- Black Friday-related terms and hashtags on Twitter had a total message volume of 1,982,019 and a potential reach of 27.5 billion between Nov. 20-26, per data from Sprout Social made available to Marketing Dive. Total engagements topped nearly 785 million, the group said. In terms of channels, 63% of the messaging came from mobile devices and 37% from the web; the split among mobile was 55% for iOS and 45% Android. The data comes from Sprout's tools for surfacing real-time social data from Twitter.
While there was a lot of messaging around Black Friday in the week leading up to the event, the day itself had the highest overall volume with 827,286 messages sent, representing 190,540,933 likes, 92,628,741 retweets and 9,230,69 replies, Sprout Social found. The largest number of message over the entire period came from the U.S. at 368,120 messages sent.
- Sentiment around posts on Twitter was 12% positive, 7% negative and 81% neutral. The most popular terms associated with positivity included Thanksgiving, shopping, people and deals and hashtags like #cybermonday, #giveaway and #deals. The top negative-related topics included Walmart, Trump and early shopping.
Black Friday may be centered around a largely brick-and-mortar shopping experience, but the sheer volume of messaging online and on mobile devices, in particular, points to where brands should be focusing their strategies if they want to drive excitement and foot traffic during what's often a critical sales period. While the overall volume is likely larger when all social platforms are taken into account, Twitter offers a relevant peak at social activity and sentiment for events that evolve in real-time, like the biggest shopping holiday of the year.
Sprout Social's findings line up with other recent analyses, including a report released last week from Adobe Analytics that stated mobile accounted for 61% of all website traffic and 46.2% of revenue on Thanksgiving Day. Shoppers placed 48% more orders on smartphones on Thanksgiving this year over last, Adobe said.
While promotions and brand messaging peaked on Black Friday itself, per Sprout Social data, marketing around the deals day should be a holiday season-long campaign that works to fully support new and prospective customers well into the new year.
"Brands who are in tune with their customer base also know that if someone buys Friday, their experience is just beginning — those shoppers are then taking to social to talk about the deals they scored, request customer service or ask questions about their orders, and engage with the brand around future promotions," Andrew Caravella, VP, strategy and brand engagement at Sprout Social, said in a statement.
Another interesting takeaway from the Sprout Social report is what consumers respond positively and negatively to in the messaging they receive. Early shopping netting a negative response points to how more shoppers might be planning their Black Friday approach to be more purposeful as opposed to simply lining up for door-buster deals — a trend that would be supported by the greater amount of research done online in the days and weeks before.