Twitter isn't just a way for you to follow your friends and favorite celebs. It's also an easy way to find coupons, sales and freebies from your favorite stores and brands. One way to get deals is simply to follow your favorite stores. Once you have created a Twitter account, use Twitter's "find people" function to search for the names of your favorite stores.
Follow Your Faves
Be aware that some stores have multiple Twitter accounts for different purposes. For example, Barnes and Noble has @BNBuzz for company news (such as book releases), and @BNTweetDeals for information on coupons and sales. Some stores even have different Twitter accounts for different types of deals. Amazon lets you follow its MP3 deals through @amazonmp3 and its Gold Box deals through @amazondeals. (In case you're new to Twitter, the "@" symbol lets you know that what follows is a Twitter username.)
Scouring for Coupons and Freebies
To search for deals in a more general way, you can use Twitter's "find people" function to search for "coupon." This will bring up a list of Twitter users who post coupon deals as they learn about them, such as @CouponTweet, @couponmama, and @printcoupons. You can click on each user to see what kind of deals they post, then choose to follow the ones you find most useful. (Find out more, read Coupon Shopping: Clip Your Way To Savings.)
You can also use Twitter's search function, located in the sidebar, to find tweets from other users that contain the word "coupon" or the name of your favorite store plus "coupon," "sale," or "deal." The results you get might lead you directly to tweets containing deal information, or indirectly to blog posts or web pages containing deals.
Twitter is also a great way to learn about freebies. Free Stuff Times (@fstimes), a site that has been posting information on legitimate freebies all day long, every day of the week since 2002, tweets about all sorts of free deals it encounters, which can be anything from a free cup of coffee to a free e-book. (Learn more about saving on food in 22 Ways To Fight Rising Food Prices.)
What's the point of using Twitter to find deals, you might be wondering? While Twitter is not a substitute for more established methods of getting discounts, like coupon code websites, freebie forums or signing up for a store's email list, it does give you one more venue to find that great deal you're looking for.
Some stores post exclusive deals on Twitter, and some people who don't have blogs or otherwise post information online might tweet about the deals they've found. Also, rather than visiting multiple websites each day looking for deals, Twitter lets you see deals from multiple stores all in one place. (Learn more in Five Money-Saving Shopping Tips.)
Using Twitter to find deals has its shortcomings, though. Following a user who posts coupons means you'll get their updates on all the coupons they come across, whether you're interested in them or not. In this sense, looking for deals on Twitter is not much more efficient than flipping through the advertising circulars in the Sunday paper.
Also, while some of the coupon, sale and freebie information you'll find on Twitter is unique, much of it is not. You can find the same deals at the Free Stuff Times website as you can through @fstimes' tweets, for example. If you don't already use Twitter for other purposes, it doesn't necessarily make sense to sign up just to follow deals.
In fact, if Twitter isn't your thing, you can still keep an eye out for those deals that are exclusively offered on Twitter through websites such as CheapTweet.com and CouponTweet.com (which, of course, can also be followed on Twitter through @CheapTweet and @CouponTweet). CheapTweet, like some of the popular coupon code websites, even lets users vote on the quality of deals and posts the most popular deals to its Cheapest Tweets section.
If you like coupons, sales, and freebies, consider adding Twitter to your arsenal of money-saving methods. It's easy, free, always up-to-date and offers some unique advantages over other smart shopping techniques. (Be sure to check out our related article: Shopping Online: Convenience, Bargains And A Few Scams.)