Black Friday vs Cyber Monday – The Social Media Winners
Who needs to worry about a continuing global recession and ongoing widespread economic meltdown? Not to mention worldwide anti-government protests, general civil unrest and an air of doom and gloom so thick you can hardly see who’s been kicked off X-Factor on a cold Sunday evening? Yes, who needs to worry about these things when we have worldwide consumer mega-bonanzas like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to keep us distracted and keep us busy with frantic bargain hunting in the run-up to Christmas.
Traditionally, Black Friday is the Friday after the American Thanksgiving. It officially marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period, (although the ads would have us believe this starts in late October) and stores across the country, and more recently, worldwide, offer a huge range of discounts and money-saving specials for ‘one day only’. It’s hugely popular and is seen as the biggest shopping day of the year.
In recent years Black Friday has been directly followed by Cyber Monday which is essentially the same thing only for e-commerce. For stores that exist solely online, for the stores that want to continue their Black Friday boom into another week, and for those of us confined to shopping from our desks during work hours; Cyber Monday is our Black Friday.
We looked at these two shopping days in terms of how they were talked about in social media. Social media marketing comes hugely into play when dealing with a day dedicated to online sales and if social networks represent the online version of physically hunting from store-to-store for bargains, bumping to people and recommending finds along the way, then it would be interesting to look at the amount of online conversation around each day.
It would appear that Black Friday is still the king when it comes to ‘huge worldwide shopping days with cool names’. It was mentioned online over 4 times more than Cyber Monday, and had an 80% share of voice when compared to its e-commerce counterpart. The chart above shows the trend and frequency of mentions over the days ranging from Thursday 24th to Tuesday 29th, and clearly shows the dominance of Black Friday in online noise.
Of course Black Friday includes e-commerce as well and was extensively promoted online. Add to this the mobile element of people tweeting and checking into retail stores about the deals they’ve found and bargains they’ve bought, and it could go some way to explaining the extent of the larger share for Black Friday.
The share of media for each day looks mostly similar with Twitter making up 90% of noise around each day. There’s more news and blog articles about Black Friday as it was more widely reported on, and forums score relatively highly as sites like MoneySavingExpert are hugely popular with shoppers looking for a bargain or voucher code.
But with such massive opportunities for widespread selling, the brands themselves were all over both days, trying to direct money-waving shoppers their way and seriously bump up those Christmas sales figures. So which brands had big wins?
The word cloud above shows the most common associated words when Black Friday was mentioned. The brands that appear are Apple and Amazon, who were widely reported as having hugely successful days, and also Nintendo and Walmart. Although Walmart could attribute at least a portion of those mentions to the story of the crazy Walmart shopper who decided to use pepper spray on fellow shoppers that were blocking her access to cheap electronic goods. It’s worth bearing in mind that these brands show up in the top 50 most mentioned terms amongst over 3 million mentions, which is incredible exposure for a brand.
The Cyber Monday word cloud has more of an electronics feel with both Samsung and Canon being big winners with camera and HDTV sales. But again Amazon shows up, and it would seem that their new cheaper Kindle is one of the big gift items this christmas, (note the words ‘paperback and ‘hardback’ are nowhere to be seen..). Black Friday also appears in this word cloud suggesting that the ‘day’ itself seems to be spreading beyond the weekend and taking a bite of the Cyber Monday apple. In a few years it wouldn’t be surprising to see this Christmas shopping spree spread even further into the week with things like ‘Tradeshop Tuesday’, ‘Winter Sale Wednesday’, and even ‘Thoroughly Broke Thursday’.
And speaking of being broke, I’ll sign off with a final graph relating to our shopping study and my somewhat downbeat opening paragraph. The chart below shows the total social media mentions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and also global mentions of ‘recession’.
Testify Digital – The Social CRM Agency