December: The Month To Be Jolly (Part 1)

The following article was written by Shih Hoon Yong (Research & Insight Director) and Jimmy Wang (Research & Insight Analyst):

Happy 2016!

Like you – we are recovering from massive food coma, the excitement of Christmas and ushering in the New Year. In Part 1 of 2, we will take a look at Christmas conversations in December. Next week, we will give you the scoop on the greatest regrets of 2015.

Across Twitter, Forums and Blogs, we found 158,303 conversations on Christmas-related subjects in Singapore. Out of this, 96% of the conversations were from Twitter.


Chart 1: Christmas-related Conversations in December 2015
In Chart 1, Christmas conversations peaked on Christmas Eve and declined sharply after Boxing Day. Almost 50% of conversations happened between 23rd and 26th December.

December Conversation Topics

Overall, Christmas conversations can be categorized into 3 buckets:

Gatherings & Activities

29% of conversations were about activities that occurred close to or on Christmas day. This included baking, parties with friends and families, as well as attending church services. Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay was quite a hit, attracting about 9% of mentions. Many also shared about company events, including year-end dinners and Christmas celebrations.

Greetings & Gift Giving

Christmas greetings and mentions of gift giving were found across platforms. On Twitter, 28% of greetings had outbound links to content on blogs and Instagram. Popular hashtags were: #Christmas #Xmas #Holiday #Greetings #December.

14% of conversations were on gift exchanges, where 7% of netizens posted their Christmas wishlists and 5% shared about the gifts they received. Others posted about gift ideas, gift shopping experiences and gifts they had purchased for themselves. However, only 1% shared about their charity contributions or intentions on Twitter.

Decorations, Fashion & Music

Netizens raved about Christmas ambiences and atmosphere, not only in shopping malls but also in offices and homes. The decorative lights along Orchard Road were mentioned in 35% of conversations and out of this, 77% were images.

Fashion and music also created some chatter. Netizens, mostly females, posted several #ootd pictures during Christmas. Many also got into the Christmas mood by listening to modern Christmas music by Taylor Swift, Michael Bublé, One Direction and Ariana Grande.

Emerging Consumer Segments

As Christmas day approached, there were a few consumer segments that emerged:

The Baker:

A self-proclaimed “foodie” who is fond of watching cooking shows like MasterChef. The Baker frequently bakes, but this peaks during festive seasons like Christmas or Chinese New Year. Enjoys taking pictures of food creations and sharing these on Twitter and Instagram.

Photography Level: Asian

The Gifter:

A person extremely generous with family members and friends (oh you lucky lot!). The Gifters feel happy about giving because they appreciate personal relationships or do so as a form of gratitude. Their gifts are usually meaningful or relevant for the receivers.

The Online Greeter:

A homebody who is busy with young children and possesses limited time for a night out with friends. Typically turns to social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to wish friends and family, as well as post about family celebrations.

The Social Butterfly:

Usually a young female who is still studying, or a young working adult who loves to stay in touch and communicate through social media. Tends to have a big following on Twitter or Instagram, usually because she is perceived as a fashionista with trendy OOTDs and “Christmassy” manicures.

What’s In It For Brands?

  1. Although Christmas is about giving and shopping for loved ones, it can promote self-indulgence and the increased need for gratification. Brands can create campaigns that tap into these psychological and emotional traits.

  2. Through social listening, we can discover popular hashtags and search terms. Brands can extend existing conversations, create new ones, or integrate these terms into content messages.

  3. Considering the number of time-strapped individuals, brands and companies should look into E-commerce offerings and customizable gifts during the Christmas season.

  4. With the revelation of key consumer segments, brands know whom to reach and in which space they can be reached. This helps marketing efforts be more targeted and strategic.

  5. With a better understanding of conversation peaks (i.e. Christmas Eve), brands can push content at the right time and increase engagement from fans.

Stay tuned for Part 2!