Two words: Holiday Shopping. Need I say more? Yes, two more words: Social Media.

Social media has blasted onto the shopping scene the past few years and this year will be no exception. It will be one of the key drivers of holiday buying this season. According to InMobi an estimated 60 million mobile phone users plan on utilizing their devices for shopping during the upcoming holiday season. Over one-third of these individuals have the intention of making purchases directly from their smartphones.

The hottest subject matter that these users are interested in is comparison-shopping, which will more than double to 45% from 2010. It is deathly important that these shoppers know where the best deal is located.

Some other vital information that mobile phone users want include updates on sales and promotions, store hours and directions, product information and availability, product photos, official retailer apps and customer support.

Many retail stores including Wal-Mart, Target, and BestBuy are posting the sales promotions on their Facebook pages. They are also utilizing Twitter to make “announcements”. By utilizing these social media networks it allows followers and fans to feel a special connection and relationship deeper than the average brand shopper. They feel as if they have an advantage in their holiday purchase.

So what does all this mean? Well, it is the perfect opportunity for businesses to create a positive relationship with consumers. If companies can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on store hours, sales and promotions then consumers will be accurately informed and happier. The last thing a crazy holiday shopper wants is to get the wrong information about a sale at one place only to miss a great deal at another.

While this may seem relatively simple and not groundbreaking information, sometimes getting caught up in the hype tends to bring about a forgetfulness of the basics. It is a good reminder that social media is an immense part of, and greatly impacts, the overall consumer opinion of a company.