Though “Cyber Monday” was already a painfully outdated-sounding term when the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org began using it as a marketing buzzword five years ago, the phrase appears to be sticking around, and Verizon Wireless grabbed a firm hold of it today.
Verizon Wireless bought the hashtag #CyberMonday on Twitter, which turns the term into a “Promoted Trend” that all users of the microblogging service see in their list of trends.
Thereafter, whenever Twitter users do a search for #cybermonday deals, the first result they see is a tweet from Verizon Wireless linking to one of their holiday promotions.
But the reason this is a wise move by Verizon is the fact that other retailers are using the hashtag. So whenever a retailer uses the term in their tweets to announce a sale today, Verizon stands to benefit. Tons of retailers and Twitter bots today have already pumped out tweets with the hashtag.
On November 21, 2005, Shop.org, a division of The National Retail Federation, put out a press release that called Cyber Monday “one of the biggest online shopping days of the year,” despite the fact that there really was no empirical evidence to actually prove that assertion to be true. Shop.org registered the domain name www.cybermonday.com on October 28, 2005, less than a month before the group unleashed the buzzword.
This year, more than 700 online retailers have their sales promoted on the site.
Since many online retailers this year are doing special sales for only one hour at a time, Twitter is proving to be a major vehicle for announcing these brief rushes. Retailer and Shop.org member Toys R Us, for example, is hosting a number of sales today which it has tagged with #cybermonday. By sponsoring that hashtag, Verizon Wireless is tying itself to Toys R Us, and all the other Shop.org retailers utilizing the term in their tweets today.