How much can you really learn from reading 140 characters? Well, if you follow the right Twitter feeds, the pay-off can be very valuable.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s a social media site that allows users to post messages to their followers in 140 characters (which includes letters, spaces and punctuation) or fewer. Due to the limited space, users can get important information and usually a link to read more in just a sentence or two.
I recently started a Shoptimist Twitter account and you can follow me at
@RTShoptimist. My goal is to find the most valuable Twitter accounts to follow so I can pass the best deals on to my readers, saving you time from scouring through hundreds of tweets.
However, if you’re interested in deal hunting on Twitter, I’ve figured out the easiest ways to get the best information.
In the same way that deal-finding blogs (like Roanoke.com’s Shoptimist blog) have exploded in recent years, Twitter is gaining popularity in the same arena. Businesses, brands and coupon sites are tweeting out their deals out into the social media world.
Diving right into Twitter can be overwhelming. Whom should you follow? How can you find what you’re looking for? Well, if you have any practice shopping and couponing online, doing the same on Twitter is very similar.
First of all, I’d recommend creating a Twitter handle just for bargain hunting. That will keep all of your deal news in one spot. If you have a personal Twitter account as well, try using a service like HootSuite, which will allow you to manage both accounts with one login on a computer or on mobile devices.
Then, think about the most important things you’d like to find. Coupons? Travel deals? Specific restaurant or retailer promos? Make yourself a list.
This is an important step because it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information that’s available.
Once you’ve decided what your priorities are, start searching. A good place to start is your favorite shopping blogs. If you like the style of a blog, you’ll most likely like the style of its tweets.
If you love a specific brand it’s also a good idea to search for its Twitter account. Most popular brand names have feeds that publicize special deals, promotions and coupons. The same goes for specific retailers and restaurants.
Some of the best Twitter feeds I’ve found include:
* @Coupons.com: There are announcements every time new coupons are added to the site, plus online promo codes for other websites.
* @allyou: This feed for the popular magazine “All You” provides links to daily freebies, as well as links to short articles full of money saving tips.
* @SouthernSavers: Southern Savers is one of my favorite blogs. The author, Jenny Martin, tweets and blogs about deals specific to the Southeast. She is also great about tweeting only the best deals and not clogging up your feed.
* @SmartSourceCpns and @PGeveryday: SmartSource and P&G make regular appearances in the Sunday paper, but you can keep tabs on what other coupons the companies are offering through their Twitter accounts. They also give hints about what you could find in your Sunday paper from time to time.
* @bradsdeals: You may remember Brads Deals from a column I wrote in November. The website consistently finds the lowest price on popular items. The Twitter feed broadcasts the biggest savings the site hunts down.
It’s not always necessary to follow a specific feed to benefit from Twitter. Hashtags are used to point out keywords and categories tweets may fall under — for example, #coupons or #freebie. Try searching for a specific hashtag. Your search results will provide the public tweets of anyone talking about or publicizing that subject.
What are you favorite Twitter feeds to follow? How do you use social media to find the best bargains?