Back to school planning starts early on Twitter

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Although school isn’t quite out for summer, many of our clients are planning for back to school now. According to Twitter research, 45% of back to school shopping is done before August, so getting started on campaign planning and execution now can help free up more time for summer fun.  

As a kid, I remember how important it was to show up on the first day of school rockin’ a brand new backpack and the latest kicks (I’ve apparently always had a weakness for shoes). Not surprisingly, between students, parents and teachers, there is a LOT of conversation about back to school on Twitter. Last year, we saw over a million back to school related Tweets in Canada from July through September.

Canadians put their money where their mouth is too. Parents spent an average of nearly $472 on back to school items in 2016. That’s an increase of 44% versus the previous year (source: eMarketer, RetailMeNot, Canada, 2016). To put that in perspective, the average Canadian spent $503 on Christmas gifts (source: RBC and Ipsos ‘2017 Post-Holiday Spending Poll, Jan 2017).

With such a big budget, it’s no wonder parents want to get ahead of things and are doing their own homework - looking for promotions, browsing products, and looking for reviews and recommendations. For many, Twitter is their “cheat sheet”. According to our research, 2 in 3 users believe Twitter is the best platform to help with different back to school tasks (like finding deals/discounts, discovering/researching new items, and planning where they’re going to shop) and half say it is a good source for finding the latest trending back to school items.

That said, people on Twitter feel brands could be doing more: 2 in 3 wish more brands used Twitter to inform them about promos, deals, locations, etc. There are many opportunities for brands to tap into the back to school journey on the platform. Just to name a few:

  • Showcasing reviews (using products such as carousel ads) to drive more confident purchases
  • Inspiring consumers by highlighting new products and trends
  • Adding value by sharing exclusive deals and coupons
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Most Canadians do their back to school research online, but the bulk (84% overall and 79% among millennials) still plan to purchase in-store. While they may not be clicking to buy, it doesn’t mean the path to purchase is broken. Twitter also drives action: half of users say seeing back to school content on Twitter motivates them to start heading to stores.

As we know, the early bird catches the worm, so happy back to school planning (and Tweeting).  

For more tips on how to plan and execute successful Back to School campaigns, visit and follow @TwitterMktg.

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