Black Friday: Top US Retailers Battle for Social Media Attention
Walmart begun its fight for Black Friday supremacy last week, when the world's largest retailer decided to match some of Target and Best Buy’s top Black Friday bargains. Since last Friday when the promotion took place, on to yesterday, when Walmart opened its doors to Black Friday shoppers earlier than ever, the company managed to drive shoppers' interest not only using traditional marketing and PR strategies, but also engaging them via social media, like never before.
On Facebook and Twitter overall, Walmart took 19.65% of the share of social media word of mouth, according to data revealed by Shareablee. The company scored a total of 823393 engaged actions by November 27, and keeps on counting today, as some of its best deals are still available in stores, and online.
Walmart competitors like Amazon, Nordstrom, Macy's, Toys ''R'' Us, Kohl's, Target, and others, were less engaged overall, each grabbing around 7-8% of the total share of social media word of mouth. Their total engaged actions lagged too.
While Walmart ranks absolute in terms of active audience on Facebook, the winner on Twitter is, however, Best Buy, activating more than double the re-tweeters and total actions on Twitter than any other brand. In fact, Walmart is upstaged on Twitter by three other competitors: Nordstrom, Target and eBay, managing only a 5th position in the top 10, followed by Lord & Taylor, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy's.
Still, Walmart's success on Facebook is outstanding, and its content strategy on the popular social network should serve as a model for other businesses too. The company's aggressive promotions are flawlessly presented, with image rich posts, detailed special offers, and engaging, compelling texts.
The same offers duplicated on Twitter, however, are not as successful - not because they are uninteresting, but because compared to other retailers competing on the social network, Walmart's tweets are poorly optimized.
Despite its success on Twitter, Best Buy didn't make it to the top 10 in terms of total share of social media word of mouth on both networks analyzed by Shareablee. Nevertheless, their content strategy on Twitter provides a very interesting case study on how to optimize tweets for special, seasonal promotions.
Social mentions, as well as sharing and retweeting, provide excellent data to measure brand loyalty for any business. In the case of the world's biggest retailers competing for revenues this Black Friday, while social word of mouth is not necessarily indicative of financial ROI, it is a critical tool to boost the ROI of PR.
Mihaela Lica-Butler is senior partner at Pamil Visions PR and editor at Everything PR. She is a widely cited authority on search engine optimization and public relations issues (BBC News, Reuters, Yahoo! Small Business Adviser, Al Jazeera and others), with an experience of over 10 years in online PR.
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