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How to Create a Black Friday eCommerce Strategy

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Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the year for online retailers, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Meeting the expectations of so many new customers is no small feat.

Fortunately, you’ve got time to plan for success with a Black Friday eCommerce strategy— and we have all the tips you need below!

Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.

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What is a Black Friday eCommerce strategy?

Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday and is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Customers expect deals and promotions from their favorite retailers. In turn, they reward businesses with big spending. In 2021, US shoppers spent $9.03 billion dollars on Black Friday.

The dawn of eCommerce ushered in a sequel to Black Friday which is Cyber Monday when online retailers break out their best offers. Last year, Cyber Monday actually surpassed Black Friday for spending among American shoppers, with $10.90 billion in sales.

Those big numbers translate into a lot of traffic to your online store. You’ll want to prepare with a solid Black Friday eCommerce strategy.

That means a marketing plan in the lead-up to Black Friday so that you can capture your customers’ attention and get them excited for your online sales. You’ll also need to prepare for an influx of shopping cart orders and customer inquiries on the day, which will need a rock-solid customer support strategy.

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Are you starting to sweat? Don’t worry! We’ve mapped out the must-have eCommerce tools and tactics to include in your Black Friday strategy below.

11 Black Friday eCommerce tactics you should try

1. Optimize your website for SEO

Whether you sell lip gloss or jet skis, increasing your search ranking will literally help you rise above the competition and boost conversion rates. For starters, use a free SERP checker ( that stands for “Search Engine Results Page”) to see how you’re ranking. See room for improvement? Here are some things to try:

  • Speeding up your loading time. Sites that take forever to load a landing page suffer in the search rankings. Here, Google comes through with another free tool to check your site speed. Compressing your images and upgrading your hosting service are two ways to improve site speed.
  • Refining product names and descriptions. This will help customers discover your products when searching and ease the user experience. You can use free Google tools to determine the best keywords for your product pages.
  • Posting quality content on social media. We ran an experiment a few years back and found that having an active, engaged social media presence reflects well on your search ranking.

2. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

In 2021, Shopify reported that 79% of all Black Friday Cyber Monday purchases happened on mobile devices. Mobile shoppers surpassed desktop shoppers in 2014 and their numbers have been growing ever since. Test your website and make improvements now, before you miss out on mobile shoppers.

3. Start your campaign early

Remember, every other retailer is also going to be running a Black Friday campaign. You don’t want to leave yours until the last minute, you should be nurturing your followers on social media and email months in advance. That way, when you roll out your deals, you have a captive and engaged audience. Here are some tips:

  • Offer exclusive early access to Black Friday deals for email subscribers. Encouraging customers to sign up to your email list will extend the reach of your offers, and pay dividends after the Black Friday Cyber Monday sales event ends.
  • Test your ads. After all, you don’t wait until the day of the marathon to start training. You should be refining your creative and running A/B tests on your campaigns to figure out what works best for your audience well in advance.
  • Build buzz. Tease your Black Friday promotions in advance. Let your customers know you’ll be dropping the details on social media and email. This will boost your followers and reward your engaged followers, improving customer experience in the long run.

4. Make sure all stock information is accurate

This is also a good time to restock your most popular items, and plan special deals or offers to get slower-moving products off your shelves.

See also  How To Win at TikTok (According to TikTok)

You can expect to see an influx of new customers on Black Friday. That means the shopping experience should be easy and intuitive, to avoid causing confusion or hesitation. Product pages should include all the important specs, like size, weight, and materials.

Ensure every product has high-quality images and videos. Also, include customer reviews on the page— even one review can increase sales by 10%.

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5. Have customer support at the ready

Ever wandered around a department store, growing increasingly desperate to find an employee who can help you? Then you know how annoying it is to have to wait for help. And if your customers get frustrated, they’ll split!

To keep up with the volume of shoppers on Black Friday, invest in a retail chatbot. A chatbot like Heyday provides instant customer service that can answer up to 80% of customer inquiries. That frees up your customer support team to respond to the remaining 20% in a timely fashion.

Makeup Forever Reboot Foundation eCommerce chatbot

Source: Heyday

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This is especially helpful during Black Friday Cyber Monday. Remember, you’ll have brand-new customers who are less familiar with your store and inventory. (According to Bluecore, 59% of Black Friday sales were made by first-time shoppers in 2020!) A chatbot can help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for, by directing them to the size, color, and style they want. They can also generate personalized product recommendations, upselling, and cross-selling on the average order. These can drive sales even higher— especially when you consider that 60% of Black Friday purchases are impulse buys.

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6. Work with influencers

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool. One recent survey found that 8% of shoppers had bought something in the past 6 months because an influencer promoted it. That figure increases to almost 15% for 18- to 24-year-old shoppers. Collaborating with an influencer on your Black Friday strategy can help you reach new customers and boost your sales.

If this is new to you, we have a guide to influencer marketing that will set you up for success. And remember that it’s important to find the right fit with influencers. Don’t go for the biggest following— it’s more important to align on values and audience.

7. Create BFCM promo codes

Offering promotional codes and coupons for Black Friday Cyber Monday creates urgency. These encourage your customers to take advantage of the big discounts you’re offering.

