While using Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to stay connected with family and friends, they don’t exactly help you with holiday shopping. If your list is anything like mine, you have a ton of people to shop for and finding the right gifts for everyone on your list is a struggle.

This holiday shopping season, shopping socially might be the answer you’re looking for. By getting your friends and family into the shopping mix, and taking advantage of some excellent social shopping sites, you’ll discover some unique gifts that won’t soon be forgotten.

1. Pinterest

If you do a lot of shopping online, then you need a Pinterest account! Pinterest.com lets you easily save great products you find online as “pins,” which are basically pictures with a small amount of text. You can either save gift ideas to browse later, or sift through thousands of great finds by your friends, family, or even strangers to quickly find interesting gifts for everyone on your list. The killer feature is that by sharing lists of gift ideas with family and friends, you can get feedback before you buy. Not sure which sweater grandma will love? Save a few pins and send them to your sister for feedback! Not sure which Lego sets your niece owns? Send her parents a few pins and find out which one they think you should get.

2. Svpply

On Svpply.com (pronounced “Supply”) is a great new site by online retail giant eBay that helps you find unique gifts. Svpply brings together thousands of hand-picked listings from a ton of smaller online stores, Etsy shops, and yes, even some major chain stores as well. Bright, colorful, and full of pictures, Svpply lets you easily browse through clothes, jewelry, tech and more. By finding people with similar interests to yours (or the person you’re looking to give something to), and narrowing down gifts by price or gender, you can track down a unique present at a price point you’re comfortable with.

3. Get local at a discount

Group shopping sites, live Groupon and LivingSocial let you join other buyers to get great products at a discount. When shopping for someone far away, these social sites are often the best ways to find deals on things local to your giftee. You’ll be able to quickly browse deals specific to an area, and find things like gift certificates to a restaurant they’ll like, a day at a local spa, tickets to the movies or theater, or even a day at the go-kart tracks!

4. Shop rare

Don’t just buy gifts from the big retailers. The most unique gifts can often be found by shopping from smaller businesses or individuals. One place I love is etsy.com, which connects you with individual or small-run retailers. While a majority of Etsy sellers make one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry, it’s also a great place to find hand-made home furnishings, unique phone and tablet accessories, original pieces of artwork, and some really cool kids’ toys and stuffed animals!

Another place I love is Fab.com, which is rare shoppers dream. They curate unique and different products that make for great gifts—plus, almost everything on the site is offered at a good discount.

Those are my top tips to leverage the Internet and social media for your holiday shopping. What sites do you use and how are you using social to shop smarter this holiday season? Leave a question or comment below and I’ll be sure to respond!

 

Mario Armstrong, Digital Lifestyle Expert, is an Emmy Award winning, tech commentator for the TODAY show and CNN, and the host of a tech talk radio show on SiriusXM. An entrepreneur by nature, Mario made his passion his career by quitting his day job and founding Mario Armstrong Media. Follow Mario at @MarioArmstrong. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.