Social media—Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, et al—is clearly here to stay. So you might as well learn to use your accounts to find freebies, right? There are all kinds of strategies you can use to locate free stuff using your social networking accounts. Here is a helpful overview of some of the most popular ways to score freebies.

Social media networking sites like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook are any marketer's dream—imagine being able to connect with hundreds, even thousands, of customers eager to try out your products! So if you are scouting for freebies, use these network-specific tips to find what you’re looking for.

1. Hints to find free stuff on Twitter

Twitter has become popular simply because you don't have to be a great writer to fit right in. With 140 character limits, Twitter makes connecting with others (even celebrities!) as easy as a mouse click. Here’s how to find the free stuff you love on Twitter.

  • Follow your favorite brands—for instance, Starbucks (@Starbucks) for coffee or L'Oreal (@Loreal) for makeup.
  • Use the Twitter search bar for specific searches
  • Search by hashtags (#)–some popular searches are #freebie, #freebies, #freestuff
  • Find Twitter parties and attend for free giveaways—search for upcoming parties here: twitterpartyguide.com
  • Find Twitterers who tweet about free stuff and specifically follow them—some popular Tweeters include these:

p.s. Be sure to follow KCL on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrazyCouponLady

2. Hints to find free stuff on Facebook

Facebook, with more than a billion users, is the largest social network on the planet. Period. As such, Facebook is a rich repository of freebies—provided you know how and where to find them!

  • Find pages for the brands you love, "like" them and "follow" them. You can also click to get notifications delivered to your Newsfeed (use the "Liked" drop-down menu to do this)
  • Find specific pages that offer freebies and "like" and "follow" them. Some popular pages include these.

p.s. Be sure to "like" KCL on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheKrazyCouponLady

3. Hints to find free stuff on Pinterest

Pinterest may be a relatively recent entrant into the social networking arena, but it already has an impressively robust fan following. The key with Pinterest comes through sharing and promoting other users' (called "pinners") pins—not your own (you rely on other users to do that for you, and you reciprocate for them in kind). Pinterest is a great place to find freebies too—here’s how!

p.s. Be sure to follow KCL on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krazycouponlady/

4. Set up Google Alerts to have new freebies delivered to your inbox

It’s easy and free to set up Google Alerts. You can set them up based on hashtags from Twitter or page names from Facebook and Pinterest. Or you can simply enter the product name or popular search words like "discounts," "coupons," "freebies," or other helpful search phrases.

A short Google Alert setup tutorial

Here’s how to set up your first Google Alert:

1.  Visit Google Alerts online: http://www.google.com/alerts
2. Fill in each field with the appropriate details.
3. Choose how often you wish to receive alerts.
4. Select a "deliver to" email address (this doesn’t have to be a gmail account).
5. Now, simply monitor your alerts as they come in!

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