However, you want to make sure your customers can find and apply the promo codes easily. Otherwise, they might abandon their carts in frustration. Shopify has some great suggestions for how to ensure your discount codes are easy to spot:

  • Use a pop-up on your eCommerce site. This will announce the discount code, and give your customer a chance to apply it at check out with a single click.
  • Ask customers to enter their email address to receive the promo code. This helps with your email marketing and remarketing efforts, too!
  • Add a floating bar at the top of the page with the discount code. This makes it too obvious to miss.
  • Apply the code automatically at checkout. This is the simplest solution for your customers. Sephora used it for their 2021 Black Friday sale. Customers received an automatic 50% discount at checkout:

One tip: Make sure your discounts are competitive. According to Salesforce, the average discount in 2021 was 24%— lower than in years past. But on Black Friday, customers are still looking for serious deals, so 10 or 15% off is unlikely to sway them.

8. Run an email discount campaign

Promote your Black Friday Cyber Monday sales through email. This is an effective way to reach your already-engaged customers. It’s also the perfect way to build a buzz in advance of Black Friday. Tease upcoming offers and get your customers excited about the deals to come. Offering early access to your Black Friday sale is also an effective way to grow your email subscriber base.

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Plus, it gives you the opportunity to segment your offers, which increases their effectiveness. Klayvio found that segmented emails yield three times as much revenue per customer as general marketing messages.

Show returning customers discounts on products they’re likely to be interested in, based on their shopping history. Or provide an exclusive gift-with-purchase for your VIP shoppers, as a way of building loyalty.

See also  What is Social Commerce and Why Should Your Brand Care?

9. Extend your BFCM deals

There’s no reason to end your sale on Monday at 11:59 PM. Extending your Black Friday Cyber Monday offers through the week can help you catch customers on their second shopping lap. It also gives you the chance to add steeper discounts, in order to clear more inventory before the end of the year.

As many shoppers will be planning for the holidays (more on that below), make sure you’re clear on shipping dates. Shoppers will want to know whether their package will arrive by Christmas.

You can also extend your deals in the opposite direction, to get out ahead of the competition! For example, fashion retailer Aritzia runs an annual “Black Fiveday” sale. It kicks off a day early, on Thursday.

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10. Create a holiday gift guide

Black Friday is often considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season. For many people, it’s the time for crossing as many names off their gift list as they can. Creating a holiday gift guide makes their work a lot easier.

Pro tip: Segment your guides by the recipient (“Gifts for Mom,” “Gifts for Dog Sitters”) or theme (“Sustainable Gifts”). This will help your customers find what they’re looking for. Outdoor retailer MEC even created a gift guide for the person who has everything.

You can also share your gift guide on social media by creating an Instagram Guide. These are curated collections of images, accompanied by titles and descriptions.

Sephora guide to makeup gifts to give

11. Promote your BFCM deals with social media ads

One of the biggest challenges for businesses on social media is the decline of organic reach. It doesn’t matter how good your content is. If you want to reach your prospective customers, you need to have a paid strategy.

Also, your strategy should definitely include TikTok, where your ads can reach over a billion users. According to our 2022 Social Trends report, 24% of businesses said TikTok is their most effective channel for reaching their business goals. That’s an increase of 700% over 2020!

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3 creative Black Friday ad examples

Walmart – #UnwrapTheDeals

For Black Friday 2021, Walmart created the #UnwrapTheDeals campaign with a custom TikTok filter. Posting a TikTok with the filter allowed users to “unwrap” gift cards and prizes and shop directly in the app. Walmart partnered with influencers to promote the campaign, leading to over 5.5 billion views.

@iammatthewjordan

#UnwrapTheDeals #contest #walmart @walmart

♬ Christmas Bells – StudioKolomna

Takeaways:

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  • Make it fun. By using an interactive filter, Walmart made a campaign that was sharable and enticing.
  • Add creative rewards. #UnwrapTheDeals offered bonus prizes in addition to the Black Friday discounts. This encouraged TikTok users to try to win by posting a video. Each new post amplified the reach of the campaign.
  • Hold attention. You only have a few seconds to catch someone’s eye on social media. A dynamic campaign like this makes users want to stop scrolling and watch.
  • Get on TikTok! This is your final reminder to make TikTok a part of your business strategy.

IKEA – #BuyBackFriday

IKEA ran a creative #BuyBackFriday campaign over Black Friday 2020. Rather than just offering a discount, shoppers could earn credit by bringing in old IKEA items. IKEA offers a buy-back program all year, but during Black Friday they doubled the credits.

This campaign worked on a few levels:

  • It wasn’t your average Black Friday campaign. The #BuyBackFriday messaging stands out in a sea of “25% off!” posts.
  • It appealed to values. A lot of shoppers care about sustainability and affordability. This campaign was built around those principles. Showing your customers that you care about the same things builds loyalty and trust.
  • It was about more than the sale. This campaign targeted IKEA shoppers with old furniture to offload. That allowed it to reach people who weren’t even planning on a Black Friday shopping spree.
  • It offered a creative discount system. If your business can’t afford to knock 30% off your stock, consider how else you can appeal to shoppers. A credit system like this one encourages customers to return in the future. It’s a long-term strategy for success.

DECEIM – Slowvember

Beauty and skincare brand DECEIM went against the grain. Their “Slowvember” campaign lasted for all of November. The idea was to discourage impulse buying and encourage customers to shop thoughtfully. It got a lot of positive attention from shoppers.

Bye-bye Black Friday, hello Slowvember. 🐢💛23% off everything (!!) is back—all month long. Slowvember is a journey…

Posted by The Ordinary on Monday, November 1, 2021

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Here are some takeaways:

  • Get creative with timing. By running a month-long sale, DECEIM beat the competition on Black Friday.
  • Focus on the customer. DECEIM’s messaging was all about their shoppers. This makes people feel cared for. In turn, they’re more likely to support your business in the future.
  • Don’t forget the promotion. The campaign tagline got attention. But DECEIM was still offering an attractive 23% discount on all products.
  • Offer experiences. Black Friday can be hectic. In response, DECEIM hosted relaxing in-store experiences. They included DJ sets, flower arranging, embroidery workshops, and more. Remember, just because most sales happen online, that doesn’t mean you can forget the in-person experience.
  • Think about the long run. Black Friday Cyber Monday is a time to connect with lots of new customers. Ideally, you want to turn those into long-term customers. So think about how you’re building relationships or trust for years to come. You might not make as many sales on Black Friday itself. But a successful business strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.

