Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are a great way to keep in contact with friends, find out about events, and even network. However, social media sites can be helpful for more than just socializing — they can actually save you money.
By using social media, you can find items you need for a cheap price. You can also target specific audiences in order to sell your items faster, and often, at a greater profit because you will reach an audience who are specifically looking for the type of items you are selling. You will also save time by using social media because you can post a lot of photos and sell many items quickly. Social media can often provide free marketing, saving you money, and it allows you to borrow money easily. Here are four ways to use social media to save time and money.
1. Shop using social media
Facebook has many different groups you can join, but a great way to save money is to join a local “for sale” group. Instead of traveling to several different garage sales looking for a particular item, you can just check the local site. You can search for particular items, and even post “In search of” (ISO) requests. You don’t have to worry about showing up at a garage sale you read about in the paper, only to find out that someone already purchased the item you wanted. Many of the groups are also organized by category (for example, kids’ clothing), which can save time.
Once you agree to purchase something from an individual seller, you can arrange to meet them to pay for and pick up the item. It’s best to meet in a public place in order to be safe.
2. Sell using social media
If you choose to sell your stuff online, you should also meet the person buying your items in a public place. Selling your items online can help you make money, but it can also save money. Instead of taking off from work to host a garage sale, you can simply post online. What’s more, you can often target specific audiences who are looking for your exact product, and this is much more difficult to do offline. Social media sites allow you to ask for help from friends. You can ask your friends to retweet your stuff on Twitter, or share your Facebook post, and you will get free advertising. If you do sell on a specific group’s site, make sure you read and follow the rules, and provide a quality photo of the items.
You can also go another route and make your own Facebook page for your products.
3. Become a fan
If you like a page on Facebook, follow someone on Twitter, or otherwise show your appreciation of a group or person via social media, you may get special coupons or deals. Many businesses offer specific contests, coupons, or deals for fans of their pages or sites. Sometimes you have to like a page just to be entered into a contest, or you might need to share a specific post in order to qualify. According to Mashable, social media marketing allows a corporate message to spread to several users, and feels more legitimate because it comes from a third-party source. Stores are becoming much more interested in providing a strong social media presence, and you can save money by showing appreciation of different businesses and by promoting those businesses by sharing their information and products with your friends.
4. Fund your dreams
Sites like GreenNote encourage students to use social media to gain financial support for college. Students can connect with their family, friends, and others, in order to ask for help paying for college. The students who join can fill out profile information and explain what their academic and career goals are. GreenNote does not collect a fee from each donation (students pay a one-time membership fee). Other sites offer similar ways for students to network in order to pay for their education.
Social media can also be used to help fund a new business. By networking on LinkedIn, you can meet people who might be able to help sponsor your business. Sites like Indiegogo can also help you save money by finding others who can help fund your dream.
There are many other ways you can use social media to help you save money. You may be able to find cheaper babysitters, trips, tickets, and other bargains through deal websites or just by viewing different statuses. You also can use social media to keep you accountable. Many people create groups with a shared goal. For example, if you want to spend less on food, you can agree to keep your friends accountable, and they can do the same for you.