Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons
Have you "liked" your favorite stores on Facebook? Do you check in on Foursquare at your favorite restaurants? If you're willing to invest a little time into social media, you can make it a useful part of your coupon strategy. (See also: 6 Ways an iPhone Can Save You Money)
Many businesses now share special coupons through social media sites, making it worthwhile to to check Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest of those sites out there for coupons to help you save money. Many coupons are restricted to those people who follow, fan, check-in, and otherwise promote a given company in the terminology of whatever site you happen to be on — but the benefits can make it worthwhile.
Creating a Social Media Coupon Strategy
If you go through and connect with the stores and businesses you like to buy from on the various social media sites you're active on, you've made a start to getting those coupons. But it's easy for such sites to create too much noise, especially if you're connected to many people. It takes strategy not to lose those coupons in the noise.
On sites like Facebook and Twitter, you have the ability to create lists — groupings of different types of friends. By creating a list of those connections that you made for the specific purpose of getting coupons, you can make it easier to check in on such connections on a regular basis and see what sort of coupons they're offering. That way you can judge if it's a coupon that's worth your while without having to sort through all the updates from your friends.
It's also useful to build up social media habits, such as checking in at the places you visit. Many stores now offer special coupons based on the number of check-ins or other statistics, like a virtual punch card.
The Trade-Off for Social Media Coupons
The coupons that come from social media sources do have drawbacks beyond the time that you have to invest in finding them, which isn't all that different from any other source of coupons.
The real drawback is that you're giving up a good chunk of privacy for the privilege of getting those coupons. With a site like Foursquare, anyone can easily see the places that you go and check into, as well as notice patterns in your behavior. The same goes for how easily anyone can see the actions you take on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
It's a personal decision whether you're willing to give up some of your privacy for more (and in some cases, better) coupons. There's a clear benefit to those coupons — you get to save money — but it's up to you if that is enough of a benefit. Consider it carefully and, if social media coupons are worth your while, make the most of them.