The top 7 must-have tools for eCommerce stores

1. Heyday

Heyday is a retail chatbot that will delight your customers and save your business a ton of time and money. It’s always on to answer questions and help customers find what they need, which is valuable all year long (but priceless during Black Friday!) One company saved 50% of its customer service resources after getting Heyday.

Get a free Heyday demo

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite helps your business streamline and improve its marketing efforts. With Hootsuite, you can schedule your social media content across every platform in one place. It also gives you the data you need to refine your campaigns, with a customized dashboard of your social media performance. You can also use Hootsuite to track what your customers are saying online.

3. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is one of the world’s most used social media platforms, with 988 million daily active users. If you’re not on Messenger, you’re missing the opportunity to connect with countless customers. Plus, you can use a Facebook chatbot to offer fast, friendly customer service 24 hours a day.

4. Google PageSpeed Insights

Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool lets you know how fast your website is loading. Improving your speed will also improve your search ranking, so don’t sleep on this one!

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5. Instagram Shopping

Are you selling products directly on Instagram? You should be! Social commerce is the future. According to Instagram, 44%of users shop on the app weekly. Tap into that growing market by connecting your online store to your Instagram account.

6. TikTok Shopping

TikTok has proven to be an effective retail channel: nearly half of all users are purchasing products after seeing them on the platform. While Millennials and Gen X shoppers are more likely to buy on Instagram and Facebook, younger customers are favoring TikTok. No wonder TikTok is poised to become the most important social network for marketing.

TikTok Shopping is a relatively new feature, but don’t sleep on it. We’ve got a detailed guide on how to set up your TikTok shop.

7. Shopify

In 2021, Shopify merchants raked in $6.3 billion USD in Black Friday sales. That’s because Shopify offers an easy, intuitive platform to build your shop. There are tons of Shopify apps that can enhance your business and improve your customer experience. You can also integrate your Shopify store with TikTok shopping and Instagram shopping. This creates a seamless customer experience across all platforms.

Plus, Shopify integrates directly with the Heyday chatbot, allowing you to provide 24/7 customer support to every shopper.

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That’s a wrap! You’ve got all the tips and tools you need for your best Black Friday sale ever. Looking for more help with strategy, or insights into new social media features? We’ve got your back.

Engage with shoppers on social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.

Get a free Heyday demo

Turn customer service conversations into sales with Heyday. Improve response times and sell more products. See it in action.

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Social Media Live Streaming: How to Go Live on Every Network

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From Saturday Night Live and the Super Bowl to celebrity slaps at the Oscars, there’s no denying the thrill of watching events unfold in real time. You just never know what could happen. That’s why social media live streaming is so appealing to viewers and why content creators should be getting in on the action.

Since YouTube’s very first live event in 2008, internet users have grown from lukewarm to fully obsessed with social media streaming. These days, nearly a third of all internet users report watching at least one video live stream each week.

And can you blame them? Live streaming is authentic, engaging, and—we won’t deny it—a little bit thrilling.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

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Social media live streaming refers to real-time videos shared on social media platforms (as opposed to videos filmed in advance and then posted to social media). It is sometimes referred to as “going live” and is most often used by creators and influencers, who can tap into features like live chats, polls, and question prompts to invite viewers to participate in real-time conversations with them.

Because most platforms also allow users to give streamers gifts that can be redeemed for cash, creators can also earn a fair amount of money with social media live streaming.

Screen view of content creators making a Facebook Live stream with guest request list.

Source: Facebook

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At some point, you’re going to get that burning urge to go live on social media.

But the smorgasbord of social media live streaming platforms can be downright overwhelming. Instagram or TikTok? Facebook or YouTube? Is Twitch just for gamers? (Side note: no, it’s not.)

The answer, though, is simple: you should be streaming wherever your audience (or future audience) is hanging out.

Here’s some helpful demographic information on each of the major social media networks to help you address your target audience and figure out where to go live.

Then, read on for details on how to master live streaming on each one.

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How to go live on Facebook

Depending on your user profile and your device, there are a few different ways to go live on Facebook.

If you’re creating a mobile Live video for a business page:

  1. Tap Create a post.
  2. Tap Live Video.
  3. (Optional) Write a short description of your video.
  4. Hit the blue Start Live Video button to begin your stream.

If you’re creating a mobile live video for a personal profile:

  1. Tap the What’s on your mind? field at the top of your newsfeed and then tap Live Video.
  2. (Optional) Adjust your audience in the To: field at the top, and add a description. This dropdown also gives you the option to share your live video to your story.
  3. Hit the blue Start Live Video button to begin your stream.

If you’re creating a Facebook Live video on your computer:

  1. In the create post box in your newsfeed, tap Live Video.
  2. Select Go Live. If you want to schedule a live event to start later, select Create Live Video Event.
  3. If you want to broadcast using your webcam, select Webcam. If you want to use a third-party streaming software, select Streaming software and paste the stream key into your software.
  4. Select where your video will appear, who can view it, and add a title and description if you’d like.
  5. Click the blue go live button.

Once you’re live, you’ll be able to see the names and number of live viewers and a stream of real-time comments.

