Social media marketers often suggest that word-of-mouth and engagement are the wellsprings of sales via their channels. So ClickZ News monitored Facebook's "talking about this" Page Insights metric for Target, Kohl's, Macy's, and JCPenney for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Purely from an engagement numbers standpoint, Target and Macy's appear to be early holiday winners.
With the two-month-old "talking about this" stat, we've compared the results of Target vs. Kohl's and Macy's vs. JCPenney, matching up the retailers because each pair has a similar number of Facebook fans/likes. In short, the more fans/likes a brand has, the bigger "talking about this" number it should garner.
The brands' holidays competition has looked one-sided so far in favor of Target and Macy's, based on an estimated average from the last several days:
Target – 600,000
Kohl's – 125,000
Macy's – 320,000
JCPenney – 40,000
Specifically, "talking about this" is a raw number that encompasses 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. Anyone can see the stat on the lower left-hand side of a brand's Facebook page.
Facebook hasn't publically broken down how the weight of each element factors into the "talking about this" tally. But if Target and Macy's are any indication, increases in likes/fans may significantly bolster the catch-all engagement metric.
Target now has 7.1 million Facebook fans/likes, while its competitor, Kohl's totals 6.1 million. Target's Facebook audience has grown by 600,000 in the last week alone, while Kohl's has remained roughly the same.
Macy's has picked up 300,000 fans/likes in the last week to brings its total to 3.3 million, while JCPenney has hovered around 2.1 million during the same period of time.
It's not clear if the number of posts authored by a brand greatly affects "talking about this." For instance, Kohl's has started 11 threads on its Facebook page since Black Friday, while Target - with its superior engagement mark - has penned only seven original posts. At the same time, Macy's has originated 18 threads since Black Friday while JCPenney has written and posted five.
Last Week to Save on SES London Tickets!
SES London takes place February 10-13, 2014. Learn to engage customers and increase ROI by distributing your online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Join the leaders of today's digital marketing & advertising industry. Find out more ››
*Saver Rates expire this Friday, Dec 13.
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.