black friday social media shoppers

Black Friday: 3 Big Box Retailers’ Social Media Approach

Nick Rogers

Feb 9, 2020

Since Black Friday is a revenue must for retail businesses of all sizes, big box retailers are presented with a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors with a shrewd social media strategy. While they compete with other big box stores with the same goods, meant for the same consumers, creativity can go far in differentiation. Here are three social media strategies that three big box retailers have successfully used to stand apart in the lead-up to Black Friday.

Every year after Thanksgiving, millions of eager shoppers swarm retailers to take advantage of one of the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday.

For retailers, the importance of Black Friday cannot be understated. According to research from Shopify, Black Friday generated 3.6x more orders than the average day in November.

That means that Black Friday has the potential to make (or break) a retailer’s entire year. Which is why you need a plan.

And what better place to start than with social media? Social media is without-a-doubt an important strategy for retailers looking to increase their sales during the holiday season. According to media intelligence data, the term “Black Friday” was mentioned more than 500,000 times between September – December (2017) alone.

black friday analysis

Big Box Retailers Approach to Their Black Friday Social Media Strategy

Let’s start with the giant retailer, Walmart.


Walmart is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Black Friday on social media.

Not only did they finish as our #2 ranked retailer right behind Best Buy, but they also captured a huge amount of mentions on social media in 2017. Part of the reason for their success is their inclusion of interactive media content.

What we loved most about Walmart’s approach to Black Friday is how they start promoting their best deals on social early and often. This strategy helps to build anticipation among shoppers all the way up until the big day.

In fact, in 2017 Walmart did such a great job of generating excitement with their audience on social media, that they actually sold out of Black Friday deals.


If you haven’t heard of Chubbies before, they’re a retailer that focuses on men’s clothing, particularly shorts.

And although they focus on shorts for men, they’re not short on great Black Friday social media ideas.

Where Chubbies truly shines is with using humor on social media, this perfectly reflects their brand identity and customers’ expectations.

The Chubbies’ comms team understands that no one likes brands with obvious sales pitches or in-your-face messaging. That’s why they portray the brand on social media as a real person that their chosen audience, a Chubbies’ customer might want to hang out with.

Chubbies writes copy sprinkled with humor and a casual, friendly tone. Which can feel surprising to many folks on social media, a place where “selling” your product is now the norm.

It works, too. According to social listening, Chubbies reached several million people between July – December (2017):

chubbies analysis chart 2017

Of course, all great Black Friday campaigns contain some sort of truth about the holidays. Chubbies’ captured it perfectly with their Black Friday Shorts post on Facebook:

The Black Friday Shorts - starting at under $30.

Posted by Chubbies on Friday, November 25, 2016

We can all use a little humor around the holidays.

Best Buy

One way to succeed as a big box retailer on Black Friday is to be helpful as humanly possible. We say “humanly” because you are helping humans after all is said and done. And what do humans want from retailers above all?

A great customer experience.

Best Buy showed how effective great customer service on social media can be for overall brand sentiment and sales on Black Friday. According to Business Insider, Best Buy had some of the longest lines of excited shoppers waiting outside stores for early sales on Thanksgiving Day.

And the best part?

Best Buy received more than 251,000 mentions on social media between October – December (2017), with overwhelmingly positive sentiment from their fans:

best buy sentiment analysis

All of the positive social media mentions helped to boost sales and brand awareness in a big way for the retailer giant.

Takeaways from Big Box Retailers on Black Friday

  • Capitalize on your strong brand identity to keep customers engaged around your brand, year-round.
  • Make sure that you cover the total customer experience, not only the buying experience. Consider where the buyer is on their journey prior to the purchase and provide post-sales support.
  • Give your customers the content they want and allow them different ways to consume the content you’re producing. If you have the resources, make sure you have an integrated strategy to meet your customers exactly where they’re at, whether that’s consuming video on mobile or via reading an email newsletter. In these examples, big box retailers social media approach impacts their bottom line as shoppers excitement build as they follow specials on social in the lead up to Thanksgiving.

Now get out there to rock Black Friday and use media monitoring to capture the data that proves the success of your campaign!