Sales and Events

Learning Outcomes

Use social media to announce a sale or event

Advertising a Sale

Considerations for announcing a sale or event are similar to announcing new products or services. You want to create interest and excitement around the sale. You can do this by either spotlighting the size of the sale or savings, or highlighting the reason for the sale: for example, you can highlight a big fifty percent off blow-out sale or you can highlight back-to-school savings.

Of course, these aren’t the only types of sales, but these are the typical ways you would frame a sale.


Perhaps one of the biggest sales of the year is any company’s Black Friday sale. Sales have begun starting earlier and earlier (with some “Black Friday Sales” starting over a week before Thanksgiving) as companies attempt to outdo each other in this sales space every year. In 2016, Patagonia, an outdoor clothing store, pledged to donate all sales made on Black Friday to environmental groups:

This tweet emphasizes that while they’re donating 100% during their Black Friday event, they also donate 1% of their daily revenue every other day of the year. Since their target customer base is made up of people who enjoy outdoor activities (and thus typically want to help preserve the environment), this tactic proved very successful for Patagonia.

That Black Friday, they brought in $10 million in sales (five times their expected revenue of $2 million), and they did, in fact donate all the proceeds.[1]

PRactice Question

Features to Increase Sales

There are, however, some unique features of various platforms that can help promote a sale or event. One such key feature is embedding a “buy” or similar button or link in a social media message. While some platforms, most notably Facebook, have actually killed its buy button, Pinterest’s is alive and well.

  • These buttons or links make it easy to buy right from your social channels
  • Consider “pro” or paid accounts where you can link a buy button or feature into your post

Visit Pinterest’s tutorial for building “product pins.” The process is relatively simple, and it’s worthwhile to emphasize the ease of Pinterest’s platform. From their website:[2]

To create a Buyable Pin from scratch, just follow the standard Pin creation process. As long as the Pin’s URL points to a product detail page at your online store, the Pin will activate as a Buyable Pin.

Interestingly, buy buttons are somewhat controversial and haven’t necessarily been successful on all social media platforms:[3]

A study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth reported that only 35% of millennials were likely to use buy buttons on Facebook and just 24% were likely to use buy buttons on Twitter. As of now [March 2017] both Facebook and Twitter have decided to drop social buy buttons altogether.

Assuming your audience has a Millennial or Generation Z component, and especially if that also cross-references to a female audience, using Pinterest’s and Snapchat’s buy features is probably a wise move. Snapchat’s percentage in the above graphic is small, but this data was taken in 2016. In a more recent 2018 article on prominent social media watcher Mashable, they argue that Snapchat’s brand and buy filters are that platform’s strongest feature:[4]

[Snapchat] launched a new form of branded lenses called “shoppable” lenses . . . , which allow brands to apply buy buttons and prompts to install ads directly into a lens. Think of it as Snapchat’s version of Instagram’s “buy now” ads.

  1. Kavilanz, Parjia. "Patagonia's Black Friday sales hit $10 million -- and will donate it all." CNN Tech. 29 Nov 2016. Web. 10 July 218.
  2. "Shop the Look: Product Tagging." Pinterest Help Center. Accessed 9 October 2019.
  3. Malone, Matt. "What Are Social Buy Buttons?" Gravitate Design. 10 Apr 2017. Web. 10 July 2018.
  4. Bell, Karissa. "Snapchat just proved why lenses are a bigger deal than Stories." Mashable. 18 Apr 2018. Web. 10 July 2018.