You used to have to gather the Sunday newspaper ads and clip out all of the coupons from stores you like. This option is still available, but nowadays you can find awesome discounts just by sitting on the computer (which is what we all do anyway, right?).
Social media allow us to connect with people all over the world, but it also allows us to connect and follow stores, restaurants, spas, and other brands that we like and want to engage with. These companies often share coupons and discounts with followers or fans, so why not take advantage of it?
Other than Liking the profiles of your favorite bands and witty pop culture references, do you follow any pages from which you actually benefit?
If you don’t, it’s time to start making the most out of your Facebook experience. Think about which restaurants you eat at often, clothing brands you favor, and other activities you participate in with friends and family. It’s possible these companies have pages with a wealth of discount information.
Check out Outback’s Facebook page, for example, where there are plenty of discounts that exist and don’t require anything to receive other than simply knowing they exist!
(Credit: Outback’s Facebook Page)
Because access to this information is free, there’s no reason not to check it out. In fact, a recent study shows that the chance of getting special offers and discounts is the main reason people Like Facebook pages.
Following certain Twitter accounts can be just as useful as Liking pages on Facebook. Many different businesses offer company info and coupons via Twitter, but it’s not just limited to stores and restaurants.Try using Twitter to get awesome travel deals, as well.
Mashable recommends investigating your favorite hotels’ and airlines’ Twitter accounts to see if they offer deals, and that JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic have been known to post good discounts. Mashable also mentions some good aggregator accounts that hunt for good airfares and share them with followers (like@airfarewatchdog).
American Express® recently took discounts to a new level. Cardholders can sign up for a service that syncs their cards to Twitter and gives them access to exclusive discounts from various businesses, including McDonald’s®, Best Buy®, and Whole Foods Market. Participants tweet a specific hashtag related to the deal, and the savings are credited to their American Express statement.
Facebook and Twitter are great places to start, but Foursquare is another great tool for getting good deals (if you don’t mind taking the extra step of checking in). Many types of businesses use Foursqare to easily offer deals to people who check in. For example, Bay Area Rapid Transit randomly gave out train tickets to Foursquare users who checked in at stations.
Just like American Express is expanding the Twitter discount method, Walgreens is doing the same for Foursquare. For people with an iPhone, BlackBerry®, or Android™ phone, they can check into a participating Walgreens and instantly download the discounts to the phone, complete with a scannable barcode.
If you’re familiar with social media (and even if you’re not), it might be worth taking the time to search your favorite brands and retailers to see if they have profiles and what they offer on their pages. U.S. News recommends making new accounts for bargain-hunting purposes only so your personal accounts aren’t flooded with commercial messages.
If you’re looking to save even more money, check out the DIY & Crafts section of Pinterest, where you can learn how to make all kinds of typical buys at home instead of spending the money at the mall. As you can see, there are many different routes you can take to save money on social media. What deals do you know about? Which pages and accounts do you follow?*The company, product and service names used in this article are for identification purposes only. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.