How Nordstrom Won Social Media Going Into Black Friday

On November 24th, Shareablee, a social media analytics company, released engagement data for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram between November 1st and November 18th on top big box and department store retailers. The data provided by Shareablee suggests that Nordstrom and Sephora were top performers not because they developed a creative and complex Black Friday campaigns, but rather the two top performing retailers consciously decided to focus their efforts on using simple social media strategies.

Instead of focusing on creating a killer Black Friday strategy, Nordstrom decided to not mention anything about the annual day sale or use any corresponding hashtags such as #blackfriday. Over the course of 18 days, Nordstrom received over 18,690 actions from its fans and followers, which far outpaced its competition over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Nordstrom achieved this caliber of engagement by sticking to the same strategy that has been working for them all year. Most social posts include a close-up shot of a product with a short 5-word description with hashtags. On Instagram, Nordstrom also uses emojis.

Here is an example of one post Nordstrom used:

Get moving.

Posted by Nordstrom on Saturday, November 7, 2015

To put it into perspective, out of the top 10 retailers that produced the most engagement, only 3 actually mentioned Black Friday. None of them mentioned annual sale on Instagram. This year’s lack of Black Friday social media mentions is a result of last year’s depleted engagement results. November 2014 resulted in a 32% decrease in engagement on Facebook as well as a 27% decrease on Twitter. However, 2015’s results show a 31% increase in engagement on all three platforms compared to the previous year.

As retailers continue to shy away from Black Friday sales, they are now promoting mini sales throughout the month. For example, Nordstrom promoted their 40%-off clearance sale on the 13th of November. Sam’s Club promoted a similar mid-month one-day sale using a short video. The post generated the highest count of referral traffic of any Facebook post during the 18-day period.

See Sam’s Club post here:

Sam’s Club has the lowest prices of the season on select items Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 a.m.

Posted by Sam’s Club on Monday, November 9, 2015

Here are a few additional insights from Shareablee’s findings:

  • Online retailers have generated the most engagement on social media using sweepstakes.
  • World Soccer Shop generated the most Twitter engagement with the top 5 tweets on pairing contests with the performance of star players.
  • Cyber Monday generated the least amount of engagement this month across all social media platforms for online retailers, department stores and big box audiences.

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