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Black Friday Thriving Due To Social Media Marketing

Black Friday Is Upon Us

The phenomenon that has ripped through material America is now here in the UK. Hoards of people launching themselves into a mosh pit just to get a decent deal on a TV or a coffee machine. This is Black Friday, a disturbing development in Western culture where many popular corporations slash their prices in the lead up to Christmas, and everyone reverts back to their primal instincts just to grab hold of a material item they do not need.

source: tournamentcable.com

The success is overwhelming, and mostly due to clever social media marketing strategies that convince the general public they are getting a good deal. This is done prior to the ‘big day’, and many deals are being offered on the Thursday before Black Friday. Looking forward, it will likely become a period of time where prices are slashed rather than just one day, as many retailers will be able to get rid of old stock by convincing everyone that there are fantastic offers to be had, and psychologically, consumers will invest more over the Christmas period.

Brian Nickerson, co-founder and CEO of chipmunk.com, a coupon search engine, said that “this year many retailers are starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving evening. Extra store hours, holiday-level staffing, and big discounts on doorbuster-type items will start 18 hours earlier than in years past.” He added that “this change is driven in large part with the increasing importance of online and mobile retail, and particularly Amazon. Brick and mortar stores realise that proximity is a huge advantage that they have relative to Amazon: shoppers can go home with their items and have a level of instant gratification that Amazon isn't able to provide.”

The way most retailers have been combating Amazon’s seemingly superior strategy is by focusing on social media, and directing people to their main websites. It certainly worked, as at midnight last night, Tesco, Sainsbury's, PC World and Game’s websites were all down, and you can bet that the stores were packed full of customers rampaging through the aisles. It appears then that the social media influence played a massive part in getting customers to the stores and online at midnight, and the hype surrounding the slashed prices will no doubt continue throughout the day.

Black Friday has been popular in the USA since 2004, but in recent years it has been revealed that Thanksgiving evenings have become a more popular shopping day, and this has prompted retailers to gradually open earlier. Bernard Luthi, president of Monoprice, said that “the current wisdom is to start Black Friday sales and promotions earlier and earlier. We’ve seen this trend happening for the past several years and it’s likely to continue as it becomes the new norm.

black friday
Source: youtube.com

In conjunction with the earlier start, retailers have also taken to releasing their doorbuster deals well in advance of Black Friday - anywhere from a few days to a full week early. 

Social media is yet again proving itself to be a massive tool for retailers who wish to reach out to customers in the festive season. Black Friday was always going to be popular amongst the general public, but social networking platforms have elevated it onto a scale that will imprint it our our culture for the foreseeable future. It is alarming to see people fighting over coffee machines in Tesco, and laptops in PC World, but that is the materialistic world in which we live in, and social media is a contributor to this.

Many disturbances broke out throughout the evening, with police being called to locations across the UK. It is incredible to think that people were actually fighting over products, and Sgt Paul Marshall, a Metropolitan Police officer, tweeted: “Even on #BlackFriday shoving people to the floor so you can get £20 off a Coffee Maker is still an assault.”

The deals will go on until around Wednesday, so expect your local retail stores to resemble a battle scene out of The Lord of the Rings, so it’s probably best just to do any Christmas shopping online to avoid any injury.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Black Friday Thriving Due To Social Media Marketing Reviewed by Alex Smith on Friday, November 28, 2014 Rating: 5
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