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In my 21 years on Earth, I have gone Black Friday shopping once. It was the worst experience of my life. Long lines and rude people aren’t exactly my cup of tea. Or coffee. Actually, I think I would just rather drink bleach than go Black Friday shopping again. Not only because of all of the chaos that arises, but simply because this horrid day brainwashes people into forgetting the true meaning of the holiday season.

However, for retailers, the holiday season means only one thing: big sales, baby. This monstrosity used to be limited to one day a year, but thanks to the Internet, retailers have been starting this circus early with social media campaigns, big-time contests and sweepstakes. Here are some of the best.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Dick’s Sporting Goods ran a campaign that began at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and ended at 5:15 a.m. on Black Friday, requiring customers to take a photo of one product in the store and post it to either Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #GiftsThatMatter. Ten participating customers will win a $500 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods. OK. Pretty cool, Dick’s.

Good luck to the brave souls who try to take pictures of products in the store as everyone is trampling on one another. I truly think you have a better shot of winning The Hunger Games. Get your Katniss Everdeen on, grab a bow and arrow from aisle 12, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Kohl’s

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Moving on, the Kohl’s social media contest is a lot simpler, since consumers don’t even have to leave their houses to participate. Just retweet their sweepstake posts to be entered in a raffle to win products from earrings to bicycles to bracelets to cooking systems.

But seriously guys, whatever will you do without this accent chair? Honestly though, this is a pretty great and simple strategy to engage participants who would otherwise not be out shopping.

Amazon

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Next in line is Amazon, who is hosting a sweepstakes in which you can win $2K in Amazon gift cards. That’s actually super dope. To enter, upload an original photo to Twitter or Instagram showing your excitement for the holidays. As a part of the entry, you also need to tag @amazon and #AmazonHolidaySweepstakes.

Honestly, I would totally enter this contest because Amazon is life and I could do a lot of damage with $2,000. But if you haven’t already guessed, I may be boycotting Black Friday, but participating in a campaign like this, with a pretty big incentive involved, is easy peazy. I could win $2,000 in my sweatpants from my bedroom.

F.Y.E.

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F.Y.E. is mixing it up a bit and is actually encouraging you to talk to people to win stuff. Follow their Twitter accunt (@OfficialFYE) and RSVP by tweeting, “I will be attending @OfficialFYE’s Black Friday #TwitterParty on 11/25 at 3 p.m. EST! http://on.fb.me/1iXwI2m #BlackFridayFYE

All you have to do is nicely chitchat about Black Friday with everyone attending and you might be lucky enough to receive free prizes and electronics. It should go rather smoothly, unless, that is, you don’t win, curse everyone involved, and cause an unnecessary uprising within the Twitter community… I think it’s safe to say I’m a real sore loser.

 

Even though I’m not the biggest Black Friday fan, this day is really important to some people. But for those like myself, the ways that retailers have harnessed social media can make shopping a major relief. I hope these social media campaigns can help the otherwise Black Friday-adverse. Happy holidays, y’all!

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Gianna Leto

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