Can Facebook and Twitter Save You Money?

Most people using social networking sites do so primarily to keep in touch with friends, family, and business associates. However, a newer trend that’s emerging is for businesses to reach out to their customer base and make special offers and discounts to their “fans”. If you become a “fan” of a retail company that you regularly shop, you can get coupons sent to you for online or, sometimes, in-store purchases. This is beneficial to both the customer and the retailer as it connects them in a profitable way during today’s economic crunch.

It is wise of companies to be thinking outside the box in a time like this.  Using the innovative technologies that are present before them, companies are building a connection between themselves and their customers that couldn’t have existed otherwise.

As a customer, however, there is one critical point to remember before connecting yourself too closely with a company online:  by adding businesses to your friends list, you are giving them access to your profile information. You should think carefully about this before adding, say, The Melting Pot as a friend.  Do you really want whoever is in charge of their online activites to see the photos of your vacation to Cancun?  And, honestly, how often are you going to eat at The Melting Pot?  Does the benefit of adding them as friend outweigh the risk? 

The Melting Pot is just an example of course.  You should think carefully before you allow anyone access to your personal information.  Also, if you’re adding these companies in order to obtain coupons for their services, you need to decide whether the discounts they offer are for items you would normally buy anyway.  Because if they’re not, you’re not really saving money.

For a list of companies that are participating in offers like these, read the article “How Facebook, Twitter Can Save You Money.”

The bottom line is this: online social media is extremely beneficial if used properly and with a healthy dose of caution.  Read up on the benefits and risks of your actions and make educated decisions.  If you do this, you set yourself up for success in the end.

Written by: Scott Wheeler


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