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How Department Stores Are Counting Down to Black Friday on Instagram

unnamed-3A week from today is Black Friday. Many department stores are beginning their massive sales even before then, and most are lubricating their Instagram accounts with plenty of content to highlight their current or upcoming offers around Thanksgiving.

But, smart department store brands aren’t flooding their social streams with discounts and around-the-clock sales frenzy.

Getting savvier and savvier on Instagram by the day, the department stores I’ve spotlighted below have found clever and subtler ways to drive engagement.

Not Mentioning Sales at All

Bloomingdales is taking the classy route on its Instagram profile by avoiding mention of Thanksgiving season sales and instead focusing on the holiday itself.

Dessert first. Just the way we like it. (One week until Thanksgiving!)

A photo posted by Bloomingdale’s (@bloomingdales) on

This reserved approach shows the brand’s awareness of their audience and positioning as a more upscale department store brand. 

The Slow Reveal

Starting November 20, Macy’s began revealing one of its #BlackFriday door busters per day. 

This promotion provides a fun sense of mystery, piques curiosity, and has the added benefit of showcasing many different kinds of items that will be on sale, thus following through on the mantra of department stores everywhere: “Something for everyone.”

Forging a Connection with Holiday Travelers

It’s predicted that this year we’ll see the most holiday travel since 2007. Wisely, Best Buy highlighted their airport presence in this post.

Heading straight to the heart of the holiday travelers creates a sense of connection and also reminds him or her where relief can be found at JFK Airport. 

Gift Guide Spectacular 

Most department store brands use gift guides as pillar content pieces, both on- and offline. See Dillard’s gift guide promo here.

Dillard’s Instagram post makes excellent use of the Gift Guide Strategy, directing followers towards their website with a gorgeous image and beloved brand highlight.

Holiday Windows 

One thing online retailers will never have? Tangible, traditional, gorgeous, nostalgia-inducing holiday windows.

By reminding followers of their holiday windows, department store brands like Bergdorf Goodman remind people of the experiential, immersive aspect of their brand.

Members Only 

By breeding a sense of exclusivity and mentioning deals only available to members, department stores can use Instagram to drive social users towards their loyalty rewards programs. 

In this post, Sears makes its pre-sale available only to “Members,” thus making joining the program even more alluring than normal.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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