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Cyber Monday’s Meteoric Ascent

I’ve never been Black Friday shopping, but I like to imagine it’s something like a swarm of pre-teen girls hopped up on Redbull trying to be the first in line to purchase Justin Bieber tickets.  A swirling mass of bleary-eyed shoppers working off their tryptophan hangovers at 2 a.m. with the promise of discount televisions and ten-dollar seasons of Breaking Bad, ready to annihilate anyone who stands in their way.  Cyber Monday renders all of this rigmarole and physical danger obsolete, and in 2011 it eclipsed the profits turned in on Black Friday, hopefully spelling the extinction to the mob mentality that often accompanies this mainstay of cutthroat consumerism.

Sales turned in on Monday, November 28th were 17% higher than on Friday, November 25th, to the tune of $1.25 billion in total.  This massive number conveys the upward trend of consumers foregoing the deal-possessed hordes on Black Friday and instead conducting their shopping online, from the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.  Social media was an important player in this year’s Cyber Monday, with companies taking to their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds with discount proclamations as opposed to commercials and customary ads. 

Recent studies have indicated that social media marketing has surpassed traditional advertising; to the point that Cyber Monday’s growth actually mirrors Facebook’s growth.  This is no shock at all, as more and more corporations are abandoning the deserted marketing paths of old and adapting to more visible and cost-effective methods utilizing social media.  Allowing for customer interaction and a more personal experience, social media has proven a potent sales tool. 

Twitter trends and shares on Facebook allow for your product to essentially go viral; whether it’s a dirt-cheap toaster oven or your new book release.  Businesses’ spend an exorbitant amount on marketing themselves, and in years past most of this budget was allotted towards now near-obsolete means: billboards, radio and television commercials.  With the point and click convenience of broadcasting your product or brand via social media, you reach the customer quicker, more efficiently, and cheaper.

The success of this year’s Cyber Monday is a testament towards how the Social Networking Age has rewritten the business arena’s playbook.  Your holiday shopping can now be completed while browsing Facebook as opposed to in lawless shopping malls under the threat of a stampede.  With millions logging on and over a billion in sales on Monday, it shouldn’t be too much longer until Black Friday is finally waving the white flag. 

-Carter Breazeale

PR/PR Public Relations

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