How to Use Twitter to Improve Your Finances

Posted on 29. Feb, 2012 by in Wealth Productivity

Twitter and your finances

Have you noticed the way everyone is using twitter as a reliable source for gossip and current events these days?  The news will quote a tweet or two most nights, television shows are encouraging you to use #hashtags to comment about the episode in real time and the number of people tweeting and listening is growing all the time – there are 11 new accounts created every second!

In this post I’m going to show you how to use twitter to get more information, better service and even discounts that will help to improve your personal finances.

How People Use Twitter

The best thing about twitter in my opinion is that it is so available and open to anyone.  You can tweet to your friends, follow famous people and get up to the minute updates for pretty much any service currently available.  The marketing potential of twitter is huge, so just about every business has created a presence and is flogging their wares.  And while it can be a great marketing tool, it is also a good listening post and a way to gauge consumer perception, which is often what businesses are more interested in.

Did you know that twitter is one of the biggest real time search engines on the internet?

If you want to know what is trending around the world right now, or what people are saying about a certain topic, then twitter search is perfect for this.  In fact it is so good that twitter is used as a search engine more often than both Bing and Yahoo combined.

So how does this help our finances?  Easy, it gives you a direct line to just about any service you want.  If you are having a tough time with a business over the phone, try tweeting instead and see what happens.  Most of these businesses are dedicating time to monitoring what is being said about them and they are generally very quick to put out a fire on social sharing networks for fear of bad news going viral.

Example

Let’s say you have been trying to get some help from your bank, but the staff have been less than responsive.  You decide to try tweeting to the bank instead, knowing that a more public statement might get you a response.  Here is what you do:

  1. If you don’t have one, sign up for a twitter account, it takes no time at all.
  2. Find your bank by searching twitter for them by name.  Once you find them, go to their profile page and click the follow button.
  3. Compose a thoughtful tweet and insert the bank twitter name so that they will see they have been mentioned.
  4. Wait for a response – this shouldn’t take long if you tweet during business hours.
It is highly likely that the bank will friend you, then tweet back with a generic message asking you to Direct Message (DM) them you phone number.  Before you know it you are talking with someone from their central branch who can provide a lot more help and make a lot more decisions on the spot.

I’ve had some very good success with this in the past, particularly with banks and other large service providers.  I suggest you try experimenting with this technique to see how it can help you.

Here are some things you can try to get better service and improve your financial position:

Tweet to your bank or even better a competitor and ask what their best home loan rate is, or if you can have a discount on other fees.  There is so much competition around at the moment that banks will be unusually helpful in an attempt to either keep you as a customer, or lure you over as a new one by offering some very nice incentives.

Banks on twitter

Tweet to your insurance company to comment about poor service or something you need help with.  Big service providers really don’t want to see people complaining about them online, so they are usually pretty good at following up.  If you can’t get what you want by phone, jump onto twitter instead.

Insurance and twitter

Tweet to your gas, electricity or other service provider to sort out a billing issue.  If you are having problems, go ahead and complain on twitter.  There is really no need to wait on the end of a phone to chase up problems, these days any decent service provider is willing to do the running around for you!

service providers on twitter I’m sure that you can think of lots of other ways to use twitter to get a better service and save your time and money, so go ahead and give it a go.  I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below as well.

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19 Responses to “How to Use Twitter to Improve Your Finances”

  1. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    01. Mar, 2012

    I’m definitely a twitter fan too. I think it has huge potential, and it has been very good to me thus far. I definitely receive a lot of good content (including financial) from some people. Having systems to deal with information overload help a lot!

    • Money Cactus

      01. Mar, 2012

      That is the only draw back isn’t it? Information overload! I love all the great resources available to me on twitter, don’t know what I did without it 😉

  2. Great suggestions MC – any way you can get a hold of a customer service rep and ask for a discount is a great way in my book!

    • Money Cactus

      01. Mar, 2012

      Thanks Jeff,

      I love that you don’t have to wait in line on the phone, service providers should be doing as the name suggests!

  3. Wow! It turns out that I am a really basic user of Twitter. Great – much place for improvement. Thanks.

    • Money Cactus

      01. Mar, 2012

      Ha ha! basic is fine, at least you are there and interacting with people. Glad some of the information was helpful.

  4. karen

    01. Mar, 2012

    HA, HA! I love this post Shaun. I have also received almost instant replies from my horrible bank after tweeting. Much better than waiting on hold on the phone for ages and then being shuffled from one unhelpful person to the next. Love the idea of inviting offers of the best deals.

    Well done, keep the good tips coming.

    • Money Cactus

      01. Mar, 2012

      Great to hear that you have had success with the banks Karen, let me know if you have any luck in other areas too.

  5. I am a reluctant “twit.” I signed up for my account for exactly the example you outlined – I needed to complain to a company and wasn’t getting anywhere on the phone! It worked, too 🙂

    • Money Cactus

      02. Mar, 2012

      Great to hear that it worked Elizabeth. I wonder if people with bigger twitter accounts (i.e. more followers) would get better service than those with only a few?

  6. Great post. I’ve tweeted to the CEOs of large companies and gotten responses. You are spot on about it being a real-time search engine. Most corporations don’t like to see a negative tweet and will hopefully rectify the situation.

    • Money Cactus

      02. Mar, 2012

      Thanks John. It can be a pretty powerful tool can’t it? I think there are a lot of people (companies) that are really worried about bad press on social sites and they seem to be really putting some time into it at the moment.

  7. [email protected]

    04. Mar, 2012

    I have a Twitter account but don’t use it to my advantage. I’ll try some of these techniques. Do they also work if you compliment the business?

    • Money Cactus

      04. Mar, 2012

      I’ve actually never tried Melissa, let me know if you have any luck though. My feeling is that businesses will be a lot more interested if you are complaining, but it is certainly worth a try.

  8. mbhunter

    04. Mar, 2012

    I’ve seen people interact with their banks (and other services) this way. Great post!

  9. Barbara Friedberg

    05. Mar, 2012

    Very valuable information. I’m going to give this a try!!!

  10. MoneyforCollegePro

    06. Mar, 2012

    Definitely some awesome new information here. I’ll have to step up my Twitter game.

  11. Frugal City Girl

    15. Mar, 2012

    I’ve found Tweeting companies when I have problems with their services much more effective than going through their in-house troubleshooting process. I called and emailed BT for a week when my broadband went down last year, with no response, but when I Tweeted them I got a response within two hours and an engineer out in two days. American Express misplaced a £4,000 payment I made to them and every person I called told me something different for three weeks(!), but their Twitter account sorted it out within the same day.

    • Money Cactus

      15. Mar, 2012

      Awesome work! Isn’t it nice having them run around for you instead of the other way around?