When the show is over, the post saves to your profile or page (unless you’ve shared it to your story only).

Facebook live stream

Source: Facebook

See also  9 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips for More Conversions

Learn more about how to live stream from Facebook here.

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How to go live on Instagram

On Instagram Live (available on the mobile app only for now), you can collaborate with guests, ask followers questions, or use filters. When your session’s over, you’ll be prompted to share your stream to your Story if you’d like.

Here’s how to go live on Instagram:

  1. Tap the camera in the top left corner of your phone.
  2. Swipe right to access the Instagram Live screen.
  3. Tap the Go live button to begin streaming.

Instagram livestream

Source: Instagram

Find more tips for how to use Instagram Live here.

How to go live on Instagram and Facebook at the same time

While there’s no official way to live stream the exact same content on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, there are some third-party that can help.

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StreamYard, OneStream are a few of the multi-stream platforms that can be customized (unofficially) to broadcast to multiple platforms at the same time.

Though be warned that Instagram does not officially support streaming outside of its own app.

If you want to keep the solution lowtech (and legal), you could also use two devices to record simultaneously: one for streaming to Instagram, and second to stream to Facebook from another angle.

Keep in mind that double the broadcasts also means double the comment streams to keep track of. You may want to enlist an engagement specialist to help you.

Ugh, we get it, you’re popular!

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How to go live on LinkedIn

As of September 2022, LinkedIn Live is only available to users who meet certain criteria based on follower count, geographical location, and adherence to LinkedIn’s Professional Community Policies.

To check if you are eligible, tap Event from your home page. If you see LinkedIn Live in the event format dropdown, you are allowed to go live on the platform.

LinkedIn live group of people

Source: LinkedIn

Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have the same native live streaming capabilities as other social media platforms. Instead, you’ll need to use a third-party tool to broadcast live to LinkedIn.

  1. Grab two devices before you start streaming. One will be for the video, one for monitoring comments as they come in.
  2. Register for a broadcasting tool from a third party like StreamYard, Socialive, or Switcher Studio. Authenticate your LinkedIn account.
  3. Click the Broadcast button on your third-party tool and film.
  4. Use the second device to watch for comments (or get a friend to play moderator for you). Respond on camera as they come in.

Note: When your broadcast is over, it will live on your LinkedIn feed to attract even more engagement on the rewatch.

Get the complete guide to going live on LinkedIn here.

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How to go live on Twitter

A video is the perfect way to stand out from the crowd in the non-stop stream of tweets. When you’re all done, you can share from the beginning to tweet the video in full.

How to go live on Twitter:

  1. Tap the camera icon in the composer. Note: If you don’t see the camera, make sure Twitter has access to your photos on your phone’s privacy settings.
  2. Tap Live. (If you just want audio and not video, tap the mic at the top right to turn off the camera).
  3. (Optional) Add a description and location, or invite guests to join in.
  4. Tap Go live.

Twitter live

Source: Twitter

Here’s the full breakdown for how to go live on Twitter.

How to go live on YouTube

YouTube was the first major social network to offer live streaming. Today, it is the most popular place to consume live content.

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A webcam or smartphone (if you have at least 50 subscribers) will get you rolling right away. More advanced streamers can use encoders to broadcast from external devices, or screen share that awesome Mario 2 speedrun.

See also  Social Media Sentiment Analysis: Tools and Tips for 2022

Any stream under 12 hours will be automatically posted to your Youtube channel for future generations to enjoy.

How to go live on YouTube with a webcam on desktop:

  1. Tap the video camera icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Go live.
  3. Select Webcam.
  4. Add a title and description, and adjust privacy settings.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Click Go live.

Note: you will have to verify your phone number with YouTube before you can go live from your desktop.

How to go live on YouTube on mobile:

  1. Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the home page.
  2. Select Go live.
  3. Add a title, select your location (optional), and adjust privacy settings.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Take a thumbnail photo.
  6. Click Go live.

Note: Only users who meet certain requirements can go live via mobile on YouTube. You’ll need at least 50 subscribers, have no live streaming restrictions, and be a verified channel.

How to go live on YouTube from an encoder:

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  1. Set up your channel for live streaming here.
  2. Download an encoder.
  3. Select Go live. You’ll be able to set things up in the Live control room here.
  4. Select Stream.
  5. Add a title and description, and adjust privacy settings.
  6. Start your encoder, and check the live dashboard for the preview to begin.
  7. Click Go live.

abc news live headlines and events

Source: YouTube

Find more detailed instructions on how to live stream on Youtube here.

How to go live on TikTok

As of 2022, TikTok’s live feature is only available to users who have at least 1,000 followers and are at least 16 years of age.

Haven’t reached the threshold yet? Here’s a potential trick for how to go live on TikTok without 1,000 followers.

If you’ve got access to TikTok Live, here’s how to use it:

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  1. Tap the plus sign on the bottom of the home screen.
  2. Swipe to the LIVE option in the bottom navigation.
  3. Pick an image and write a quick, enticing title.
  4. Press GO LIVE.

TikTok go live

Source: TikTok

How to go live on Twitch

Twitch is unlike other social platforms in that it was built specifically for streaming, which means it’s a must for creators who want to break into live content.

This also means that going live on the platform is relatively straightforward.

If you want to stream videos of yourself or your surroundings, follow the instructions for how to go live IRL. If you want to stream yourself playing a video game, follow the instructions for how to stream games.

How to stream on Twitch in IRL:

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  1. Tap the Create button on the top of the home screen.
  2. Tap the Go live button on the bottom right.
  3. Select either Stream games or Stream IRL, depending on the kind of content you’re streaming.
  4. Write a description for your stream and select your category.
  5. Tap Start Stream.

