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Not so excited to wake up at the crack of dawn and race over to the local mall to battle crowds for the best deal? Well, sit back down on the couch. Twitter and Facebook have given retailers new ways to offer loyal followers and fans exclusive deals and discounts right from the comfort of their homes (where there’s always a parking space!).
However, as anyone who has used social media knows, unless you take steps to organize the information flowing your way, the “noise” can become overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together some simple tips that busy people can use to stay a step ahead of the best deals this season.
Make a follow/fan list. “The key for shoppers is to identify the retailers they want to have an online relationship with, so they can effectively cut through the clutter,” says Vanessa Hartnoll, the global head of shopper insights at consulting firm Hall & Partners. You don’t want to follow so many brands and retailers that you’re overwhelmed with tweets and deals. Pick a handful—say, 15 or 20—to follow. Once you’re following them, set up a list that will aggregate the tweets from those retailers so you can see them at a glance.
Set up email folders early. FitForCommerce founder and CEO Bernardine Wu recommends that shoppers start a specific email folder for holiday offers and coupons sooner rather than later. She notes, “Retailers are offering deals earlier and earlier. Keeping a folder for deals and coupons will help you stay organized for when you are ready to buy.”
Delegate. Who says you have to be the only one on alert? Put your tech-savvy kids or husband to work on your behalf. Have them sign up to follow accounts of interest for the whole family. Put a contest in place to see who can save the most money on gifts using Twitter. (The winner gets a chore-free week!)
Follow that #! Often the simplest path to savings on Twitter is to regularly run searches using the Black Friday hashtags. Hashtags we recommend following: #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday.
Track the pros. Other sites do an amazing job at scouring Twitter, Facebook and even newspaper circulars for incredible deals and passing the info on to their followers. Just make sure they are verified accounts (not spam), and always double-check deals on the store’s main website. Some sites’ Twitter feeds to watch:
@black_friday_ad: Everything you need to know about Black Friday sales at virtually every major big-box retailer (and plenty of others, too). Links to a comprehensive website full of valuable offers. @Retailmenot: Amazing coupons for the likes of Sephora, Urban Outfitters, JCPenney and others. @blackfridayFW: FatWallet.com is a site that helps you search for and find the right things at the right price, right now. Its interactive database for all Black Friday deals is amazing. Its Twitter account also announces all of the Black Friday ad rumors as they go public.
Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are real women on a mission to help busy people get sanely organized. They cofounded Buttoned Up Inc. and have written two books about getting imperfectly organized: Everything (Almost) in Its Place and Pretty Neat. Got a question for Sarah and Alicia? E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.