As U.S. retailers ramp up for post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping, consumers increasingly turn online to search for the best deals and make plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Since one of the top reasons for using social media is to receive deals and discounts, NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, took a look at online buzz about Black Friday and Cyber Monday over the past two years.
When do consumers buzz about Black Friday/Cyber Monday?
Perhaps not surprisingly, overall buzz for each shopping event peaks on the day of the sales, although the majority of buzz occurs in the days of November leading up to the events. There was more total buzz about the holiday sales in 2010 compared to 2009, reflecting the growing amount of buzz overall posted on blogs, message boards/groups, news sites, as well as Twitter and Facebook.
The share of daily buzz mentioning these sales was also higher in 2010: discussion of Black Friday peaked at 2.5 percent of daily buzz in 2010 compared to 1.9 percent of buzz during Black Friday 2009, a relative increase of 25 percent in the share of total buzz. In comparison, buzz about the Women's World Cup represented a 1.1 percent share of total buzz, illustrating the significant level of discussion about Black Friday represents. Buzz about Cyber Monday 2010 grew the most, increasing their relative share of buzz by 75 percent compared to 2009.
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday
Looking more closely at buzz between the two shopping holidays, an overwhelming majority of buzz was about Black Friday, which made up more than four out of five messages about the events in 2009. Black Friday buzz made up 79 percent of buzz about these topics in 2010, while Cyber Monday buzz represented only 21 percent of discussion. However in 2010 the share of buzz about Cyber Monday more than doubled compared to 2009, led in part by the increase in discussion about Cyber Week sales in addition to growing interest in the online shopping events.
Where do consumers talk about Black Friday/Cyber Monday?
As consumers try to share news about the latest sales, the majority of buzz about Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes from Twitter, where public posts made up 63 percent of buzz about these events. The majority of tweets are published on the day of the events themselves. Message Boards and Groups were also a popular venue for savvy shoppers to compare sales, representing 22 percent of online discussion about the shopping events.
Marketers trying to reach holiday shoppers ahead of time might also consider reaching out to bloggers; 2.1 percent of all blog posts in the week leading up mentioned Black Friday. Blogs were twice as likely to discus Black Friday/Cyber Monday compared to buzz from other sources. Posts on news sites also helped drive discussion, with 1.6 percent of posts on news sites mentioning Black Friday during the week of the shopping event.