How to stream games on Twitch:

  1. Tap the Create button on the top of the home screen.
  2. Tap the Go Live button on the bottom right.
  3. Tap Stream games.
  4. Select your game from the list.
  5. Tap edit stream info to add a title, category, tags, language, and stream markers.
  6. Adjust the volume and VOD settings.
  7. Tap the Go live button.

How to stream on Twitch from desktop

  1. Head to your creator dashboard.
  2. Download Twitch Studio.
  3. Configure Twitch Studio and grant access to your device’s microphone and camera.
  4. From the home screen, click Share stream.
  5. Click Edit stream info to add a title, category, tags, and language.
  6. Click Start stream.

Twitch live stream

Source: Twitch

1. Leverage live analytics

As with any other kind of social media post, you’ll want to pay close attention to your analytics after you’ve done a few lives. Make sure you’re posting at the right time to maximize views and engagement. Shameless plug: Hootsuite will tell you the best time to post based on when your followers are the most active.

See also  Amazon Associates: How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate

Make note of views, watch time, average view duration, engagement rate, and reach.

2. Promote your big moment

People might happen to catch your video as you press that “go live” button. Letting your audience know it’s coming up is only going to boost those numbers. When you schedule your social media posts, be sure to include information about upcoming lives.

Start a countdown on your various social platforms to hype up the moment: your Twitter crew might need a nudge to migrate over to Youtube when it’s your time to shine.

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social media livestream promotion

3. Make it timely

Your live video is competing for attention with the millions of other videos already out there. Having a timely “why now” hook will give your video an urgency more evergreen content will lack—like a one-night-only event (a holiday concert!), a seasonal special (an interview with Santa!) or an exclusive scoop (Santa’s dropping an album!).

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

Get the free guide right now!

4. Create a dream team

Sharing a live broadcast with another influencer or expert in your field is one way to attract attention.

Whether it’s an interview with someone you admire or a more collaborative production, it’s a great way to leverage your guest’s audience into your own new followers. Sharing is caring, right?

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5. Keep the context clear

The hope is that viewers will be watching from the very beginning, but the reality (or maybe magic?) of live streaming is that your audience will come and go throughout the broadcast.

Make sure it’s clear what they’re tuning into by occasionally reiterating the topic. A watermark, text or logo that clarifies who is on screen and what’s going on can be helpful, too.

6. Engage with your audience in the moment

The whole reason you’re doing your video live is to connect with your viewers, right? So make sure they know they’re a part of the show.

Say hello to commenters, welcome new viewers who are just joining the stream and answer questions on the fly if you can.

7. Have a roadmap

The beauty of a live stream is that anything can happen. But that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a goal of what you want to happen.

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Financial expert Josh Brown may have been responding to viewers live on Twitter, but the Q&A format gave the off-the-cuff show some structure.

Jot down your key points or segments before you go live to keep yourself on topic. Think of it as less of a script, more of a road map.

8. Optimize your setup

While on-the-fly filming definitely has its charm, videos that are inaudible or poorly lit can be a struggle to stick with.

Set yourself up for success by doing a sound check before you go live. Seeking out bright, natural light whenever possible, and using a tripod if a shaky arm is too distracting. (Why do they make those phones so heavy?)

Promote your live videos in advance with Hootsuite, an easy-to-use dashboard that lets you schedule posts to all the major social networks from one place. Then, engage with new followers and track your success. Try it for free.

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How to Download YouTube Videos (7 Methods)

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how-to-download-youtube-videos-(7-methods)

Do you want to download YouTube videos but can’t figure out how?

Maybe you want to watch a tutorial offline, or maybe you just want to have your kid’s favorite clip on your computer for safekeeping.

Or, perhaps you’re a marketer or content creator looking to download and use an existing YouTube video.

Whatever the reason, downloading a video from YouTube is actually pretty easy to do. In this guide, we’ll show you how to download YouTube videos on your mobile device, your Mac, or your PC.

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Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your YouTube following fast, a daily workbook of challenges that will help you kickstart your Youtube channel growth and track your success. Get real results after one month.

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Can you download YouTube videos?

If you upload the video yourself, you can download the video from YouTube directly to your computer.

If it is not a video you uploaded, then you can’t save it to your computer from YouTube, but you can download it to your YouTube library to watch offline.

There are third-party apps and workarounds to download YouTube videos onto your Mac or PC. And, if you’re a creator looking to download a video, edit it, and re-upload it to get more YouTube views, then these options are for you.

You can easily download videos from the YouTube app with your phone to watch offline. You just need to have YouTube Premium and the app installed.

Can you download YouTube videos for free?

Since you need Premium to download YouTube videos, it’s not exactly free.

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YouTube Premium often has sign-up promotions where they give out free months, so if you canceled your subscription before your free months were up, it would technically be free.

YouTube Premium is $11.99 per month for a single user. Or you can get a Family Plan with six users for $17.99 per month.

You can, however, use third-party apps to get that free YouTube video download – more on this below!

How to download YouTube videos: 7 methods

YouTube is great for finding tutorials, instructional videos, and entertainment. And it’s full of inspiring videos and free content for content creators and marketers.

Some creators will download videos, layer edits or voiceovers overtop, or splice them into their videos, and repost them as original content.

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This works well for things like reviews, using expert quotes as sources, or commentary on gaming streams.

See also  24 Gen Z Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2022

Below, a dietician pulls clips from fitness and lifestyle YouTuber Daisy Keech’s videos. She’s using the clips to bust myths on nutrition and dieting and spread education and awareness.

