While Facebook is a fun place to connect with old friends and network with new ones, used correctly, it a can be a great tool to improve your personal finances. Facebook can save you money in your everyday life and even give you access to free things.
We have a Facebook page for my travel website and blog (travel4people.com) and use it to network and promote the site. But we’ve been using it more and more as part of our almost daily research to ensure we always get the best price, whether it’s at a local restaurant, our neighborhood dry cleaners, or on a new car. All those types of businesses have Facebook pages and “Like”ing their pages (joining their social network) is the key to accessing them.
If you don’t use Facebook here’s how the system basically functions. People have personal Facebook pages and business can have their own Facebook pages as well. Just as you accumulate “Friends” on your personal page to increase your own social network, or group of friends, businesses seek to accumulate “Likes”, which are shown as a number and indicate the number of Facebook users who like the business and basically their popularity. Your local dry cleaners may have 150 Likes, while a big company like Ford cars may have 4 million Likes.
Companies and businesses want and need your Likes. The more Likes they have, the more popular they seem and that encourages even more people to Like them, and so on. Businesses like having many people in their social network because it provides them a free network to advertise to, simply by posting a message. And these people are people who have expressed in interest in the product or service by Like-ing the page in the first place. So a business with 10,000 Likes may be able to generate good sales if only a small percentage act on their message, promotion or post.
They also use the social network properties of Facebook, when they post something to your wall, it will then appear to all your Friends and then Facebook makes it very easy to share information. So if a customer likes a business, they can re-post a message or link on their own wall, which then spreads the message to their entire network. Each person in their network can continue to spread the message to their own individual social networks and that is what’s called “viral marketing”, because the message spreads quickly, like a virus. For all these reasons businesses will offer your incentives to get you to Like their page, and even pay online marketing firms large sums of money, based on the number of Likes they can generate for them.
A great example of how we use Facebook to save money and improve our personal finances happened recently when we wanted to go to a comedy show at the Improv Comedy Club in Los Angeles to see Steve-O perform with our grandson. The tickets were $30 at the door. My son suggested we check Facebook and we searched for the Improv and Liked the Improv Facebook page, giving us access to future discounts and show information. The Improv even offers free tickets to many shows, you just pay a $3.50 service charge per ticket. But there were no discounts for the show we wanted to see. We then went to Steve-O’s page and liked that. He had a link to the comedy show’s event page, called Comedy Juice. Once we Liked that page, we could see a discount code, for Facebook fans only, getting us the tickets for $10 each, instead of the $30 each we would have had to pay at the door. Here are some other businesses where you can get Facebook discounts:
Events and Concerts
Before the event, check for a Facebook page for the artist that is performing. Also check for a page for the actual venue where the performance will take place.
Many restaurants are now on Facebook and offering discounts and access to other special offers and things just for their customers. Especially if you frequent big chain restaurants, they have a lot of good deals on Facebook, both fast food and higher end dining.
Facebook can provide the most savings for local businesses, who can really use it to bring in customers. Any local business or service you use, check for their (or their competitor’s) page on Facebook and Like it to get any available discounts.
Banks and Financial Firms
Check for Facebook pages for your bank or financial providers and for competitors as well.
Car Dealers and Manufacturers
Both local car dealers and car manufacturers have great Facebook pages. Manufacturers offers news on new models, and local dealers use it for discounts on service.
The number and types of business with a presence on Facebook increases daily. Before you do any business with any local merchant, national retailer, really any type of transaction, check on Facebook to see about potential deals and discounts.
More from this contributor:
“Plans For Tax Refunds”
“It’s Time to Change Your Financial Thinking”
“Differences Between Roth and Traditional IRAs”