Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Facebook Can Save You Money

Many people already know to peruse company homepages, blogs, and various coupon databases to pick up deals for freebies, samples, and promotions on some of their favorite products.  However, there is a new source for some of these deals--and it appears to be gaining in popularity:  Facebook.  Once a beloved site for personal blogging, keeping in touch with people, and Words with Friends (I know I'm not alone on this one!), Facebook has become an advertisers wet dream.  But, what does this mean for average Joes and Janes who populate the social networking website? 

It's easy to posit the negative aspect of product placement on Facebook; however, this form of advertisement doesn't have to serve as a burden or impediment to social networking. The consumer can also benefit from this new brand of product placement; a number of companies post exclusive coupons and freebie deals on their Facebook fan pages. From what I have seen, many of the coupons posted to Facebook are BETTER than the manufacturer coupons found in the weekly Smart Source or Red Plum. Pair these coupons with sales at your favorite supermarket or drugstore chain and you're looking at really good savings during your weekly or monthly shopping trip.

If you've used Facebook before, you'll find that accessing these deals is fairly simple.  Typically, you only need to head to the brand's fan page and hit the "like" button:

This unlocks any deals or coupons the brand is advertising at the time (usually found on the Wall or Info page).  However, some companies have made the process just a smidge more elaborate.  In those instances, you might have to register with your personal info (Red Gold example below), allow them access to your personal Facebook page in the form of an application (I'm looking at you Groupon!), participate in a brainteasing game, or fill out a brief quiz/questionnaire (Schick example below).

How much information you are willing to share with these companies is, obviously, an individual choice. That said, if you are willing to do a little Facebook querying for some of your favorite products/brands and you're willing to sacrifice the once sacred space of the Activities and Interests section of your personal Info page, then there are many good deals to be had. 

Here are a few of my favorites this week:

Nescafe is giving out freebie samples!

Red Gold Tomatoes wants to reach 40,000 new likes and will give fans a $1.25 coupon in return (that's a FREE can of their tomatoes)

International Delights has the $1 coupon I mentioned earlier this week (use that at CVS this week for a .67 bottle of their creamer!)

Schick Quattro has a great $3 coupon on their Trimstyle Razor

Carmex isn't very specific about what they're giving away when they reach 75K fans, but I'm holding out hope that it will be free product or great coupon opportunities

AutoZone updates their page frequently with new sales.  Right now it's a $50 off coupon on Engine and Transmission

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