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Social media evolves into key component of Thanksgiving weekend sales

A growing part of revenue over the holiday shopping weekend derived from social media platforms, with an increase in social commerce of 240 percent year-over-year, according to a report from MarketLive. Users also took to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to discuss brand sentiment, boasting both positive and negative feedback with 783,144 Tweets around Cyber Monday and 285,309 Tweets about Black Friday, as reported by Amobee.

“As consumers prepared to head into Black Friday, we knew holiday ecommerce was going to see a big impact from social,” said Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO of Monetate. “In particular, Facebook and Twitter saw big increases in shopping activity over last year.

“The data we collected shows that brands are making great strides when it comes to targeting social users on the networks they are actively engaging with, and compelling those people to click through and shop on their Web sites,” she said. “What is more, those brands are then delivering personalized experiences to those consumers to help incentivize their purchases.

“This is why social spending well exceeded 100 percent growth via networks like Facebook and Twitter.”

Buying social
With buy buttons coming to the forefront of mobile commerce, social media is becoming a key source is driving sales. Facebook users are spending an average of $151, taking the lead in front of Pinterest with an average of $110 and Twitter with $69.

However, it is not only direct revenue that social media played a part in this year. A great deal of conversations on social was related to brand sentiment regarding the holiday shopping weekend.

For instance, Target had a set back when its Web site could not handle the overload of traffic and the brand saw 29 percent of digital conversation surrounding the outages. PayPal also experienced a similar issue and saw 16 percent of all digital content engagement around the site on November 30 was related to the site being down.

Amazon was the brand most discussed in associationwith Cyber Monday, but Walmart was a close second with 59 percent as much Cyber Monday related digital content engagement on the day.

Digital awareness
General awareness surrounding Cyber Monday boasted a significant increase from 2015 compared to 2014. Last year’s digital sales day saw 48 percent more digital content engagement around Black Friday than around Cyber Monday.

However on Cyber Monday this year, the digital day prompted 35 percent more digital content engagement than Black Friday. But the latter still remains the most popular shopping day during Thanksgiving weekend with only 17 percent as much digital content engagement around Cyber Monday on November 30 as there was around Black Friday on November 27.

“2015 has been a breakthrough year for mobile shopping, and social has played a key-enabling role in the overall rise of mobile,” Ms. Duncalfe said. “As consumers spend increasing amounts of time in social mobile apps and mobile web, savvy marketers are re-evaluating their targeting strategies to prioritize these engaging avenues.

“It is already proven itself to be an effective method this year, as evidenced by the massive amount of online shopping sessions thanks to social and the increases in average order value through the likes of Facebook and Twitter,” she said. “It will be interesting to see how these trends develop as we near the middle of December and last-minute shoppers race to check off the items on their lists.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily