Holidays traffic floods brands with 40% more social messages

With the holiday season upon us, how can brands equip their social media response teams for the influx of messages they can expect?

Retailers are using machine learning to predict which items you’ll return

We love shopping using mobile devices, and this trend does not look like it is slowing down. According to PWC's global consumer insights survey for 2019, mobile-first shopping is on the up. It has increased by almost a quarter (24%) during the past year.

Over half of consumers (58%) say that social media directly influences their purchasing decisions. Businesses can expect an uptick of traffic -- around 40% more -- in social messages during the season. To take advantage of this behaviour, brands need to understand what to expect for the 2019 holidays.

A recent data report from Sprout Social analyzed over 144 million messages across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to discover how retailers fared in previous holiday shopping seasons, and what they can expect for 2019.

The company referenced data on social messages received and projected -- based on 29,546 public social profiles (13,049 Facebook; 9,418 Twitter; 7,079 Instagram) of active accounts between Jan. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2019.

Holidays traffic will flood brands with 40% more social messages zdnet

Sprout Social

The study found that In 2018, retailers saw an increase of 26% in average social messages received per day between January to October and the holiday months of November to December. The data projected that brands will see a 40% jump in traffic over the 2019 holiday months.

Even small businesses saw a 62% increase in average social messages during the 2018 holiday season. They are projected to receive 32% more messages per day through November and December 2019

For the first time over the past few years, there was a decrease in Twitter mentions of Black Friday on the day itself in 2018. However, as Black Friday deals start earlier each year, there was also an increase to 893,605 average daily Twitter mentions of Black Friday during the week of the holiday.

Holidays traffic will flood brands with 40% more social messages zdnet

Sprout Social

Countries outside of the US are also getting into the Black Friday selling spirit.

In 2018, Twitter mentions of Black Friday grew 80% year over year in France, whilst Brazil experienced a 72% YoY increase in Black Friday mentions. Over one-third of online Black Friday 2018 sales were made on smartphones, while retail traffic from social grew by 41%.

Facebook continues to be the consumers' go-to platform for interacting with brands during the holiday season. In November and December 2018, retailers received 55% more Facebook messages, posts, and comments per day compared to the rest of the year. 

Brands sent 53% more outgoing Facebook messages per month compared to the non-holiday months. This season, brands should anticipate an average of 45% more Facebook messages per day during the holiday period

Other increases that are predicted are a 12% increase in Instagram messages, and an 11% increase in Twitter messages in November and December 2019 compared to the rest of 2019.

Social engagement is key to brand success over the holiday period this year. Social listening is paramount too if brands are to learn information about products and services and use this intelligence to better their customer service in 2020.

It is vital to listen and learn -- to stop your customers from doing their holiday shopping at Amazon -- and keep them loyal to your business.

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