'Tis the Season for Mobile Shopping and Social Media Marketing
Get your website and Facebook page ready for the 2013 holiday shopping season / Credit: Santa image via Shutterstock

Is your business ready for the holiday season? If this year is anything like 2012, social media marketing and mobile shopping will play a larger role than ever before.       

OfferPop, a social marketing platform used by brands such as Audi, MTV and TOMS, recently released "Holiday Panic: A Social and Mobile Timeline of Holiday Shopping." The infographic details social and mobile shopping habits during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday in 2012.

According to the infographic, 48 percent of shoppers anticipated using social media to plan their holiday shopping last year, with 53 percent looking for gift ideas and 54 percent looking for deals. In addition, 2012 had a projected $36 billion in sales just from smartphones. 

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To help you build an effective mobile and social-marketing plan and leverage the ever-increasing role mobile and social play in holiday shopping, here are some insights from last year's holiday season. 

OfferPop revealed that 43 percent of shoppers make holiday purchase before November. Nonetheless, 32 percent of people believe that they will get the best deals late in the holiday season: by Dec. 13th, less than 12 percent of shoppers had finished their holiday purchases. Online spending also peaked on the last full week before Christmas, though this did not mean shoppers were finished — 5 percent of total holiday spending actually happened on Christmas Day. 

Based on the infographic, businesses should ramp up their mobile websites and Facebook-marketing efforts for Black Friday. Although 28 percent of shoppers camped out at stores for midnight openings last year, the same percentage also used their mobile phones to visit a retailer's website. More than 16 percent of shoppers also looked for promotions and deals on Facebook. 

For retailers participating in the online version of Black Friday, Facebook likewise proved to be a powerful marketing platform in 2012. The top 500 online retailers saw a 240 percent spike in Facebook referrals last year. Mobile purchases also accounted for 13 percent of total Cyber Monday sales. At-home shopping also increased, with Cyber Monday purchases made from home (47.2) slightly exceeding those made from work (47.1) for the first time. 

Small Business Saturday, a date on which shoppers are encouraged to buy locally, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 30th in 2013. Last year, 79 percent of small business owners said they planned to use social media in the weeks or days leading up to Small Business Saturday; awareness jumped from 34 percent to 67 percent in the two weeks leading up to the day, with nearly half of those aware of Small Business Saturday actually shopping on that day. 

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.