But there’s one thing you should know before downloading anything from YouTube. Many of the videos are copyrighted, which means they’re illegal to share without paying the creator.

YouTube says, “Creators should only upload videos that they have made or that they’re authorised to use. That means that they should not upload videos that they didn’t make, or use content in their videos that someone else owns the copyright to, such as music tracks, snippets of copyrighted programmes or videos made by other users, without necessary authorisations.”

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Before sharing a video you’ve downloaded, check to make sure it’s legal to do so.

How to download your own YouTube videos

Downloading a video you’ve previously uploaded to YouTube is easy.

Step 1: Open up YouTube and navigate to the menu on the left-hand side of your screen. Tap on Your videos. This will take you to your YouTube Studio.

YouTube premium your videos

Step 2: Navigate to the video you want to download and hover over it. This will bring up a menu bar. Tap the vertical ellipses icon.

channel content vertical ellipses icon

Step 3: Tap download

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YouTube channel content download video

Step 4: Your video will appear in your downloads as an mp4

mp4 downloaded YouTube video

How to download YouTube videos on Mac

You can download YouTube videos to your Mac through your YouTube account. Just a note, you must have had access the internet within 30 days to be able to watch these videos.

Here’s how to save YouTube videos to your library so you can watch them while offline:

Step 1: Click on the video you want to watch

Step 2: Below the video, tap Download or tap More and then Download

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Punk's not dead Hootsuite Analytics download video

Step 3: Downloaded will have a checkmark beside it once complete

downloaded video checkmark icon

Step 4: Navigate to your video library by clicking on the hamburger icon in the top left corner and scrolling down to Downloads

video library hamburger icon downloads

You can watch your video here so long as you’ve had an internet connection in the past 30 days.

watch YouTube video in downloads folder

Alternatively, you can download YouTube videos to your Mac for free with the VLC Media Player. You do not need a Premium account to use the VLC player.

See also  Social Media Live Streaming: How to Go Live on Every Network

Again, be careful with copyright laws if you plan to share this video. Following copyright laws are especially important if you’re trying to make money off YouTube.

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Many people love the VLC Media Player as it’s a “free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files, and various streaming protocols.” In other words, it’s open to anyone, plays most videos, and can help you download videos from YouTube.

Step 1: Head to YouTube and find the video you would like to download

Step 2: Copy the URL

copy URL of YouTube video

Step 3: Open the VLC player and navigate to File on your top menu bar, then Open Network

VLC player file open network

Step 4. In the window that opens, you should be on the Network tab. Paste the YouTube video’s URL in the text box, and click Open at the bottom.

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open source network copy URL

Step 5: Your video should open automatically once downloaded and appear in your Downloads folder

Now that you’ve got the tools to download YouTube videos, you can work on promoting your YouTube channel.

How to download YouTube videos on iPhone

You can easily download a youtube video to your iPhone to watch offline.

Step 1: Open the YouTube app on your iPhone

Step 2: Find the video you want to download for offline viewing

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Step 3: Tap the Download button and choose your resolution

Step 4: Tap Library in the bottom left corner

Step 5: Tap Downloads, where you’ll find all of your downloaded videos

How to download YouTube videos on Android

Much like the iPhone instructions above, you can also download a YouTube video onto your Android to watch offline.

Step 1: Open the YouTube app on your Android

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Step 2: Find the video you want to download for offline viewing

Step 3: Tap the Download button and choose your resolution

download videochoose download resolution quality from full HD to low

Step 4: Tap Library in the bottom left corner

library bottom left corner

Step 5: Tap Downloads, where you’ll find all of your downloaded videos

your downloads all videos

How to download YouTube videos on PC

You can download a video on YouTube onto your PC for easy viewing in one of two ways. The first will save your videos onto the YouTube Library, where you will only be able to access them if you’ve had access to the internet within 30 days.

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To save YouTube videos to your library so you can watch them while offline:

See also  8 Tips for Creating Highly Effective Instagram Stories Ads

Step 1: Click on the video you want to watch

Step 2: Below the video, tap Download or tap More, and then Download

Step 3: Downloaded will turn blue below the video once complete

Alternatively, you can use the VLC player. With the VLC player, you can download YouTube videos free, straight to your PC! With this method, you don’t need to have a Premium YouTube account.

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Here’s how to download a video from YouTube using the VLC Media Player:

Step 1: Head to YouTube and find the video you want to download

Step 2: Copy the URL

Hootsuite Labs

Step 3: Open VLC Media Player

Step 4: Click Media in the top menu, and then Open Network Stream

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media open network system

Step 5: In the pop-up that appears, select the Network tab and paste the YouTube video’s URL in the text box at the top, and then click Play at the bottom

play

Step 6: Now that the video is playing, select the Tools tab in the top bar, and then select Codec Information.

Tools Codec Information

Step 7: Triple-click on the Location bar at the bottom of the window to highlight the entire text. Right-click and select Copy.

Location window highlight text

Step 8: Go back to your browser and paste the text into the url bar. The video will appear. Then right-click anywhere on the video and select the Save As option to download the file as an MP4 (or your format of choice)!

click save as to download mp4 file

A quick note: if the process above doen’t work for you (usually around Step 6), make sure that VLC is running on the most recent version. You might to do a full re-install of VLC if the issue persists after updating.

With Hootsuite, you can schedule your YouTube videos and easily promote them across multiple social media networks from one dashboard. Try it free today.

