Whether you take part in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday, there are some great deals that you can find from local businesses both online and off. The addition of Facebook, Twitter, and Smart Phones have made the shopping experience more social and give the power of information back to the consumer. With a little help from social media, armed with a Smart Phone in hand, the savvy shopper is ready to hit the keyboard or store, whatever their preference.
Six Black Friday Social Media & Mobile Trends:
(and a few tips for shoppers!)
- Facebook Ads – Many big brands ran Facebook ads this year with a direct link to their Black Friday Sales Flier. It seems that Facebook made their real-time ticker show sponsored stories just in time. Since this change happened Monday, I saw when my friends liked “sponsored stories” from brands like Best Buy, Toys R Us, and Target right before the Black Friday rush, and “Liked” a few myself as a result.
- Exclusive Coupons for Facebook Fans – Many local stores are offering their Facebook fans sweet deals to say “thanks” for their loyalty or referrals. For instance, Factory Direct Furniture in Hutchinson has a “Facebook VIP” coupon with a $25 value. The Stash in Waconia is giving their customers a 20% off coupon for every new Facebook Fan they recommend. Check out your favorite stores’ Facebook pages before shopping to see if they are offering any “Facebook Fan Only” coupons.
- Mobile Coupons – Last year, a survey found that 4.5% Black Friday shoppers used their phone for Black Friday Shopping, and in 2011, 15% and more shoppers are planning on using their phone to find deals. The are some great Smart Phone apps for coupons, such as the Coupon Sherpa app which has valuable coupons for stores like GNC, Bath & Body, Dunham’s and JoAnn Fabrics just to name a few.
- Comparison Shopping Via Bar Codes/QR Codes – Ensure that your Smart Phone is equipped with an app that will let you compare prices from different offline and online retailers quickly. I use Red Laser which has worked great to scan items for more information, or to see if their price is competitive. Another clever use of QR codes this holiday season is the JCPenney Santa Tags – See the video of how it works here.
- Check-ins with FourSquare – If you have not been using your Foursquare account, now is a great time to start checking back in. Lots of stores have Foursquare check in deals for Black Friday including JCPenney, Aeorpostale, Toys “R” Us, and Macy’s. Foursquare has also teamed up with American Express to offer deals at hundreds of thousands small businesses on Small Business Saturday.
- Shopping Small – There were many big brands who have Promoted Tweets on Twitter, but one that stood out to me was the #ShopSmall Promotion - an extension of last year’s popular Small Business Saturday started by American Express. Their quest is to get people to pledge to shop small and it has worked. They are getting consumers and business owners talking about it all over the web. I was happy to see in today’s West Central Tribune, a cover story was about a local small business and the message of the national “Small Business” campaign.
Remember, there are many great local stores that sell online too, such as We Got Green, Clay Coyote Pottery, and Solid Rock Jewelry, just to name a select few. Gift certificates for the local theater, car washes, hair salons, or other professional services are also a great way to support or local economy.
How are you doing your Christmas shopping this year? Are you braving the busy department stores or keeping it more low-key with small businesses and online shopping? What other creative mixes of social media and holiday shopping have you seen?