Social media– the very phrase conjures up a million different ideas. It might be the way that you like to kill time, it might be the way that you manage your business, or it might even be a significant part of your daily routine.
But how about using social media sites like Twitter to save money?
In today’s world, social media is a definitive factor in the way that people and businesses alike connect.
In fact, you may have heard by now that companies regularly hire people on as “Social Media Managers,” or basically, customer service representatives who operate through the company’s social media pages. It’s these people who are responding to your tweets and Facebook posts, and furthermore, they’re the ones who you’re going to end up interfacing with if you submit a complaint to their social media pages.
Here’s a situation that has happened more than once by now:
A disgruntled customer wants to tell a company that they’re upset about the service. But if they submit a complaint to the corporate sector of the company, nothing is likely to happen, and it will make the customer feel even more slighted than ever. Instead, this customer complains to the official Twitter account of the company.
“Your service is the worst,” they might say, “I’m cutting your service ASAP!” Well, the social media manager’s job is to see tweets like this, and reach out to mitigate the damage. They might offer to send you some coupons, or work something out on their side to get your bill reduced.
How’s that for easy earnings?
Here, we’ll list 10 major companies who have active social media managers, and who are likely to respond to your aired grievances, specially on Twitter:
1. AT&T (@ATTCares)
As a communications company themselves, these guys know the importance of addressing grievances– especially when they’re on a public forum like Twitter!
They’re quite attentive about the complaints of their customers, so if you’re upset with them at all, don’t be afraid to air it out. They’ve been known in the past to take off $15/month from your bill, and it is rumored that if you name-drop their rival, T-Mobile, they’ll be even more inclined to help you out.
2. Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets)
Chipotle’s popularity can be explained in a lot of ways: it might be the quality of ingredients, their killer branding, or their rapid expansion that would make even Starbucks blush.
Another thing they do right?
Chipotle has a full-time, dedicated social media manager who is very proactive about addressing complaints and helping customers out. If you have a legitimate complaint, you can reasonably expect that they might send something your way to ease your mind.
3. Verizon (@VZWSupport)
This Twitter account is dedicated solely to customer service, so you can imagine that they are keen to help you out.
If you can document the legitimacy of your complaints, these guys will almost definitely try to get your bill lowered.
4. American Airlines (@AmericanAir)
American Airlines holds the distinction of being the only airline company that makes it to this list.
You wouldn’t normally expect an airline to consider its customers like this, huh? AA actually has a top-level social media manager who responds quickly, does their best to help, and is sometimes pretty funny to boot.
There are several companies that might give you deals on this list, but who could pass up the opportunity for deals on airfare?
5. Comcast (@comcast)
Yes, Comcast, the famously detested telecommunications company. Despite their rough reputation, Comcast actually puts their best foot forward in the realm of social media.
Unlike certain other companies, the social media manager over at Comcast is actually an educated, technical correspondent. They will be prepared to discuss the nitty-gritty of your issues, as well as hooking you up with customer service benefits like discounts and bill reductions.
6. Dish Network (@DISH_Answers)
Dealing with Dish Network is a lot like dealing with the other telecom companies on this list– they’ll be glad to help you, so long as you’re a customer of theirs. You can’t very well voice a complaint about a service you don’t have, right?
If you are a Dish customer, however, there is a very good chance that they can kick some discounts your way if you’re displeased about the quality or price of your service.
7. DIRECTV (@DIRECTVService)
DIRECTV is the last television company on this list, so we’ll keep it short and say that you’re more or less good to use the same strategy here as you did on the others.
Of course, make sure you’re prepared with some competitor’s rates– that always makes a business interested in what you have to say!
8. Sprint (@sprint)
You can try tweeting straight to @sprint, but they also have @sprintcare for your customer service needs. Sprint is no stranger to providing discounts over social media. In fact, at time of writing, Sprint is offering a “half off your bill” promotion for bringing in a Verizon or AT&T bill.
There’s a dose of legitimacy for those previous statements about competitor rates! Sprint is definitely trying to establish a positive social media presence, and you can get in on it with just a tweet or two.
9. Citibank (@Citibank)
Citibank holds the unique distinction of being the only bank with a notable social media presence. While they aren’t known to go giving out a lot of discounts, Citibank can save you some time if you tweet straight to them– there is a famous story published by the Wall Street Journal about a woman who was instantly connected to customer service after tweeting a complaint about their long on-hold times.
It won’t put money in your pockets, but it is a time-saver. You can consider that a form of money saving!
10. Starbucks (@Starbucks)
The coffee giant has definitely taken steps to cover themselves in the social media world, and that’s probably a good move, considering how popular it is with the youth.
If you had a bad experience and the in-store employees didn’t manage to make it right, take the complaint to their Twitter. It’s not too uncommon for them to dole out a gift card or a “free coffee” coupon to appease complaining customers.
Hopefully you can use some of these companies to save a little bit on your bottom line (or at the very least, get a free meal!). If you want to save even more money on products and services by other companies not mentioned here, check out this great post from LifeHacker on how to save everywhere with the help of social media.
One important thing to remember, however: you should always be following the company before you tweet. If you aren’t following them, you can’t start a direct message conversation, which is how you’re going to want to talk to them!
So make sure you follow them to streamline the process– they are going to want to save time as much as you are!