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Grow your YouTube channel faster with Hootsuite. Easily moderate comments, schedule video, and publish to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Social Media Sentiment Analysis: Tools and Tips for 2022

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How do people feel about your brand — right now? This question may seem basic. But it can be critically important for marketers, as it should inform every aspect of your content and marketing strategies.

Social media sentiment analysis gives brands an opportunity to track online conversations about themselves and their competitors in real time. At the same time, they gain quantifiable insights about how positively or negatively they are viewed.

Social media sentiment analysis makes sure you know how every brand choice affects brand loyalty and customer perception.

It may sound complex. But there are plenty of tools to help you gather and analyze the social data you need to understand exactly where your brand stands.

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Bonus: Get a free social media sentiment report template to easily track audience sentiment over time.

Social media sentiment analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing information on how people talk about your brand on social media. Rather than a simple count of mentions or comments, sentiment analysis considers emotions and opinions.

Social media sentiment analysis is sometimes called “opinion mining.” That’s because it’s all about digging into the words and context of social posts to understand the opinions they reveal.

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Measuring social sentiment is an important part of any social media monitoring plan.

In the section below, we get into some powerful tools you can use to help make social sentiment analysis faster, easier, and more accurate.

But if you’re not yet ready to invest in specialized social media sentiment analysis tools, you can get started with a bit of extra research.

1. Monitor your mentions

The first step of social media sentiment analysis is to find the conversations people are having about your brand online. The challenge is that they won’t always tag you in those conversations.

Fortunately, you can set up Hootsuite streams to monitor social channels for all mentions of your brand, even when you’re not tagged. Here’s how to collect them all in one place.

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In the Hootsuite dashboard, add a stream for each of your social accounts. This will track the mentions where people tag your accounts on social.

Hootsuite Streams mentions

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You might want to organize all of your Mentions streams into a Social Mentions board to make them easier to view at a glance.

On some social media platforms, you can even track the posts where you’re not tagged:

  • For Instagram, you can monitor hashtags related to your products or brand name.
  • For Twitter, you can use hashtags or keywords.

Be sure to create streams for your brand name and your product or service names.

add stream on different social accounts

Again, a board can be a helpful way to organize all of these streams on one screen.

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For more details on getting set up to track your mentions, check out our full post on social listening tools.

2. Analyze the sentiment in your mentions

Next, you’ll look for terms that indicate sentiment within your mentions. Think about the kinds of positive or negative words people might use to talk about your brand. Examples might include:

  • Positive: love, amazing, great, best, perfect
  • Negative: bad, awful, terrible, worst, hate

There will likely be other terms specific to your product, brand, or industry. Make a list of positive and negative words and scan your mentions for posts that include these terms.

For Twitter, you can set Hootsuite up to do some of this work automatically. In the dashboard, create a search stream using your name plus 🙂 to indicate positive sentiment. Then create a search stream using your name plus 🙁 to indicate negative sentiment.

See also  24 Gen Z Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2022

add Twitter stream with positive sentiment

If you’re tracking sentiment manually, keep in mind that you need to watch out for the context. Is someone being sarcastic when they say they had “the best” customer experience with your brand?

3. Calculate your social sentiment score

You can calculate your social sentiment score in a couple of ways:

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  • Positive mentions as a percentage of total mentions
  • Positive mentions as a percentage of mentions that include sentiment (removing neutral mentions)

Which method you use doesn’t really matter, as long as you are consistent. That’s because the most important thing to watch for is change.

The second method will always result in a higher score.

As we just said, Hootsuite is a powerful tool for collecting the data you need for sentiment analysis. These tools take things a step further by providing that analysis for you.

1. Hootsuite Insights Powered by Brandwatch

Hootsuite Insights powered by Brandwatch allows you to use detailed Boolean search strings to monitor social sentiment automatically. You’ll also get word clouds showing the most common words used to talk about your brand. Plus, charts that benchmark your social sentiment against your competitors.

In addition to positive and negative sentiment, Hootsuite Insights tracks specific emotions, like anger and joy, over time. This allows you to look for sudden changes, or ongoing trends. You can also filter sentiment by location or demographics, so you can see how sentiment varies across your audience. There’s also an AI analysis option to automatically identify the causes of significant changes in sentiment.

Alerts are another handy feature that allow you to be notified if there’s a sudden change in sentiment. Then you can get ahead of any issues before they get out of control.

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2. Metionlytics

Mentionlytics’s pitch is: “Discover everything that is being said about your brand, your competitors or any keyword.”

You can broaden the scope of your search to see what people are saying about your brand all over the internet. There’s a built-in sentiment analysis feature that works in multiple languages.

3. Digimind

Digimind identifies and analyzes all the relevant conversations about your brand and competitors.

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It pulls information from more than 850 million web sources, so you know you’re getting a comprehensive view of sentiment toward your brand.

You can also analyze mentions and apply filters to highly customize your sentiment analysis process.

4. Crowd Analyzer

Crowd Analyzer is an Arabic-language social listening and sentiment analysis tool. This is especially important for brands with an Arabic-speaking target audience. Other social sentiment tools do not generally have the capability to recognize sentiment in Arabic posts.

Crowd Analyzer sentiment analysis tool

Source: Hootsuite App Directory

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5. TalkWalker

TalkWalker gathers information from more than 150 million sources. The tool then uses artificial intelligence to analyze sentiment, tone, emotions and much more.

Our social media sentiment report template provides the structure you need to create an impactful report to share with your team.

To use the template, click the File tab, then click Make a copy. This gives you your own copy of the template you can use every time you need to create a new social sentiment report

Bonus: Get a free social media sentiment report template to easily track audience sentiment over time.

