I don’t have to tell you how much time the average person spends on social media. You’ve done it, right? I get on my iPad to check an email, and 30 minutes later, I find myself in the deep, dark hole that is Facebook, unable to remember why the heck I even got on the computer in the first place.
But before you write me off as an old stick in the mud, let’s dive into discussing one of the big benefits of social media: saving money. See, it’s not all that bad! There’s lots of money to be saved, and it’s at your fingertips, in the networks you’re already submerged in.
Share Your Referral Link
A lot of companies offer discounts if you get your friends to sign-up too. For instance, Stitch Fix does this. For each of your friends that place an order, Stitch Fix will credit $25 to your account. So if you are given a referral link after joining anything, take the time to share it! Minimal effort could result in some free cash.
Search Through Hashtags
If you have a little bit of time, sit down and search hashtags on Twitter. Even if Twitter isn’t your favorite, this is a great way to streamline offers and find deals other people are cashing in on.
Depending on what it is you’re looking for, you’ll need to play around. Try #clearance, #(store name)coupon, #bogo, #(store name) deals, #sale, #coupon, #giveaway, #(product name), and #deal.
Follow Restaurants and Stores
A lot of businesses offer discounts and promos for those who “like” their page. In addition, you’ll receive updates regarding specials that are more time-sensitive: Happy Hour Specials, Daily Specials, etc.
Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to follow those in towns you frequent on your travels. Save money no matter where you go.
Voice Your Complaint
While I am not encouraging you to be a perpetual squeaky wheel, if you have had a bad experience, leave a review reflecting that experience.
You’ve experienced the mind-numbing, seemingly futile task of trying to get in touch with a company’s customer service on the phone, only to be directed to ten different automated menus. Gone are those days.
Tweet your complaint using the company’s handle. They are much more likely to respond to a public complaint on this platform than a phone call. You will get much better service by taking this route. A lot of businesses respond with a refund, coupon, or discount.
Another way to use this platform for your advantage is to try to negotiate your bills on Twitter. Voice your opinion about the cost or join a conversation that is already taking place. Companies like Verizon are known for having lowered bills as a result.
Look into Daily Deals
A lot of sites, like Amazon offer daily deals. By liking these pages, you can keep abreast of daily deals via Facebook, without having to regularly visit their sites.
Create a Second Account
If you like the idea of saving money via social media but dread the prospect of having your feed filled with all that excess “noise”, I recommend signing up for a second account.
Preserve your personal Twitter account for those people you want to follow. Keep the second account for all the stores, restaurants, and manufacturers. This way, when you want to find a deal, you know right where to go. And when you want to mindlessly skim what all the people are putting out into the universe, you won’t be bombarded by BOGO offers.
Hootsuite is a great place to manage all your social networks.
Leverage the Work of Others
Trying to stay on top of all the ways you want to save can become overwhelming. One way to streamline this process, is to follow bloggers and curators, who tend to have similar taste as you do in shopping. A lot of your favorite bloggers share deals on a daily basis. So, follow them!
DIY on Pinterest
Before I lose you to the Pinterest rabbit hole, hear me out. There is lots of time to be wasted—err, spent, on Pinterest. By all means enjoy. But you can also find tons of great DIY projects that will save you money, too.
For instance, I’d say there are approximately one million ways to reuse pallets for all your home and office needs. Take some time to look around and find ways to use what you’ve got or can easily acquire, to create instead of purchase something new. From refinishing your cabinets to making your own disinfectant, there’s lots of money to be saved here!
One tip for navigating Pinterest is to search boards, as opposed to strictly pins. You’ll have access to more info if you search boards for “CVS Deals” than just searching pins. And once you follow those boards, you’ll have a regular stream of new info coming into your feed.
Track Your Credit Rating
It is super-easy to get your credit score from companies like CreditKarma. I realize this is not a cash-in-your-pocket sort of money hack. But by achieving and maintaining good credit, you will save hundreds when you take out loans for big stuff like a car, house, etc.
Wrapping it Up
Alright. I’ve laid out a bunch of different tips for using social media to your advantage. Start by just trying a couple of these, and see how it goes. You’ll find the avenues that are the best fit for you to save money. Once you start, you’ll find you’re saving money all over the place, in the very same networks you’re already operating in socially.
How about you? What are your favorite ways to save money via social media?