Retailers using social media to promote Black Friday specials

It used to be that shoppers trying to find great holiday deals the day after Thanksgiving – aka “Black Friday” – would do most of their research by going through their newspaper and clipping out specials. But Reuters reports that social media has changed the way that consumers and retailers approach Black Friday, with many major stores using Twitter and Facebook to announce deals and stir interest in their specials.

Brands such as Office Depot and J.C. Penney used Twitter to promote specials, while other brands went a step further: Toys ‘R’ Us announced special deals through their Twitter feed, while Sears has a contest through its Facebook page giving shoppers a chance to win a $500 gift certificate and a chance to shop the Black Friday specials early.

Kasey Lobaugh, a principal at Deloitte Retail, said that social media is attractive to retailers because they can easily track performance metrics.

“If you send out a URL via Twitter you know how many people clicked on that URL,” he said. “When you put a newspaper tab out, you have no idea of the traffic in your stores, how much was influenced by seeing an ad in the newspaper that day.”

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