Black Friday & Cyber Monday Drive Social Conversations, but it Remains Unclear if Social Conversations Drive Sales
Even with overall sales down from last year, this year’s Black Friday nevertheless saw strong growth in social media conversations. According to a Black Friday social trend analysis report from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, there were more than 2.7 million social mentions over the past 24 hours. Brand social mentions were led by Apple, Target, Kohl’s, and Walmart.
The company looked at daily trends in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday for an “up-to-date, comprehensive analysis on social and email trends.”
Figure 1 shows the top brands that drove the most social conversations on Twitter on Black Friday. Department store chain Kohl’s saw the most activity over the Black Friday weekend, which Salesforce attributed to the sweepstakes it held on Twitter for shoppers during the last week of November, which resulted in 500% greater engagement than usual. According to social media analytics firm Spredfast, the 2 million Black Friday related conversations that took place over the week leading up to Black Friday were double the conversations that took place last year.
It should be noted, however, that despite the increase in social conversations this year, they did not necessarily translate into more sales. In fact, according to a report from Adobe, sales that came as a result of social media only accounted for 2%, “which is flat compared to 2013.”
This also comes after Adobe posted record online sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year with $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion in sales respectively. On the other hand, IBM reports that social influence, via Facebook and Pinterest referrals, continued to drive brand loyalty and sales, with Facebook referrals converting online sales at more than twice the rate of Pinterest.
Despite the accumulative data, there’s still no concrete correlation between social conversations and sales conversions. Kyle Lacy, director of global content marketing for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, advises marketers to observe what’s taking place in real time and adjust their content and marketing strategies to meet the needs and changing preferences of consumers.
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