According to InSites Consulting, a market research company, 80 percent of Millennials use social media every day. Most of us are members of at least two social networks and the majority of us (92 percent) have no intention of quitting social media anytime soon.
This affection for all-things-social is having a dramatic effect on the retail industry. Millennials are changing the way brands interact with their customers by forcing engagement through Twitter, Facebook and the like. In addition to researching companies and learning about products, consider these ways to save money using social media.
1. Use Pinterest to Price Track
It’s tough to describe the addictive power of Pinterest, and yet most Millennials have a hard time staying away from the endless outfit ideas, DIY decor projects and gluten-free brownie recipes. Happily, Pinterest is more than an outlet for spending oodles of imaginary money on the perfect Bohemian wedding; it sends you price-drop notifications of items you pin that are available for purchase. Pin items you’re planning to buy and get notified when they go on sale or drop in price.
2. Unlock Deals and Exclusive Offers
20 percent of the time we spend on social media is in search of coupons and promotions. Following your favorite brands often results in freebies and exclusive offers, like 15-percent off your booking from Hotels.com or special pricing on select products from Sprouts Farmers Market. While this represents a great way to save money, it can also lead to overspending; be thoughtful about the deals you select and use them on items you already planned to buy.
3. Learn the Value of Hashtags
It’s easy to be turned off by hashtags when friends use 80 of them to caption a photo of their dog, dinner or designer find. However, brands use hashtags to organize giveaways, promote new product launches and offer money-saving opportunities for their followers. TOMS Shoes, for example, recently used the hashtag #onedecision on Twitter to promote the launch of their coffee line at SXSW. 2,000 followers and hashtag users who shared a decision that benefited others were given a free TOMS Roasting Co. gift box.
4. Join Local Groups
Craigslist popularized the practice of buying what you need from a community member instead of paying full price at a big-box store. You can also join Facebook groups to buy locally and save money on everything from appliances to vehicles to furniture. Type in “buy, sell” into the Facebook search bar and request membership into local groups. You can also find groups specializing in specific items like kids’ clothing or vintage collectibles.
5. Share What You Own
As an article in Forbes put it, Millennials are “culturally programmed to borrow, rent and share.” Services like Airbnb and RelayRide represent the perfect examples of using social media to save money since they rely heavily on online communities to operate. It’s called the “share economy” and Millennials are at the forefront. These groundbreaking business models make it relatively seamless to save money on travel and everyday expenses while also giving people an opportunity to make money off their assets.