Holiday shopping and the social media

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - November 24, 2011

In the fall of 1961, Cherry Hill Mall opened, the first east of the Mississippi. With that, the concept of shopping changed forever.

Now holiday shopping generally means going to your favorite mall or maybe more than one. But shopping is changing again.

King of Prussia Mall; the region's largest, has a major presence in social medias, with close to 70,000 likes on Facebo0ok and thousands more on Twitter. They're also using other applications. What does participation get you?

Mall marketing manager Kathy Smith told Action News you get instant alerts. That can mean anything from inclement weather closings to Santa Claus photo promotions.

Individual merchants are also buying in, and many use social media to alert interested parties to special sales.

While general advertising remains important, adding social media makes it possible to alert shoppers to limited-time bargains.

Since participants are profiled by these websites, it also makes it possible to target only those likely to respond. And social media platforms also allow feedback, which traditional advertising does not. So the mall and its merchants reach specific shoppers and are seeing good response.

King of Prussia began using social media two years ago, and the phenomenon is spreading to other major malls. So it's likely that the place where you shop has a page on the site you use, or an application for your Smartphone.

Participation is likely to make your shopping experience easier, and you might even save time or money, even this time of year.

For Black Friday, the mall is rolling out its new Black Friday Twitter Team, which will roam the complex all day alerting shoppers to trends, bargains and special sales. Sign up by using the hashtag #blackfridaykop .
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