Research Outline

Social Media Use During the Holidays


To understand how and how much people use social media during the holiday season.

Early Findings

  • Facebook reports it has seen an increase by 26% of posts over the holidays (November-January 1st). Video is the segment that increases the most during this time period.
  • 80% of Facebook posts during the holidays are from mobile.
  • Facebook has a robust interactive website giving detailed breakdowns of social media trends from November to January 1st. Unfortunately, the data is from the 2015 season and has not been updated for more recent years. Valuable highlights include conversation increases around shopping, planning and to do lists happen at the beginning of November; Black Friday buzz generally begins about 4 days prior; people talk about New Year's Resolutions the day before Christmas; Christmas is the most active day with over 800 million related posts; and New Year's Resolutions make up 34% of the conversation between December 22-January 9.
  • People surveyed by Facebook gave these as their 5 engagements with the platform during the holiday season: to send greetings, to share experiences (photos, moments, etc), to get inspired by products shared by others, to seek advice about gifts and to get inspiration for shopping ideas.
  • For Instagram, the list is similar, though the order changes: to share holiday experiences, to get inspired by products shared by others, to send greetings, to get shopping inspiration and to watch holiday-related videos like cooking or how-tos.
  • 55% of survey respondents stated that Facebook was "influential" in their holiday shopping. 39% cited Instagram.
  • Retailers have stated they receive 75% more messages on social media during the holidays.
  • Black Friday's Twitter volume in 2017 was 2.6 million messages, higher than any previous year.
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