Smart Buying

How to Save Money Using Twitter

You can score deals and discounts using this social media site.

Maybe you use Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings around the world, to see what your favorite celebrities are up to or to follow your favorite personal finance writer. In addition to being a great source of news and entertainment, this social media platform is a treasure trove of deals.

You don’t have to be a Twitter expert, though, to track down discounts, freebies and promotions being offered by retailers, restaurants and other businesses, says Damian Davilla, a staff writer for the money-saving blog Wise Bread. And using Twitter can help you find savings from local businesses and mom and pop shops – in addition to major retailers – that you might not find by searching only on coupon and deal sites, he says. Simply follow these tips from Davila and other deal experts to start saving money using Twitter.

Search for hashtags. Most brands, stores and deal bloggers use hashtags – the # sign followed by words, numbers or a combination of both – when promoting special offers in their tweets, says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. Enter hashtags such as #coupon, #deals, #sale, or #promotions into the search field at the top right corner of the Twitter homepage to find these offers. If you’re looking for a deal on a particular item or service, search more specific keywords, such as #laptopdeal (without spaces between the words).

Follow companies. Some companies offer exclusive coupon codes to their Twitter (and other social media) followers, Woroch says. Or you may get exclusive discounts by completing certain actions, such as retweeting a retailer’s tweet, Davila says. For example, American Express cardholders can get discounts by tweeting offer-specific hashtags. Some businesses – restaurants, in particular – tweet passwords that followers can say at the establishment to get a special discount, he says.

Follow deal bloggers. People who blog about how to save money frequently share coupon codes, freebies and other offers with Twitter followers, Woroch says. Some of her favorite bloggers to follow on Twitter include Bargain Babe, MomsWhoSave.com and KrazyCouponLady. Also check out Twitter feeds from some of our favorite deal sites, such as BeFrugal.com, DealNews, Rather-Be-Shopping and Savings.com.

Join Tweet chats. Many brands host Twitter parties or chats and provide participants with the opportunity to win a giveaway or offer a sale or coupon code, Woroch says. She won a $35 Amazon gift card for participating in one of Wise Bread’s chats. Search for the hashtag #tweetchat or check the Twitter pages of your favorite businesses and deal sites.

Negotiate a deal. Business and retailers may reach out to you with savings opportunities if you use Twitter to praise or complain about their products or service. For example, Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com, tweeted that he wanted to drop Verizon as his cell-phone carrier because it was expensive. Within minutes, Verizon found his tweet and tweeted him with an offer to lower his bill. James says that many companies have social media managers that interact with Twitter and Facebook users to negotiate deals and offer one-on-one service. Even if you don’t have a complaint, Woroch says you can tweet to companies to ask whether they have any special offers or deals.

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