For those of us that foresee Twitter becoming an increasingly important tool for brands and marketers, these numbers don’t feel right: Twitter only drove 2 percent of traffic on Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
According to IBM Coremetrics Report on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, social in general had a pretty limited impact on sales, although its influence has grown over the past year.
Social – meaning Facebook and Twitter in this instance – drove 0.56 percent of Cyber Monday sales this year, up from 0.41 percent in 2010. And it drove 0.53 percent of Black Friday sales this year as well.
The report went on to examine how the most popular social sites fared on each of these shopping days, and reports are grim for Twitter. While Facebook referrals accounted for 80 percent of social traffic to retail sites (not necessarily sales) on Cyber Monday and 69 percent on Black Friday, Twitter only accounted for a measly 2 percent on both days.
And social in general doesn’t stand out as a leading referral on either of these shop-til-you-drop days either. Compared to mobile – which drove 6.58 percent of sales on Cyber Monday and 9.84 percent of sales on Black Friday – social’s measly 0.56 percent of sales is nothing.
Twitter’s poor showing as a viable referral for these big shopping days is worrisome for the network. As the company attempts to expand its advertising solutions for brands – first by putting Promoted Tweets in everyone’s timeline in the summer, and more recently rolling them out in the UK – it needs to not only show that ads on Twitter see great engagement rates in terms of retweets or @mentions, but that they also show healthy click-through-rates and conversions. Because as much as a brand might enjoy having an engaged audience on Twitter, what they’re really after is what that audience represents – sales.