Good heavens… not THIS Black Friday. Once in a lifetime was more than enough.It’s that time of year…

No, not the day we set our clocks back an hour. (Although on a personal note, that’s our favorite holiday. 😉 The big man in red never brought us an extra hour of sleep.)

It’s time for holiday shopping.

THIS Black Friday… though, come to think of it, once in a lifetime would be more than enough of this, also.And you know what that means… 

Black Friday, the day when millions of adventurous souls become a teeming mass of bargain-seeking humanity at the stores.

(Not us. Nuh-uh. We don’t go near the malls on that day. We don’t even go to the grocery store if we can help it. If the cat runs out of milk on that day, it can drink maple syrup for all we care. Just sayin’.)

But it’s not just about Black Friday anymore. There’s also Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. And with the rise of mobile technology, a bit of blending is expected to happen. Black Friday shoppers will be using mobile devices to compare and even buy while in stores.

We are NOT happy about this.(This year, some retailers are also pushing Super Saturday on December 24. Really? Another shopping circus on the day we procrastinators busy, busy social media folks actually get around to going?)

Anyway.

From MediaPost, Nielsen (NM Incite) reports that between 2009 and 2010, internet buzz about Black Friday and Cyber Monday rose significantly. (No mention of Super Saturday. And that’s fine… we’re not going to encourage them.)

This one we don’t actually mind… we’ve never been trampled while sitting at our own computer desk. 😉The buzz about Black Friday increased by 25%. For Cyber Monday, the figures rose by 75%. When you factor in the growth of social media and mobile technology, we can probably expect larger figures for both in 2011.

And retailers are ready.

According to the Retail Finance Outlook, nearly 60% of businesses surveyed are shifting funds from traditional marketing channels to new media, including Facebook and Twitter.

So if you hope to increase your own business this holiday shopping season, you’re going to want to integrate your social media efforts. (Or start them, if you’re still holding out.) Sixty percent of your competition (not to mention millions of mobile-connected customers) will be.

And if you’re one of the brave folks heading out this Friday, list in hand, take your mobile!

(Oh… and pick us up some milk, would ya? Doesn’t seem like the cat really digs maple syrup all that much. Yeesh.)