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Discounts in 140 characters, max

Companies are offering exclusive deals on Twitter. Whom should you follow?

By Karen Datko Feb 23, 2010 10:55AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Sometimes it pays to be a follower.

 

Twitter and Facebook have been a marketing godsend for all kinds of companies, which increasingly are using social media to build loyalty with shoppers. Now, retailers have even begun to tout sales and exclusive discounts to customers who interact with them through social media. For example, Banana Republic recently offered shoppers an invitation to an exclusive spring preview event, as well as a printout coupon good for 30% off a purchase of $100 or more at the event.

 

Developing a social-media presence lets companies more effectively manage what customers are saying about their business online by developing a following, says Lyn Mettler, the founder of Step Ahead, a marketing firm in Mount Pleasant, S.C. "They might as well get in on the conversation and offer something to reward the loyal customers," she says.

 

For the best freebies, hunt for businesses located in your area, as well as nearby locations of major chains. They have more need of brand recognition and customers than a big-name company, and so are more likely to offer exclusive discounts for followers, says Sara Dunham, a spokeswoman for Savings.com.

 

Finding deals is as simple as registering for the free networking sites and conducting a search for your favorite companies and brands. Many even have coupon-specific feeds or pages that put deals all in one place.

Here are seven companies offering deals through social media:

 

Twitter

@DellOutlet. Dell’s outlet division regularly posts exclusive online sales.

Recent tweet: (Feb. 19) "Save up to 40% on select tax preparation software! - Offer ends 2/23 at 7am CT"

 

@OfficeDepot. Office Depot's sale and coupon feed.

Recent tweet: (Feb. 17) "Save up to 40% on your favorite supplies"

 

@JetBlueCheeps. JetBlue's weekly feed of Twitter-exclusive deals has new offers every Tuesday.

Recent tweet: (Feb. 16) "$29 BUF to JFK this Sat. JFK-BUF this Mon. or Tues. 25 seats avail or til 6pm ET. Taxes, Fees, Rest. apply"

 

@JDVHotels. California boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hotels offers Twitter Tuesday and Facebook Friday deals.

Recent tweet: (Feb. 19) "Facebook Fridays is here! Our fabulous Hotel Los Gatos is running rates starting at $159 per night (good on...)"

 

@United Airlines. Look for United Airlines' exclusive "Twares" fares amid customer service and policy posts.

Recent tweet (Feb. 19 -- new Twares post regularly) "Virginia is for lovers! Still haven’t celebrated Valentine’s Day? Travel to Virginia with our Tware! Details @ http://tinyurl.com/ya7rdpz"

 

Facebook

Banana Republic. Check for coupons and sale notifications amid collection previews, contests and brand discussions.

Recent post: (Feb. 18) "You’re invited to be the first to shop our new spring chino collection and save. As a special offer to Facebook fans, RSVP and you'll receive an exclusive 30% off your purchase of $100* or more during the party [on Feb. 23]. Print this page and take it to your nearest store to receive your discount."

 

Toys R Us. Coupons, sales and deals.

Recent post: (Feb. 18) "Did you like Hot Wheels when you were a kid? Free Hot Wheels Supercar Vehicles With $25+ Hot Wheels purchase. Get free Hot Wheels Supercar vehicles with any Hot Wheels purchase of $25 or more at Toys"R"Us! Offer expires on 2/20."

 

Related reading at SmartMoney:

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