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Maximize your savings with social media

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Are you on Facebook? For many of my friends and family, the use of social media is a highly debatable topic. I know many people who think of it as a daily staple and can’t imagine life without it.

On the other side of the debate, I have a few friends and family that avoid it completely. I freely admit that I fall into the first category. My husband served in the Army for seven years and we are transplants to the Augusta area.

As a result, we have family and childhood friends that we don’t get to see as much as we would like in our home state and we have many friends scattered all over the world by deployments, assignments, and time. Facebook has helped me and my family to keep in contact with everyone from my college roommate to my great aunts and uncles.

In addition to providing updates on family and friends, Facebook is one of the fastest growing marketing tools for manufacturers. There are many coupons and free items to be found on Facebook, if you know where and when to look.

Good couponers will use Facebook as a part of an overall strategy to score as many free samples, giveaways and coupons as they can by checking out product and manufacturer pages. Finding access to these exclusive high-value coupons will give a couponer an even better chance of scoring the steepest discounts during sales.

So, how does a couponer know where to look? Take a product out of your shelf and see if it has a Facebook page. Go right now and grab the first thing you find. I am baking cookies today with my children, so I have pulled a bag of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie cookie mix from the pantry. Now, I will check to see whether Betty Crocker has a Facebook page, which it does.

When I “like” the page on Facebook, I automatically see an ad asking me to sign up for an exclusive newsletter that contains tips and savings. By clicking on the link and filling out the form, I have access to some product coupons. It’s that simple.

Facebook is also a great place to find free product samples. I have received free samples of shampoo, perfume, cosmetics, body wash, toothpaste, facial tissue, toilet paper, dish detergents, laundry detergents and cleaners from Facebook promotions. The free samples are usually limited, so one promotion might be for the first 5,000 applicants while another might be limited to 1,000. Each manufacturer sets the limits for the giveaway.

One great way to keep up with finding special offers on Facebook is by following several coupon blogs, which often have their own Facebook pages. By liking these blogs on Facebook, you can get the headlines of each post on your news feed. This allows you to see each post in real time. If you see that your favorite blog just posted about a deal, you can quickly follow a link to it. Most blogs are great about posting deals right as or right before they come online. Having these blogs on your newsfeed gives you the inside scoop on finding deals before their printing or sample limits are reached.

Groceries and cleaning supplies are not the only deals to be found on Facebook. Right now is a great time to start looking for toy coupons.

This past week, you could score a coupon for $5 off any Transformers Dark of the Moon toy priced $5.99 or more by liking Transformers on Facebook. You can also check Facebook pages for DVD or BluRay coupons for newly released movies and toys that correspond with new releases. Captain America, Thor and Green Lantern are some good examples.

Facebook is not just for manufacturers. Retailers are also jumping into the deals. Many stores offer coupons for liking them on Facebook. Last year, Lowe’s offered early Black Friday deals on Facebook. Limited numbers of fans could get exclusive pricing for items at 90 percent off store prices. The sale was so popular that it often caused server crashes.

As Black Friday approaches, start looking for stores to post exclusive deals, coupons and early sneak peeks at their sales ads.

Start “liking” and see what you find. Until next time, happy shopping!

Coupon class

A free coupon class with Carol Gunter will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Augusta Chronicle Building, 725 Broad St. For more, see http://smartshopper119.eventbrite.com/


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