Everyone is constantly looking for ways to save money. There are plenty of ways to do it, and some are right underneath your nose every day. In fact, there are plenty of ways to save money by using social media.
Offers and Giveaways
Sometimes it seems as if social media is everywhere. With so many different platforms out there it’s hard to avoid knowing about social media. But you can use social media for more than just networking or leisure time. It can be a great place to save some money since many businesses have social media accounts and are eager to connect to their customers. For instance, many companies will host special offers or giveaway for their followers. Have you ever seen those contests where someone will win a certain amount of money or a specific prize if they receive one million likes on Facebook? Maybe you’ve seen a company on Twitter offer their followers a free item if they retweet something.
Coupons and Discounts from Retailers
A lot of companies also tend to reward their followers and loyal customers by posting coupons or discounts on their social media sites. One company might post an online 30% discount code on their Twitter account. Another company might offer a “buy one, get one free” coupon for people who become a fan of their facebook page. Amazon, for example, offers followers of their @amazondeals twitter account the first glance at daily lightning deals.
Following deal bloggers can also be a great way to save some money through social media. There are plenty of different bloggers who use sites such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Facebook, or Twitter to promote different deals, sales, and coupons that are available. Some of these deal bloggers may promote anything they come across while some focus on specific industries or products.
Have you ever tried to call your cable company or electric company only to end up on the phone for hours? Maybe you never even have a chance to talk to someone and are left waiting in phone limbo, hoping that someone might pick up the phone and address your issues. Most major companies (and a good number of smaller, independently owned companies) have social media accounts. Sometimes it’s actually quicker to have your problems addressed by taking up issue with them on their facebook page or twitter account. Since these messages are public, they’re more likely to respond to them immediately. So if you have complaints about the $20 that was randomly tacked onto your bill or want to try and lower your outrageous cable and internet bill, consider reaching out to your provider’s social media account.
Certain sites, such as Yelp, allow you to write reviews about businesses you’ve visited. Some people also have blogs devoted entirely to reviewing products they use or businesses they’ve visited. Sometimes reviewing can lead to free items or compensation for bad service. A company might want to be featured on your review blog so much that they offer you free products, services, or gift certificates. On the other hand, a negative review about a local restaurant could cause the restaurant manager or owner to reach out to you to try and comp your meal.
Check-In or Local Deals
If you have a smartphone, apps such as Yelp, Living Social, GroupOn, or Foursquare can help you not only save money, but potentially score some free items. Apps such as GroupOn and Living Social have location based deals that populate based on your GPS location. So, for example, if you’re hungry, you can try pulling up the GroupOn Daily Deals app and seeing what restaurants are located around you and offering a deal. Apps such as Yelp or Foursquare often offer free items, discounts, or coupons if you check into specific locations.
Networking through social media can also help you save money. Let’s say you’re looking for a new TV but you don’t really have a lot of money to buy a new one. You might log onto Facebook and find that someone is trying to get rid of their television before they move. Or one of your friend son Twitter or Instagram might have a TV they’re looking to sell for a fraction of the original price. In fact, if you have enough Instagram likes, you may even be able to make a bit of extra income.
Comparing Prices, Sales, and Brands
The great thing about social media is that you usually have all the information you could ever need right at your fingertips. There are numerous apps dedicated to comparing store prices, for instance. There are blogs dedicated to alerting you about sales going on at major retailers or offering price or sale comparison between certain brands or products.
Some sites, such as Tweet What You Spend, allow you to keep track of your finances to make sure that you’re staying within your budget. If you choose to use an option like this, you might want to create a separate twitter account so your friends and family aren’t privy to your finances. The site allows you to keep use your tweets to create a spreadsheet to monitor your budget or self-imposed spending limits.
You can also use social media to find other ways to save money. For instance, Twitter accounts that are focused on personal finances might offer links to money saving gadgets or advice. Pinterest has plenty of lists about cheaper product alternatives or unique ways to save money. The internet is so vast that you can find a bunch of different money saving alternatives through social media.
Photo: Flickr: Jason Howie