Paid Social Planning: Plan for Black Friday

Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, is rapidly approaching. With the average shopper spending nearly $400 last year (Source:, this is the prime time to use paid social to drive sales for your brand.

Is Black Friday Right for You?

First of all, you need to consider whether or not running paid social media on Black Friday is right for your brand. Is there a reason for your brand to be live on Black Friday? Black Friday is an extremely competitive time period where brands will invest big and drive up the competition. This leads to higher costs making it harder and more expensive to reach your target audience. If you have the funds and are running a big Black Friday sale, being live on Black Friday makes sense. If you don’t have the funds or are not running a Black Friday sale, you should focus your media dollars elsewhere so you can make a bigger impact, instead of just focusing on big moments for the sake of it.

Where to Focus Your Media Dollars

When planning for Black Friday, you really need to focus your dollars on the timeframe with the most impact, as CPMs will be at a premium. Strategically planning your flights can help reduce costs. For example, if you are announcing a sale with a limited number of products in-store or a door-buster, you could possibly push out ads ahead of time. CPMs are cheaper before Black Friday and people will already want to know about the sale ahead of time when planning their shopping.

Another thing to consider is the lead times and nature of each platform you are using. For example, Pinterest has a much longer lead time than Facebook. Twitter is better for real-time advertising, so it might be best to push out ads the day off. Different platforms have large variations in CPMs, so you need to consider that when allocating budget.
Also, consider you online vs. offline budget by looking at what proportion of your sales or offline vs. online. If you are running a Cyber Monday sale, make sure to consider how much budget you plan to allocate to that.

Creative – Contingency and Suggestions

When creating your creative for Black Friday, make sure that your Brand name and the limited time nature of your offer are prominent. This isn’t the time to run your general campaigns, due to the high CPM premiums.
Another thing to consider is contingency creative. If you don’t have your day of creative in time for set-up, you need to make sure you have back up creative that you can run while you are waiting for your day of creative. This will help you solve multiple problems, such as:

  • Under-pacing due to lack of time
  • Appropriate time for tracking URLs
  • Time to QA your campaigns

Once your client has the day of creative finalized, you can quickly switch out of for your creative and have more time to enjoy your holiday weekend.

Mobile vs. Desktop

Another thing to consider during Black Friday is the role of desktop and mobile. If you are trying to drive people in-store, focusing on mobile only ads maybe the best option for you. While people are waiting in line for Black Friday, they will be browsing their social channels and can get excited about a deal while they are out and about. If you are focusing on driving ecommerce sales, focusing on desktop only ads maybe the best option for you, as attribution is stronger on desktop. When creating your campaigns, you can set them up by platform and then optimize accordingly.

Closing Remarks

Black Friday is one of the most competitive times of the year. However, with adequate planning you can be successful and make a big win for your brand.

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