It’s hard to believe, but the 2009 holiday season is upon us. For the past several weeks, we’ve told you about companies gearing up for the holiday season. While the ‘official’ start to holiday shopping doesn’t begin until Friday, companies have been using the power of the Internet in order to attract customers. Black Friday 2009 will definitely be different from years past, as Twitter and Facebookhave become a regulare part of our everyday life.
I’ve gathered a number of places for you to check out for some of the best deals of the season.
1. BEST BUY
Best Buy always has some of the greatest deals of the year, especially when it comes to electronics. The company has been using its Facebook fan page, to promote ‘Holiday Fun’. Although the Facebook page hasn’t offered any specific deals for social media users, the company asked their fans several questions in order to figure out what gadgets and movies to put on sale Friday. Their page also offers an area for shoppers to create a wish-list, along with a shopping guide to figure out what to get for that someone who you can’t figure out what to get for them.
The company has also been working extremely hard promoting their Twitter pages. Yes, the company has a number of Twitter accounts designed for different purposes. The main Best Buy account, has linked several early deals for users, including a HP laptop for a low $197. If you have a question about an specific items or services from Best Buy, the best Twitter account to follow and reply to is @Twelpforce. They’ll even help you find a specific item, and are usually very good at responding to as many people as possible. And if you are always looking for a deal, Best Buy’s Deal Of The Day account would definitely be worth following. Each weekday, Best Buy announces at least 2, sometimes more, deals of the day, which could range from a DVD to that wonderful 50” plasma screen TVs. Last week, the company also released a few deals exclusive on the company’s corporate website, which won’t appear in newspaper ads later this week, even though some of those prices are live now.
2. Toys R US
By far, the most purchased item is almost always a toy, and although there will be no new versions of Tickle Me Elmo this year, Toys R US has been using Facebook & Twitter to promote their holiday sales. The company offered users who became fans of the company’s Facebook page before Monday at midnight, a list of the Black Friday Deals, before they will be published to newspapers on Thanksgiving. Leapfrog learning systems, Barbie and MP3 players will be among the top deals this year, when Toys R US stories opens their doors at midnight Friday!
The company’s Twitter page offers exclusive deals of the day. Today, you can print a coupon to save $25 off a 8GB iPod Nano (regularly $149), and you’ll also receive a $10 Toys R Us Gift Card, that’s really a $35 savings. You must purchase it today however, but over all, that’s not bad deal.
Toys R US is also encouraging consumers with cell phones to use their mobile friendly site, and those with iPhone’s to download their Free App.
Some people tend to avoid Wal-Mart because of the so called “crazy shoppers” taking over the store. While some may avoid it to stay away from the people of Wal-Mart, many avoid it because it can be just plan dangerous. Last year, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to his death on Black Friday, after a stamped of eager shoppers ran to snatch up those deals. Walmart has decided to change it’s Black Friday shopping hours this year because of last year’s incident opening at midnight, but won’t start the holiday deals until 5 am.
The company has several social media pages, however, it looks like Twitter will really be the only useful tool. While Wal-Mart’s Facebookhas a section dedicated to the holidays, it’s more geared to creating and sharing your wish list. No real deals have been given out to users, which is a bit of disappointment given how big Black Friday is with Wal-Mart. However, like Best Buy, the company has multiple Twitter accounts. The two most useful for users, are Wal-Mart’s Special account, which give out some great deals every day. They also have given users a link to take an inside look at how their store will look with individual store maps, so that shoppers will know where the door-busters will be located. Wal-Mart’s Check Out Blog, gives followers an inside look at deals the company is working on, and often shares deals before they are made public.
I’m most looking forward to getting some of my Christmas shopping done at Target on Black Friday, and I’m even more excited since seeing one of Target’s hilarious and bizarre 2-Day Sale commercials on TV yesterday. Target, like the other companies has a Facebook account and a few day old Twitter account. However, those sites won’t really be used this holiday season. That’s because the store recently teamed up with YouTube, to create ‘Holiday Solutions,’ a larget collection of videos offering everything from holiday party ideas to recipes, gift giving tips, and Target-specific holiday videos along with a Target gift guide. Sadly, that looks like all we are going to get from Target in terms of deals from the social media world.
Staples has been trying to get into the world of social media, giving their users a sneak preview of what items will be on sale Friday.
“We recognize that social media has become a growing channel, and that a lot of customers use it to stay on top of deals and bargains,” spokesman Mark Crowley said. “Second, it was an easy way to say thanks to our Facebook fans and Twitter followers.”
Kohl’s Department stores are always pushing sales, but their Black Friday Deals are always on top. This year Kohl’s has promised shoppers over 300 door-buster deals. That is quite a bit. Although Kohl’s is still working on becoming social media friendly, the company gave a promo code out exclusively to their Facebook fans earlier today. All shoppers need to do is, upon checkout, use the promo code: TURKEY15. Shoppers will then be able to take an additional 15% off the items they’re purchasing.
Surprisingly, as big as Apple is, their Facebook page, hasn’t been touched since September, and their Twitter accounts are kind of spread all over, with none of them confirmed by the company. However, the reason I mention Apple in this list is because Apple announced that on Friday, it will offer a 1 day sale, which is a HUGE deal, since Apple NEVER has had any real sales. Apple shoppers will only be able to find these deals on the Apple Online store but Apple is pumping it up, saying shoppers will be able to save on virtually everything.
One Twitter account you might find useful is @AppleDiscounts, which searches for promo codes and tries to find any deals worth sharing.
Even the giant online marketplace is offering deals to social media users. Earlier today they released their list of holiday deals on Twitter. The deals range from, brand new Blackberry’s from $0.01, a Bookshelf Speaker for $69, an Olympus digital camera for $99, and laptops as low as $199. However, another good tip to keep in mind about online stores, is that although Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, the Monday following Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, is when a lot of online stores give the major discounts. Daily deals can be found on Amazon’s Twitter.
So there you have it. 8 companies with numberous social media accounts. Like I said, be on the watch next Monday for deals online, as it’s the number one online shopping day. It’s expected that last minute deals on all these sites and thier social networks will pop up. Almost all major retailers and coorporations have Facebook & Twitter accounts, so if you don’t see your favorite store on the list, be sure to check their social media pages for exclusive deals and discounts, and let us know about it.