Please don’t call me a twit because I love Twitter. Sure, many have argued that Twitter is a massive waste of time and does little more than appease our narcissist tendencies, while others claim Twitter is changing the way we live.
I’m on neither end of these “news media” extremes. Twitter has its practical applications, and over the last year I’ve used the social media site for frugal and financial gain.
Follow me on Twitter: @squawkfox
What is Twitter? Twitter is an online web service where you post 140 character messages to your followers. With your Twitter account, you choose who to follow, allowing you to read their 140 character messages called “tweets”. Twitter really is that simple.
This post is for all the people who think Twitter is a time suck but would like to see some fun and frugal uses for the social media site. Here are five ways Twitter can make you rich:
1. Get money tips, find a bargain
Want to save a buck or two? On Twitter you may just find the perfect deal since there are numerous “tweeples”, or twitter people, who specialize in tweeting deals, bargains, and coupons for you. By following the right people I’ve found deals on everything from soap to shoes.
Following even a financially savvy few can also win you fabulous money tips, find you big savings advice, or just give you pause for frugal thought — like @globemoney‘s question, “How far would you go to save a buck?” I think I’ll flush my toilet, thanks.
2. Connect with money gurus
Perhaps my favorite use for Twitter is connecting with money gurus. If you’re looking for investing advice, wise moneyed words, or someone to cut through the financial BS, then following a few columnists and personalities may put you on the road to riches.
Many leading newspaper and magazine columnists use Twitter to post links to their stories, pose questions to readers, and offer instant commentary on market news. If you’re too busy to keep track of a particular financial story, just add a favorite star to it and save it for later. I often star tweets from financial columnist Jonathan Chevreau (@JonChevreau).
Finding financial gurus is as easy as finding their newspaper columns online and seeking out their Twitter account. You can also use the Twitter Search to find the financial folks tweeting online.
3. Find jobs on Twitter, get career advice
I twip you not — you can find jobs on Twitter. The trick to tweeting for work is to follow the local companies you want to work for. To do this, just surf on over to the corporate webpage of your favorite organization, and see if they have a Follow Me on Twitter banner. If they do, then follow them.
Many companies now post their newest job openings to Twitter — often before they’re on their corporate web pages.
Another method of expanding your Twitter job search is to follow targeted career sites and job listing services — preferably the ones announcing jobs in your area or else you’ll get swamped by too many unhelpful tweets.
To sort through the job opportunities, try adding these twitter accounts to a simple Twitter List to keep up-to-date with your new opportunities.
It’s just a matter of finding, searching, and locating the knowledgeable sources that mesh with your career needs and following their tweets. I’ve been following Penelope Trunk’s Twitter feed (@penelopetrunk) for a while and have found her to be both interesting and entertaining.
4. Get some skills, enjoy a hobby, meet tweeples
Increasing one’s wealth isn’t just about amassing more money. Your personal stock will skyrocket if you seek new skills and harness your hobbies. Self improvement is the name of the game here and Twitter can be a huge helper in connecting you with like-minded people.
Are you into gardening or farming? Well there’s kagillions of fellow farmers who are green thumbers like you.
Looking to travel the world on a budget? Yes, you can save some serious cash by following airlines, travel sites, and fellow globe trotters announcing tricks and deals.
When a staycation vacation is more in your budget then go ahead and get tweets from local galleries, museums, and recreational centers to get in the know for promotions and discounts.
I also also follow fitness enthusiasts, foodies, authors, bloggers, and technology geeks since I’m a fan of all things tasty, nerdy, healthy, and bookish.
Do you like books? Well mega author Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) knows a thing or two about Twitter:
Anyways, the idea here is to build a social circle and surround yourself with those that bring quality to your life. And yes, if you find tweeples you really like then go ahead and organize a “Tweetup” — an in-person gathering of people who use Twitter.
5. Ask a money question, get an answer!
Perhaps the most compelling use of Twitter is finding answers, fast. I’ve often tweeted serious (and silly) questions into the Twitter universe and have found the answers.
Here I asked my Twitter followers, “Do you track your expenses? Got a trick or tool that makes tracking your money easier?”
They responded in under a minute.
Twitter answers questions quickly because there are many knowledgeable and opinionated people connecting through the social network. With thousands of possible connections, you are bound to find a few with helpful insight to any problem. “Where can I buy a suit in Saskatchewan? Or “How do I build a portfolio with index funds?” It’s all on Twitter.
How to use Twitter
Starting with Twitter can be a lonely experience — things only get interesting once you find people to follow. To join the conversation, Sign up on Twitter, find people to follow, and then post a Tweet.
You may not make a million by tweeting 140 characters, but you may just find ways to save some cash, find work, or meet like-minded money gurus looking to connect.
Your Two Cents: Got a Twitter tip? Have you used Twitter to save money?