Local 4's Holiday Shopping Frenzy: Tips, tricks, and bargains

No matter how you shop on the long holiday weekend: in the mall, on your computer, or on your smartphone, it's all about the hashtag. Once again, Local 4 is throwing the biggest shopping party of the year, and you're all invited.

"You can use #local4shopping on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook," said Emily Hay of HayThereSocialMedia.com. Her team works with Local 4 each year to make the biggest shopping weekend of the year even better. Using the hashtag puts you in touch with fellow bargain hunters and local businesses all around Metro-Detroit.

"In the past, if you went out and went holiday shopping with your friends, you could really only talk to the people who were with you. With social media, it allows us to talk to anybody in Southeast Michigan," Hay pointed out.

Bargain Bloggers Share Their Expertise

Hay has also put together a team of bargain bloggers who are experts in spotting great deals and share them with their readers on a variety of websites. They've spent the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving poring over sales, coupon codes, and other discounts. They will also be out at the stores over the weekend, and will share new information with anyone following #local4shopping.

Over the past two years, we've also seen shoppers sharing information when a certain stores runs out of hot items, and some shoppers have reported things like long lines at checkout, and retailers have responded using the hashtag.

The bargain bloggers are all social media savvy now, but that wasn't always the case.

"I remember when I first got on Twitter and didn't know what I was doing there," said Jackie Harper of FreeIsMyLife.com. "I had no idea, but within weeks I had followed all my favorite stores. They were sending me deals, sending secret deals. I was loving it." Her experience shows it doesn't take long for anyone to jump into the social media whirl and start learning how to save more money.

Whether it's Black Friday weekend or all year long, these women represent a community of bargain-shopping bloggers who share their money-saving secrets. It's a whole new world of information that you can use to get the items your family needs, without busting the family budget.

"I think being able to strategize and talk with others is huge when it comes to the social media thing, and using hashtags to follow deals or follow your favorite deal bloggers to be able to find deals that they're posting to other blogs," said Tatanisha Worthey of AMittenFullOfSavings.com.

Hay also hopes more local businesses will get on board because the hashtag is a great way to reach out to customers.

"You know your business better than anyone tell them the best items are for their friends and family for gifts- let them know where they can get it. Maybe you have a great sale and you can do all that using the #local4shopping hashtag."