The Thanksgiving season is one of the biggest retail events of the year, comprising the day itself, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. We looked at the top content for the period last year so you can prepare for 2018.

It marks the beginning of the countdown to Christmas, with the NRF estimating that consumers will spend an average of more than $1,000 per person between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with 55 percent of that coming online.

As such, it’s important you get your content right, and there’s room for success, with Thanksgiving and holiday content driving 26.5 million engagements last year.

So it’s safe to say Thanksgiving and the surrounding holidays are an important time for brands and publishers alike. 

The right blog or Facebook post has the capacity to drive consumers to your website in search of those coveted Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

We took a deeper look in our latest report into the content that gets produced over the holiday weekend and the engagement that it drives. 

Thanksgiving content on the web 

As these charts show, Thanksgiving content goes viral at different times in different places.
For Facebook engagements, content tends to go viral in the last few days before the holiday, as the content machine switches on and starts producing content for the day.

For Pinterest it was somewhat different. That’s because, as we’ve seen before, the content that people pin on Pinterest is often recipe-based, especially around the holidays, and people tend to start preparing a couple of weeks in advance.

And while the top publishers overall tended to be mainstream publishers,  that was not the case for Pinterest engagements to web content.

On Pinterest we saw a very different pattern, with all of the stories being based around recipes.
Surprisingly, despite its success on Facebook as a Page, not all of the top recipes on the platform came from Delish, with the powerhouse recipe publisher only appearing once in the top ten Thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest.

Indeed, many of the top recipes came from smaller websites and recipe-focused blogs, with the top story for the month on Pinterest coming from Real Housemoms. This was a recipe for pecan pie brownies that drove more than 60,000 engagements, more than the vast majority of stories achieved even on Facebook.

This goes to show the power of Pinterest for food content, with all of these top ten articles garnering tens of thousands of pins, showing once again that it’s not all about Facebook.
Most of the recipes were for savory items, with a couple of sweets sprinkled in for good measure.

Giving Tuesday on the web and Facebook

Giving Tuesday was a slightly less successful holiday in terms of content engagement, but still did particularly well on Facebook.

There was a huge difference between web content and Facebook native content in terms of engagement for Giving Tuesday.

Most of the top web content is either about heart-warming stories related to charitable giving or charities asking for donations and offering gifts being doubled or tripled.

None of the articles garnered more than 10,000 Facebook engagements, however.

As we can see in the chart below, however, Facebook is an extremely different story, with all of the top ten posts for the charitable donation day garnering over 10,000 engagements, from a mix of native videos and photos.

It was a mix of celebrities and brands partnering with charities to maximize donations for the day.
Some notable success stories included Uber, the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and South Park’s Page, which garnered more than 370,000 engagements by offering the chance to meet creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in exchange for encouragement to donate to NEXT for autism.

In the rest of the report, we cover a number of other factors, including:

  • Analysis of what does well around holiday content, across both web and Facebook 
  • Which of the days across the holiday period drives the most engagements
  • When content engagement around Thanksgiving tends to begin 
  • Who the top publishers were around Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday

For more, download the full report now

Benedict Nicholson

Benedict Nicholson is the Managing Editor at NewsWhip. An Englishman in New York, he is interested in the intersection of PR, brands, and journalism, and the trends and innovation around that.

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