Social stats show one retailer is clearly besting another in the days before Black Friday.
When it comes to Facebook engagement before Black Friday, Target has been kicking the turkey stuffing out of Kohl's. For the new catch-all engagement rate called "talking about this," Target is currently charting at 665,000 to Kohl's 93,000.
Those Facebook numbers reflect activity generated by the brands since Sunday night. The brands have roughly equal numbers of Facebook fans/likes, with Target tallying 6.5 million and Kohl's at 6.1 million. Those numbers are important to note because they can greatly affect Facebook Insights' "talking about this" metric. In short, it's fairest to compare brands with similar audiences - Target and Kohl's, in this case - when evaluating the productivity of their engagement strategies.
"Talking about this" is a raw number that adds up various engagement types, including number of likes, number of Facebook user comments involving the brand, RVSPs, "@mentions" of a brand, Facebook Places check-ins, and photo-tags. All viewers can see the stat on the lower left-hand side of a brand's Facebook page.
And while audience size is a factor, so are the quality and quantity of posts by brands like Target and Kohl's.
Surprisingly, Target only authored one post on Sunday and Monday while Kohl's penned four. Two of Kohl's posts offered 10 to 15 percent off discounts. Target's lone message so far this week read: "Start planning your Black Friday… right… about…http://tgt.bz/6030R9mG".
People clicking the link are taken to an online weekly circular for Target's Black Friday specials. The post garnered nearly 2,500 likes and more than 600 comments.
Target fans/likes are constantly posting on the site, writing original messages every few minutes and engaging with a constant flow of comments, including by "liking" other comments. The Minneapolis-based retailer's social media team is continuously responding to questions and complaints posted by consumers. The CRM element to its strategy appears to be helping Target's "talking about this" stat.
While Kohl's audience hasn't been quite as active, the brand uses a similar hands-on CRM strategy to engage its audience, quickly reacting to posts by fans/likes. Its most popular holidays post this week drew more than 1,000 likes and over 100 comments.
Though ClickZ hasn't spotted Facebook ads from the brands this week, one probably can assume that both have targeted the site's users with paid promotions in the last few days. Theoretically, the effectiveness of those ads will also impact the brands' "talking about this" metric, which certainly favors Target over Kohl's so far leading up to Black Friday.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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