NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Social media has entered its "Cleopatra" phase -- that is, it's the new Queen of Denial.
Overall, life appears to be good on the digital frontier: Consumers spent roughly 20% more this Black Friday week than last, 24% of them used mobile devices. And the iPad became a retail sales portal.
But buried inside was a remarkable factoid: While overall social sentiment was positive -- chatter on Facebook (FB) and Twitter was optimistic -- direct social shopper referrals dropped steeply."Shoppers referred from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (LNKD) and YouTube generated 0.34% of all online sales on Black Friday," the intro to the IBM report said, "a decrease of more than 35% from 2011." And Twitter referrals -- not sales, but the actual inbound clicks from Twitter -- dropped from 0.02% last year to 0.00%. That's no typo. That's a zero -- almost incomprehensible for a service with roughly 500 million users. Not surprisingly, the IBM report set off a social media food fight. "Considering the massive flood of tweets, Facebook likes, and Bit.ly clicks that all of us at DataSift saw," wrote Rob Bailey, chief executive of this U.K.-based social media data mining firm, "I was surprised by IBM's findings and think they may have given marketers the very wrong impression that social traffic wasn't important for retailers." Twitter itself seemed to question IBM's results. Shane Steele, Twitter's director of sales and marketing, made a point of not commenting on the study to DestinationCRM.com, the New York-based industry market news service that covered the report. Steele said IBM did not reveal enough details on its methodology. So are investors looking at a social sales armageddon? To find out, let's pop open the hood on this baby and see what IBM has going on.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV