It’s clear that social media is one of the best ways to reach millennials. Asked which sites or apps they spend most of their time on, 51% of millennial teens cite Facebook and 45% say Instagram. Yet retailers don’t always allocate ad dollars accordingly.

Target is an exception. The brand’s ambitious holiday campaign encompasses Facebook, Instagram, and for the first time, Snapchat. Social accounts for 12% of Target’s paid media spend this year, a 30% increase over 2014 and a historic first for the retailer.

“Holiday this year represents Target’s most ambitious social spend for a single campaign,” senior social media director Colleen McDuffe told Adweek.

In addition to leveraging Facebook and Instagram ads to promote its Wonderpack crafting kits, Target is venturing into Snapchat for the first time with a Thanksgiving-themed geofilter. From December 1 until Christmas, the retailer will release a new holiday-related geofilter every day.

That dive into social is nothing new: Target’s social skills helped the retailer rank fourth in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box. Target leads in its category on Facebook, garnering 85% share of voice among General retailers. Generating substantial engagement despite posting relatively infrequently, the brand achieves significantly higher reach than its counterparts except for Walmart.

Big Box brands' reach on FacebookTarget’s social dominance is illustrated by the cross-platform “Share the Force” campaign, which not only generated substantial engagement, but also linked social content to commerce. The campaign leveraged anticipation around the upcoming Star Wars film by launching a microsite for users to share Facebook and Instagram content; each page includes a call-to-action button linking to related products on the Target site.

The brand’s holiday campaign offers an even bigger opportunity to promote shopping through social. By spending more on those outlets, Target will be able to drive sales among millennial shoppers.


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