Black Friday might be over but Facebook is encouraging consumers to continue to support Black businesses beyond the busiest shopping day of the year.
Colleagues on Facebook’s small business team Remi Ray and Rachel Hawk are the spearheaders of the #BuyBlack Friday campaign, a multifaceted way to celebrate Black-owned businesses impacted most by the pandemic. The campaign includes an ongoing gift guide in partnership with U.S. Black Chambers that allows visitors to shop Black-owned brands directly from the hub, a “Lift Black Voices” page spotlighting Black entrepreneurs as well as a #BuyBlack Friday Show hosted by comedian Phoebe Robinson and featuring celebrity entrepreneurs like Gabrielle Union.
“The program was created by Black employees and some really passionate allies who are really serious about making a real impact for these businesses,” says Hawk.
More than 40% of Black-owned businesses have shut down this year due to the pandemic. To further aid in recovery, Facebook launched a toolkit designed for Black business owners to maximize the use of social media in attracting consumers to their products. Facebook’s “Season of Support” initiative is also providing businesses with holiday marketing training and educational courses.
Hawk says that the idea first stemmed from the tragic death of George Floyd and the protests that followed, which motivated her to tap into perspectives of her fellow Black co-workers and take action. With the support of Facebook’s Chief Creative Officer Mark D’Arcy, she hosted a staff-wide hackathon aimed at creating innovative ways to champion the company’s diversity across departments.
“In this case we were thinking ‘how can we better show up for and better support Black small businesses?’” says Hawk. That eventually birthed Facebook’s #BuyBlack Friday campaign.
A larger #BuyBlack movement has picked up steam this year. On Instagram, the hashtag has been shared more than 2 million times. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg also announced in a blog post that more than 3.5 million people on the platform in the U.S. have joined new groups created to support Black-owned businesses since March.
Ray and Hawk hope it isn’t just a passing trend. “We do hope that this continues into next year,” says Ray.