it possible to fine-tune things further?
Consider These Social Media Tweaks
I. Organize Your Social Media Profiles
A good starting point for improving your social media strategy is by addressing your profiles.
Organize your social media accounts to ensure all profile pictures, bios, banners, descriptions and links are updated to advertise your BF/CM promotions.
Optimize your profiles by…
- Making sure all cover pictures are the first images visitors notice on your social media profiles. Create a custom photo for each of your profiles to promote your sale.
- Updating your bio and making sure it links to your dedicated BF/CM landing page
- Call-to-action button should also include a direct link to your dedicated BF/CM landing page
- Have a Facebook post (at the top of your timeline), or pin a tweet that announces the best discount-deal for shoppers to take advantage of (for a limited time)
II. Plan Content and Schedule Your Posts
Timing is everything. A well-timed post can be the difference between creating a social media event that drives sales during BF/CM, and a marketing ploy that few will ever notice.
When preparing BF/CM campaigns carefully plan and create your campaign content so that the design and messaging to your prospective audience is consistent.
By scheduling all of your social media posts well in advance, you are able to focus your time and efforts better during the critical hours (busiest times) on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You will also be able to ensure that your posts connect with shoppers at the best times.
III. Use Social Media Wisely
As an Amazon seller, you want to take advantage of social media channels to generate higher sales and awareness for your products/brand.
But sometimes when it comes to leveraging the true might and opportunity offered by social media, less is more.
Just because there’s a whole world of social media channels available to you, it doesn’t mean you have to use them all, or more importantly, that all of them will prove to be an effective means of communicating the benefits and value of your product(s) and brand.
It is incumbent for you to choose the correct social networks for your product niche. Don’t make the mistake of dividing your focus and valuable time between a large number of social media channels.
Once you’ve figured out which social media networks will work best for your product(s) and brand, follow these guidelines to ensure that you get the maximum results.
Concentrate on the one or two social media channels that have consistently met these criteria:
- they have produced the largest amount of revenue for your business
- have generated the most ‘buzz’ (fostered the most engaged communities)
In regards to increasing your sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday through the wise use of social media, the key is to evaluate the level of engagement and interest that are generated by a channel, not how many social networks you are on.*
IV. Don’t Overlook Your Hashtags
Savvy Amazon sellers are taking advantage of hashtag marketing, incorporating BF/CM related references into their social media posts, while encouraging their most enthusiastic shoppers to share their finds/deals with family and friends.
As you market for Black Friday and Cyber Monday be sure to take advantage of BF/CM focused hashtags in addition to your regular hashtags.
Choose hashtags that are relevant to your BF/CM deals and use them in every social media post promoting your sales. **
Conduct some hashtag research before you plan your social media campaigns, so that you will have an understanding of the mood and interests of your target audience, enabling you to plan your social media posts accordingly.
Naturally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday generate a number of obvious hashtags, such as #blackfriday2018, #blackfridaydeals, or #cybermonday, #cybermondaysales. You should investigate what are some other popular hashtags. Finding out which hashtags are trending, can be useful for testing to see which ones perform best for boosting your content and brand awareness.
Also use hashtags that align with shoppers’ intent, in order to reach potential customers who are looking for specific types of items (#giftsforhim, #giftsforher, #christmasgifts, #giftsforpets).
V. Create a Facebook Retargeting Campaign
Extend the lifetime value of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers with a Facebook ad campaign.
- Install a Facebook pixel on your BF/CM dedicated landing pages.
- Before your BF/CM sales event ends, create a retargeting campaign based on the Facebook pixel. (Target people who added something to their shopping cart, but didn’t make a purchase). Try promoting your top BF/CM deals to them.
- After BF/CM has ended, design a second retargeting campaign based on the Facebook pixel. (Target individuals who purchased with an ad to upsell them on a popular product). Look to also target people who may have just visited your store.
- Don’t forget to create ‘lookalike’ audiences based on your Facebook pixel data. This will help to increase your audience further.
VI. Create a Sense of Urgency
Most shoppers have a natural sense of urgency during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it’s always a good idea to raise the ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) level through your social media campaigns.
Sprinkle scarcity-themed words or phrases throughout your social media content (“time is running out”, “today only”, etc.), in order to trigger potential customer’s belief that your products are in limited supply, so they’ll need to take immediate action, or risk ‘losing out’.
VII. Create a Loyalty or Referral Program (both if appropriate)
A loyalty program is design to give back to any customer who has purchased from you. It’s a proven means for rewarding current customers for their loyalty to your products and brand, and will only make those customers more loyal.
Ways of rewarding customers include a free gift, a certain percentage off of the purchase price, free shipping, or a special coupon that comes with additional ‘with purchase’ benefits.
- Offer a free gift card to reward shoppers who spend a predetermined amount in a single transaction from as a thank you for their business. If you don’t place any restrictions on when those who qualify for a gift card can redeem it, chances are good that they may stop by again before the end of the holiday season, either to pick up a last-minute gift, or to treat themselves.
- Offer free shipping. Studies have shown that shipping charges (or the lack of them), can dramatically influence conversion rates. For most shoppers, shipping charges are often the deciding factor as to whether they click “add to cart”, or search elsewhere for the same or similar item. In fact, shoppers tend to place more items in their carts (with a larger overall value tied to each of those items), when shipping is free. The very last thing you want to do is discourage your shoppers from finishing their purchases, especially knowing that most of your competitors will be delivering their goods to customers free of charge throughout BF/CM.
- Post a discount code for shoppers to mention at checkout. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #Blackfriday (and preferably another one that’s unique to your Amazon business) for Twitter and Instagram.
By creating a referral program you are able to convert more prospects to customers. Word-of-mouth advertising, (a satisfied customer shares with family and friends how much they liked the product(s) they purchased).
It is one of the most credible forms of marketing because a customer places their reputation on the line whenever he or she makes a recommendation, without anything to gain, but the appreciation of whoever is reading, watching, or listening to your comments.
VIII. Create Products Available on BF or CM Exclusively
Add new items that are exclusively available on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday in order to boost sales totals on those days. Having these new items has the extra benefit of providing a new experience for former customers as they return to your Amazon store.
- Place a countdown timer on the page displaying the exclusive BF or CM product(s), which counts down until the end of the day.
- Add a graphic on top of the image of the product that reads “Black Friday or Cyber Monday Exclusive” so that shoppers know the product will only be available that day (creates a sense of urgency, compelling shoppers to buy the product immediately, ‘FOMO’ at work).
An one-time exclusive deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday is a great way to capture the attention of your targeted shopping audience, as well as upsell or cross-sell*** them other products.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days during which Amazon sellers who have properly prepared, can turn their ledgers from red to black, cement new and current customer relationships, as well as raise brand awareness.
By the time Thanksgiving dinner is on the table, more than a few next day shoppers will have their shopping lists ready to go, and will be discussing with family and friends their strategies to get the most out of every bargain of interest over BF/CM.
It goes without saying, that you should be on the other side of the coin, fully prepared (by drilling down and letting little, if anything, fall through the cracks), to meet their needs and expectations.