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Which Retailers Are Poised to Win Black Friday?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means social media timelines and feeds will be filled with pictures of family, friends, football and pumpkin pie. Fast forward a few hours and you’ll start to see photos of shopping bags, BOGO sales and lines longer than Disney World’s.

Black Friday is considered to be the busiest shopping day of the year and the start to the Christmas shopping season. Interestingly, the name was first created in 1966 after so many people went out to shop that it caused traffic accidents and even violence, according to U.S. Economy. However, retail stores used the name to signify accountants using black ink to indicate profit to add more of a positive connotation.

During this unofficial holiday, consumers go crazy and we were curious to see which retailer was stirring up the most social media commotion prior to the big day. Will this predict who has the best turnout? We wanted to find out.

We chose six popular retailers that are known to make the biggest mark on Black Friday; Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us. We utilized our new Workflow feature to take the workload off of our hands (phew!) and tag pieces of content as they came through Zoomph for rich analysis.

Here are some insights we pulled in utilizing our platform features:

  • Walmart has seen quite a positive around their Black Friday promotional event back on November 19th
  • Target seems to be reaching a majority of white millennials across both genders
  • Kohl’s received the most engagement overall (27.9K posts). Interestingly enough, a lot of men engaged with the brand because they were hosting an XBox Kohl’s Sweepstakes campaign
  • Macy’s had the largest Hispanic engagement (20%) and the most women engaging with the brand (73%)
  • Best Buy, not surprisingly, is getting the most male attention (50%)
  • Toys “R” Us is getting a lot of attention from Mommy Bloggers

Total Activity

Tech items are always known for being the first products to fly off the shelves on Black Friday, so it’s no surprise that Best Buy is getting a lot of attention on Twitter. The retailer collected a total of 11.2K tweets and a social impression total of 80.1 million.

However, Kohl’s seems to be getting more engagement overall once they launched their Xbox KohlSweepstakes. Kohl’s completely trumped its competition by a long shot with 27.9K total tweets.


Looking a little more into Kohl’s, we noticed that the brand was at the top of the list for indirect mentions and after filtering by gaming in the industry section, Xbox seemed to have 8.3K indirect mentions. The indirect mentions came from the Kohl Sweepstakes where consumers were urged to retweet a post from their handle to win an Xbox for a loved one for the holidays.

Associations 1

Emoji Report

Our new Emoji Report is a great tool to compare trending emojis side-by-side within your feed. In this case, we were able to find that the star was one of the most commonly used emojis between all brands in relation to Black Friday. When taking a closer look, we found that the vast majority of those posts were trying to replicate Macy’s star logo and included mentions of Macy’s star-studded Black Friday commercial.

Emoji Report

Sentiment Analysis

Walmart also made a huge social splash with the second most direct mentions. Their pre-Black Friday promotion, #TechTheHalls, featuring Hewlett-Packard (HP), consisted of a live stream with Q&A session where consumers could learn more about HP and Windows products. This partnered event was definitely an innovative Black Friday promotion that encouraged shoppers to pick up these products to fulfill holiday wish-lists. It even sparked a lot of positive sentiment leading up to, and throughout the livestream on November 19th at 4:00pm.

Tech the halls



While Target hasn’t done much early promotional events themselves, it looks like they’re going to seeing the same demographic walk through their doors the day-of. According to our Comparison feature, both retailers seem to be attracting the same demographics on social media. We compared Target’s male and female consumers to each other and saw that each gender has an almost identical generation and ethnicity breakdown with millennials and whites as the majority of consumers tweeting about the brand.

Comparison - Edited



Who has the most influence over the ToysRUs brand on social? Mommy Bloggers, FTW! When searching for #ToysRUs in our feed, the brand influencer list was flooded with moms from across the country that were promoting Toys “R” Us’ Black Friday deals. Toys “R” Us’ gender breakdown was predominantly female and white (83%)

Mommy Bloggers - Influencers

All in all, after doing some deep social listening using our platform features, we found that each brand that we tracked was performing strongly in one aspect or another. But will this predict how much UGC they will generate day-of? Check back after the holiday to read part two!

Note: The data for this analysis was pulled from November 17th 2015 until the morning of November 25th 2015, when this blog was published.
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