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I was curious about the enormous popularity around the trifecta New Moon opening, Black Friday pre-dawn sales and Cyber Monday events during the past few weeks and thought by measuring social media mentions and tracking the relative volume of search, we could better understand some of the popularity around each of the events and ultimately, online behavior.
- Mentions on social media (Blogs, Twitter & Facebook) tended to correspond with inquiries into search and vice-versa. (If you were mentioning it on your Twitter, you were likely to search for it in Google as well. This works as a general rule of thumb but as seen on 11/21, it isn’t always the case.)
- Twilight: New Moon had more cumulative mentions on Blogs, Twitter & Facebook than Black Friday but was short of the peak number of mentions.
Search interest in Twilight: New Moon was highest the day after the opening and not the day before. (There could be many theories why this happened.)
- Black Friday had an enormous amount of search inquiries before the actual Black Friday event. Despite a stream of mentions, search inquiries were more popular than mentions in social media. (This likely corroborates reports earlier this week that shoppers were very keen to research Black Friday and search for the very best deals.)
- Search fell dramatically after Black Friday on the 27th of November was over but social mentions continued for days afterward. (Again, there could be many theories why this happened but who doesn’t celebrate a $300 40” LCD TV?)
- Cyber Monday generated nearly a parallel amount of mentions as search engine inquiries. (The perfect silhouette in the graph should be taken with a grain of salt but does suggest that people do very little research for Cyber Monday.)
While this exercise is interesting it should be noted that social media listening is hardly a precision science (it’s almost like comparing vampires to werewolves). But a mashup of Radian6 and Google Insights does provide a glimpse into mindshare and some online behavior (for example, many of the Black Friday search inquiries were likely from people who are less active on social networks). The disparity between social media mentions and search inquires only again illustrates the need of a strategic plan.
Some notes on the methodology, data and the graph:
We created the graph by overlaying social media mentions from Radian6 with normalized data (by Google) from Google Insights from Search. Data was filtered for English, collected geographically worldwide and analyzed between November 4 and December 3 (Google Insights offered data until December 1).
Our social media data was outputted via Radian6 using the Topic Trends tool:
- Twilight Keywords: "new Moon" AND "Twilight", "Twilight", "New Moon"
- Black Friday Keywords: “Black Friday”
- Cyber Monday Keywords: “Cyber Monday”
Our Google Search data was outputted via Google Insights:
- Twilight Keywords: "twilight+new moon"
- Black Friday Keywords: “black friday”
- Cyber Monday Keywords: “cyber monday”
Download XML & CSV files
While the keywords could obviously be tweaked, inputting similar variations into both Radian6 and Google Insight provided nearly identical results.
For additional questions, please comment. What do you think happened?