The conversation around Black Friday on Twitter

Black Friday stirs up a lot of controversy between dedicated shoppers and those who think stores should stay closed on Thanksgiving Day at least.

In response to this we’ve seen companies running campaigns around closing their stores and giving their employees the day off. The first example that comes to mind is REI’s #OptOutside campaign, where they highlight closing down their locations so employees can enjoy a long weekend with friends and family.

This year DSW has run ads around closing their stores on Thanksgiving day so workers can be with their families, but also reminding viewers that they will be open on Black Friday so everyone can still get their shoe fix.

So what does the conversation around #BlackFriday, #OptOutside and DSW look like on Twitter? We dove into Echo to find out.

Black Friday 2017


#BlackFriday is definitely dominating the conversation so far, mostly with tweets about deals from retailers giving sneak peeks and from deal accounts drumming up excitement around the upcoming shopping day.

#OptOutside’s notable tweets include campaign tweets from REI themselves as well as other Twitter users sharing their #OptOutside experiences

DSW’s notable tweets are from shoppers sharing their shopping experiences and finds from the retailer; no one is discussing Black Friday or Thanksgiving just yet. This does show their loyalty to the brand and their excitement for shopping there, regardless of a holiday or sale.

So how does this compare to years past? REI has definitely been celebrated for opting out of the infamous shopping holiday, and its telling that other retailers like DSW are making when they’re closed part of their communication strategy to their audience. They want their fans, followers and customers to know that family time is something they as a brand value. Their customers seem like a dedicated enough community to want to respond.

Spending projections, however, show the opposite of a slowdown in Black Friday activity. Via Forbes:

“Consumer spending over the Black Friday weekend is expected to increase by 47% from the same period in 2016. According to RetailMeNot’s survey data, consumers plan to spend an average of $743 this year during the weekend that runs from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. That figure is up from an average of $505 over the same weekend last year. The survey data suggest that nearly seven in 10 consumers will shop over the Black Friday holiday weekend this year.”

Cyber Monday spending is also expected to increase:

“Cyber Monday is growing in popularity and becoming a bigger holiday shopping event. More than 56% of consumers surveyed by RetailMeNot said that they plan to make a purchase on Cyber Monday this year, compared with 39% last year. In 2016, Cyber Monday was the largest online sales day in history, according to Adobe data: shoppers spent a record $3.39 billion online on Cyber Monday last year, up 10.2% year over year and surpassing the Black Friday online sales total of $3.34 billion.”

As we get closer to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the conversation will undoubtedly shift. Here’s what the same search terms looked like last year:

Black Friday 2016


The types of notable tweets were largely the same.

How do you feel about retailers staying open on Thanksgiving or Black Friday? Tweet us about it @UnionMetrics.

(And if you’d like to see what Echo can do for your brand, just let us know.)

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash