Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-1-13

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Thanksgiving Edition (Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Thanksgiving Edition
(Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Welcome to a special Thanksgiving edition of Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  As we have treated other major holidays, this week’s Sunday Musings have a holiday twist to them, covering off on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and this weekend’s Small Business Saturday.

#1 – 12 Thanksgiving Blogging Tips For Staying In Top Shape – via HeidiCohen.com 

Premise: With a Thanksgiving theme, Heidi Cohen puts together 12 tips to ensure your blog doesn’t become “overstuffed”, in order to keep your blog to task and to make sure it stays on track.  Similar to how we eat during the Thanksgiving holiday, many of the tips revolve around having too much; whether that be topics, categories, words, widgets, etc.

Thoughts: These tips aren’t just for helping your homepage load, they help make your blog/writing more appealing and interesting.  Focusing on a group of core topics and categories is important in building your audience.  I like how each of the tips included a short “Actionable Blogging Tip” – at the very least, read through these if you are writing a blog.

#2 – “Thanksgiving online sales up, mobile up – and Facebook converting 84% better than Pinterest” – via VentureBeat.com    

Premise: IBM is/was tracking millions of real-time transactions this Thanksgiving.  Data suggests that we are at least 10% busier vs. a year ago when it comes to shopping on the holiday and this is largely driven by smartphone usage.  Smartphones drove 23.5% of all online traffic, while tablets accounted for ~13%.  Total mobile traffic was up 31%.  iOS drove almost four times as much in sales vs. Android and Facebook drew a higher-value on orders vs. Pinterest.

Thoughts: It is pretty amazing that IBM was able to report these numbers on Thanksgiving afternoon – you may notice that this article was released slightly before 5pm on Thanksgiving Day.  The real-time reporting and actionability that is now available never ceases to amaze.  I would like to see how those iOS vs. Android numbers compare over time, to see if Android is closing the gap.  The biggest surprise is the strength in Facebook’s conversion to sales.  I imagine we will hear about those numbers in their next round of fiscal reporting.

#3 – “Brands Set Off on All Out Marketing Blitz in Race for Black Friday Sales” via BrandChannel.com

Premise: Research conducted by Shareablee tracked the top retailers when it comes to shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter.  Walmart dominated fan shares on Facebook, accounting for 27 of all shares, followed by QVC (9%), Macy’s (8%), and Nordstrom (8%).  Best Buy was the dominant retailer on Twitter, with 30% of retweets, followed by Nordstrom (9%), EBay (8%), Target (8%), and Walmart (6%).

The write-up then displays a number of tweets, Vine videos, and YouTube clips used over the past few days in preparation for Black Friday.

Thoughts: I was a little surprised by how much of a lead Walmart and Best Buy built on Facebook and Twitter respectively.  If you are the management team at Best Buy, don’t you now concentrate that much more on the content you are putting on Twitter?  How can they keep that level of engagement moving forward?  As we have covered in the past, Vine continues to mold itself into a key digital marketing ingredient for retailers.

#4 – “Why You Should Take Advantage of Small Business Saturday” – via Likeable.com   

Premise: Since its inception in 2010, American Express’ ‘Small Business Saturday’ has grown into a significant movement for … well, small businesses and communities.  In 2012, it is estimated that $5.5 billion was spent at local restaurants on Small Business Saturday.  Both shoppers and merchants see benefits of shopping at local businesses and the article provides several reasons to encourage this behavior (from the consumer standpoint).

Thoughts: What do you do to “celebrate” Small Business Saturday – share your experience on social media, check-in to geo-location apps, link your American Express card to social media accounts, etc.?  The map provided in the story and by Amex of participating restaurants and businesses helped us decide where to go to dinner on Saturday night in order to help support the movement.

#5 – AT&T’s TV Thanksgiving Commercial 

Thoughts: AT&T strikes again with another fantastic ad with the kids around the table / “focus group”.  We mentioned this a few weeks ago, but can we bring back Bill Cosby and “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?  This holiday ad took home the coconut custard pie for Thanksgiving advertising.  (That was bad …)

Tweet of the Week:

The ridiculousness of Black Friday (and/or shopping on Thanksgiving night?!) can be summed up by this video.  That isn’t to say that it is always like this, but the thought of seeing this in person is completely nauseating.  Not 24 hours after the Thanksgiving holiday, something like this happens?  Sad.

That is all for this week’s Sunday Musings – the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past seven days!  For those that have been celebrating this weekend, I hope you enjoyed it!  Remember to take a look at SaveThanksgiving.net!