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3 ways to improve your brand sentiment on social media

The benefits of tracking social media sentiment are a little bit circular. For example, tracking social sentiment helps you better understand your audience, which in turn helps you improve social sentiment.

See also  Amazon Associates: How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate

So, if you were paying attention to the benefits section above, these strategies might sound a little familiar…

  1. Know your audience: When you know your audience well, you can craft messaging that connects with them. Basically, it boils down to this: Give your audience more of what they want and less of what they don’t.
  2. Engage: Respond to comments, mentions, and direct messages. Maximize positive interactions while providing a quick resolution to any negative mentions.
  3. Play to your strengths: Use social sentiment to understand what your audience thinks is great about your brand — and what they think is not so hot. While you work on improving the lagging areas, play up your strengths. Provide value while remaining true to your brand identity.

A simple tally of your social mentions only tells you how much people are talking about your brand online. But what are they saying? Social media sentiment analysis helps you answer this question.

After all, a high number of mentions might look great at first glance. But if it’s a storm of negative posts, it might not be so great after all.

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In July, BMW’s social mentions spiked — but the engagement was not positive. Confusion ran rampant about a planned decision to sell subscription services for in-car functions. The Tweet that really set things off got nearly 30,000 retweets and 225,000 likes.

This is wild — BMW is now selling a monthly subscription service for heated seats in your car.

• Monthly fee: $18

• Annual fee: $180

The car will come with all the necessary components, but payment is needed to remove a software block.

Welcome to microtransaction hell.

— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) July 12, 2022

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If the company had just been counting mentions, they could have thought they’d done something very right.

But the sentiment behind this increased activity was primarily negative. BMW was forced to clarify its subscription plans.

Let’s talk heated seats… ⤵️

— BMW USA (@BMWUSA) July 14, 2022

Here’s why your brand needs to track social sentiment.

1. Understand your audience

Marketers do their best work when they understand their audience. That means you need to understand how your audience feels about your brand, your social posts, and your campaigns, not just how much they mention you.

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For example, White Castle used social listening and sentiment analysis to discover that their customers have a positive association with the very specific experience of eating White Castle sliders while watching TV in bed.

With this knowledge in hand, White Castle featured a couple eating sliders in bed in their next campaign.

White Castle couple eating sliders while watching TV in bed

Source: White Castle ad via eMarketer Industry Voices

Ongoing social media sentiment analysis can also alert you quickly when customer preferences and desires change.

2. Improve customer service

Monitoring sentiment provides two major benefits for customer service and support:

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  1. It can alert your teams to any new or emerging issues. You may even learn about issues with a particular product run or product. You can then prepare your team, or even create social content that addresses issues directly.
  2. You can proactively reach out to people who may be having a challenging experience with your brand. A simple response or follow-up can often go a long way to resolve a customer issue before they even contact your team.

In this example, Adobe’s Twitter customer support team was able to resolve an issue and leave the customer happy even though they were not tagged.

Feel free to reach out whenever needed. Thanks. ^RS

— Adobe Care (@AdobeCare) September 26, 2022

3. Tweak brand messaging and product development

By following trends and investigating spikes in positive, negative, or neutral sentiment, you can learn what your audience really wants. This can give you a clearer idea of what kind of messaging you should post on each social network.

You may even gain insights that can impact your overall brand strategy and product development.

For example, Zoom monitored their social sentiment to uncover the biggest negative myths about their product. They then created a series of TikTok videos to bust those myths, improving customer confidence.

@zoom

Just facts. ✅ #zoom #fyp #facts

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♬ original sound – Zoom

They also created a series of “Pro Tips” videos to answer the most commonly asked questions on social, thereby reducing the workload for the customer service team, while highlighting new features. Some of the ideas for new features even came from social listening and analysis.

@zoom

Answer @im_siowei giving the people what they want ✨ @Matt Head #zoom #focusmode #zoommeeting #fyp #december

♬ original sound – Zoom

4. Understand where you stand in your niche

Brands cannot be all things to all people. Social sentiment can help you understand where you stand in your business niche. This, in turn, can help you reach the right audiences with the right messages at the right time.

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For example, the production team at the media company Underknown launched a YouTube channel called “According to Science.” They told stories based on scientific research. But after 60 videos, the channel wasn’t growing.

After analyzing their data, the team realized that videos focused on survival got the most positive response. They tweaked their entire strategy and launched a new channel called “How to Survive.” The channel gained a million YouTube subscribers in only 18 months.

When they discovered their most positive responses came from Americans aged 18 to 34, they further adapted by creating short videos that live on TikTok and regularly get more than a million views.

@howtosurvive.show

Let’s see if this video stays up 😵‍💫 #HowToSurvive #SurvivalSkills #DoNotAttempt #educationalpurposes #Survivalist #FloridaMan #Crocodile

♬ original sound – How to Survive

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Social media sentiment analysis can also help you understand in which areas of your business you really excel, and what you might need to improve.

5. Spot brand crises early

You never want your brand to fall into a crisis. But if it happens, monitoring social sentiment can help you spot the problem early. You can implement your crisis response plan to minimize negative sentiment or avoid it entirely.

In the BMW example above, the car company took 48 hours to reply to the heated seats controversy on Twitter, and another day to get an official statement up on its website. By then, the issue had gained significant media coverage, making it harder for BMW to undo the damage. Had they responded within the day, they might have been able to correct the narrative before it got out of control.

Setting up automatic alerts for spikes in mentions and sentiment is an important early-warning system for brand crisis management.

Track social media sentiment—and manage all your profiles—from a single dashboard with Hootsuite. Schedule posts, respond to comments, measure performance, and more.

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Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media toolkit. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

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