Black Friday: Five ways to save money fast via Facebook, social networking

Social networking is for more than stalking your Facebook friends or tweeting about daily events. New technology and websites can help shoppers save on Black Friday. Why spend hours clipping coupons or scouring ads when you can use social networking to find the best holiday deals? Here are five ways to use social networking to save big on Black Friday:

1. Check out Facebook page giveaways: Many Black Friday-themed Facebook pages host giveaways to fans in celebration of the upcoming holiday. The Facebook page Black Friday randomly selected three winners of $50 Amazon gift cards when it hit 10,000 fans. The page is planning another giveaway when it gains 20,000 fans. BFAds is hosting a similar contest in which participants guess the release date of the first Black Friday ad. The winner will receive up to $150.

2. Use Facebook to save on holiday groceries: Whether you're hoping to save on Thanksgiving dinner or just want to cut back on grocery shopping so that you'll have more to spend on Black Friday, Facebook can help. The page, Grocery Shop for Free, features deals at stores all over the country. The page is usually updated several times each day with the latest grocery-related discounts and freebies. Products range from printed photos to crackers. Cub Foods also runs a Facebook page that updates customers on the latest coupons and discounts at its stores.

3. Find deals in record time on Twitter: Check Twitter for Black Friday info at lightning speed. Blackfriday is already posting the most current Black Friday 2010 news. As stores start to release ads, the tweets will pick up speed. Blackfriday_fm features giveaway contests for followers such as a $200 gift card and an iPad. Individual store Twitter names also tweet about top discounts. SearsDeals and BestBuy tweet multiple deals every day. Target posts at least once each day and can even send coupon alerts to your phone.

4. Start saving now:
Every day is like Black Friday for some deal-hunting Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Dealcatcher posts coupons and discounts to restaurants, clothing, luggage and even Halloween costumes. You don't have to be a parent to use Deal Seeking Mom's Facebook site. The page features both discounts and free items and even devotes an entire tab to freebies. For the moms and dads out there, some of the giveaways and coupons save on baby items such as diapers and potty training kits. For avid Twitter users who can't wait to start saving, BlackFriDeals and Black Friday Me post deals happening now, several times each day.

5. Use Foursquare to save on the go: Smart phone owners: download Foursquare before hitting the shops on Black Friday. A lot of smaller, specialty shops, such as City Blue Apparel and Denim in Chicago, give Foursquare newbies merchandise discounts. For those who need some caffeine to battle crowds at dawn, check into your local coffee shop on the application. Many cafes, such as ING, offer free drinks or discounts to first time check-ins. Even if the stores on your itinerary don't offer Foursquare deals, check out the tip section of the app. Many customers leave comments on the easiest way to navigate the stores and the best ways to save.

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