Retailers are expected to see a 75% increase in daily social media messages during the last two months of the year. This is more than they saw from January through October of 2018, and about 32% more than they experienced daily in November and December of 2017, according to a Sprout Social analysis of messages across major social media platforms.
Large retailers of more than 1,000 employees are expected to generate 7,599 social message per day this November and December, more than 1,500 more than they experienced daily during the same two months last year, according to the Sprout Social study, which looked at more than 2.9 billion messages across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Sprout’s data also suggested that retailers will receive an average 65% more Instagram messages daily this month and next month than they did on the platform at the end of 2017.
Three years ago a Sprout study found that retailers failed to respond to 83% of their social network messages. Retailers can no longer afford to ignore their customers' appeals through these channels, as the volume of messages continues to grow, along with the importance of social channels for promotion and sales. That puts a lot of pressure on retailer marketing departments to respond to these messages, or at least give them some recognition.
That said, customers may be buying through social channels yet. A recent Sumo Heavy study showed that fewer than 20% of social media users purchased something through social channels. But, as retailers put in the time and effort to engage with individual customers through these channels, the sector may start to the percentage of social media shoppers climb.
Among the major social platforms, Instagram is seeing a surge in messages and relevance to the retail sector. Expected growth of messages to retailers during the holiday months via Instagram is especially impressive coming after last year, when there were 120% more daily messages in November and December than in the same time period in 2016.
Meanwhile, there has been some debate lately about the ongoing importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the supremely significant sales events they once were. However, Sprout’s data revealed that the Black Friday Twitter volume was more than 2.6 million messages last year, higher than either of the previous two years. It’s clear that consumers are talking about the shopping holidays, so retailers better be listening.