Originally on LinkedIn.

I am not a huge fan of #BlackFriday, or the marketing of it, the name alone worries me. But it was interesting to use this bastion of sales and its digital counter part #cybermonday, as a barometer to see how well Twitter is doing in the new arena of social ecommerce and sales. So how did Twitter do over both?

#Black Friday.

According to social media analytics firm Spredfast, Black Friday 2014 was the most social ever, driving more than 2 million Twitter conversations in the seven-day lead up to the day.

That’s more than twice the number from 2013, Spredfast said. But what about for Cyber Monday?


Preliminary Spredfast data indicates that it’s also driving record Twitter interaction, with 340,000 conversations in the seven-day period, a 75% increase in Twitter action over 2013.

Whilst the concept itself of CyberMonday, has also done rather well, perhaps with it’s better marketing and better customer experience, as reported in in America, e-commerce sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving hit $2.04 billion, up 17% compared to a year ago, according to analytics firm comScore.

Making it the biggest online shopping day ever, and the first to surpass $2 billionin sales. For the full five-day period, sales rose 24%, and e-commerce sales so far are running ahead of forecasts.

But is Twitter doing the selling?

Personally, from my understanding of social media and marketing, Twitter cannot win the social sale moment as it stands. And the figures go to prove this as Twitter does not have its own way when it comes to sales. As Martin Beck reports for MarketingLand, Adobe, which reported record online sales of $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, compared platforms for direct Black Friday sales and found:

  • Facebook had the highest average order value at $114.45,
  • Then Pinterest ($93.20)
  • And Twitter ($90.74).

However, all those values all represented an increase over 2013 with Pinterest up 16%, Facebook 7% and Twitter 5%.

Twitter ye not.

But will Twitter have the last laugh, with Twitter Wednesday its own day in the holiday season in Amercia, I kid you not. As Twitter Wednesday is growing in popularity as well by anticipating deals in advance of Thanksgiving.

“Wednesday is the biggest day for conversation around deals and sales and shows the most amount of mentions of #deals, #savings and #coupons,” said Russ Laraway, director of small business sales with Twitter. Twitter can help shoppers pinpoint immediate savings and specific deals with hashtags placed before keywords or phrases to categorize tweets. 

“If a business is having a sale on shoes, they might use #shoe #sale or #shoesale and by clicking on the hashtag you are given a list of all other tweets that reference those keywords, allowing you to view similar deals”.

With hash tags and mentions almost becoming a way of shopping in themselves, perhaps Manchester based Kwangl, are on to something. The idea behind this start up being that people who retweet or interact with a branded promoted #hashtag get rewarded, in essence a world’s first, as a company rewarding the public through truly interactive advertising.


It would be interesting to see what major players on the hashtag front think of it all – with firms like Amazon and Walmart reportedly being the key beneficiaries of the hashtag craze this year. With Amazon getting over 200,000 mentions and recording an impressive average response time of 13 minutes. Well within the hour range set up expectations… but not within a three minute moment.

Perhaps an automated gift like Kwangl have in mind, maybe of something digital could be seen as the electronic equivalent of getting a “cup of tea whilst you wait” or a glass of champagne depending on the offering.

Perhaps mobile games and over beautifully made time employment strategies will help. Which would make a very interesting moment for my old start up EnterMobile.

The future?

Who knows but with Amazon moving into hashtag commerce partnering with Twitter to launch the ‘#AmazonBasket’ a service that allows shoppers to add an item to their shopping basket simply by replying to tweets, you could see a hashtag commerce revival. Somewhat proven by how just last month Amazon extended this into a new feature that lets shoppers quickly add items to an Amazon wish list by replying to atweet with the hashtag #AmazonWishList.

As wrote Sarah Perez for TechCrunch,

“Indicating an interest in a product, evangelizing or opining on it fits in better with the way people use Twitter today. It’s easy to imagine users retweeting deals and product news from favorite merchants and adding the #AmazonWishList tag as a sort of ‘note to self.'”

We should not be #surprised that social commerce returns as reported in Adage, it’s a huge industry, with massive potential as

Gartner research shows that 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchasing decisions, but that influence is now divided across many social networks.Hashtags can unite and bolster that influence, while keeping campaigns simple and user-friendly. Given that social commerce is a $14.25 billion industry, the implications are huge.”

Perhaps all this #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday. malarkey, are more social than this old Brit thought…


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About the Author:

Dan Sodergren is a professional speaker and digital marketing trainer. He specialises in mobile and social marketing with ideas ranging from augmented reality, to RTB and back again. He trains companies and individuals in best practice on social and mobile marketing platforms, gets to talk about it all on radio and is even occasionally seen on the BBC. He even networks at launch events 😉

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