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7 tips to save money using Twitter

Micro-blogging tool social networking site Twitter has been hailed as a great marketing tool for businesses to communicate with their customers and extend the reach of their brand. But there are many other benefits to business to be had from Twitter. If utilized correctly, Twitter can be a great money saving tool. Charis Palmer outlines 7 ways that you can improve your financial knowledge and save money by using Twitter.

While Twitter was originally designed a communication tool, it is actually a great tool for keeping on top of the latest economic news and finding ways to save money.

There is a lot of fun to be had by using Twitter, but when utilized in a strategic manner, there can be a lot of financial benefits to be gained from using the popular social networking site.

Below are 7 ways businesses can improve their financial knowledge and find ways to save money or time by using Twitter.

1.    Have your bank solve a problem

An increasing number of banks, including the Commonwealth Bank, are monitoring Twitter for comments about their brand and in cases where they can identify problems, are reaching out to customers to try and assist them.

NAB direct banking arm UBank (@UBank) uses Twitter to post information but also spends time answering questions from customers and potential customers.

As Twitter is relatively new, banks are still working out how to serve customers using it, but those that are using it seem to be responding very quickly to customer issues and proactively reaching out to disgruntled customers.

2.    Get the latest deals

More and more companies are joining Twitter to provide alerts to consumers on the latest deals they offer. Examples include Amazon and eBay in the US @amazondeals and @eBayBargains.

Looking locally, we have OzBargain (@ozbargain) and Wotif (@wotif) using Twitter to boost business. One car park company in Brisbane is using Twitter to give away parking time (@MCCPBris).

The list of companies using Twitter to offer special deals is only expected to grow as more Australians join Twitter.

3.    Get up to the minute financial news

Whether it’s local or global news, or just the latest from the grape vine, Twitter is a super efficient way of receiving the latest headlines.

Mobile phone Twitter applications like Twitterrific are also now in abundance, making it an easy way to keep up to date whilst on the move.

Globally, major news outlets including The Economist (@theeconomist) and CNN (@CNN) are using Twitter to deliver headlines and in some cases break news.

Locally, you can view business and banking news from Banking Review Media (@bankingreview), ninemsn (@ninemsnmoney) and real estate news from Domain (@domaincomau).

All of the major daily newspapers and ABC news outlets are also using Twitter to deliver headlines.

At a city level, accounts are popping up in various locations to deliver up-to-the-minute traffic information (eg. @sydneytraffic, @bristraffic).

4.    Get information on current interest rates

In the current climate, savvy investors are keen to keep a close eye on the best deposit rates available. Providers including RaboPlus (@RaboPlus) and UBank (@UBank) keep their audience ahead of planned rates/offers using Twitter.

Infomediaries including Mozo (@Mozo_au) and Help Me Choose are also embracing Twitter to deliver financial information. Canstar Cannex has taken this a step further, posting all interest rate movements @canstar_rates.

5.    Follow your favourite financial commentators

There are a growing group of banks, writers and journalists tweeting about financial issues.

The challenge remains sifting the quality content providers from the spammers – ‘get rich’ schemes are unfortunately just as prevalent on Twitter as elsewhere and @TomPetrovski is sadly not the real Tom.

However, genuine commentators are using Twitter to link to interesting information, keep their audience up to date on recent blog posts or news articles they have written, some of which can provide money-saving tips. Examples include @PeterSwitzer, @anzmoneymanager, @thebankchannel, @RateCity and @savingsguide.

6.    Find out what other people think of current financial issues

In some ways, Twitter can actually be a much better search engine than Google.

With usage growing all the time, you can start to use Twitter search (http://search.twitter.com) to gather insight on a whole range of issues – from what people think about a particular bank, to how people are reacting to the latest RBA interest rate adjustment. The difference between Twitter search and Google is that Twitter will tell you what people are thinking or doing right now.

7.    Use it to keep track of your spending

Most people know that having a budget is essential to saving money, but it can be tough just keeping track of what you spend on a daily basis.

Tweet what you spend (www.tweetwhatyouspend.com) is a Twitter application that allows you to send yourself a tweet every time you spend money so you can get a handle on what you’re actually spending in any given month.

The updates can be downloaded into a spreadsheet so that you can import it into another personal finance application.

It seems that there are a variety of ways businesses and consumers can benefit from Twitter. Not only can businesses promote their activities and gain a following for their brand, but can utilize the site to manage their finances and find out ways to save money.

Charis Palmer is the editor of Online Banking Review. For more information on Charis, please visit http://bankingreview.blogspot.com/

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