I love it when I can get free stuff. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a free sample of hand lotion, a free soft pretzel, or a free magazine subscription. I love free, and Twitter makes it easy to quickly find all kinds of freebies.
Here are five ways to use Twitter to get your fix of free stuff.
1. Track Hashtags
Hashtags (topics marked with the # symbol) have grown in popularity, almost to the point of overuse. But they make it easy to find tweets related to particular topics. Enter #freebie or #freebies into the search box to pull up tweets related to free stuff.
Another option is Twitterfall for a constant stream of tweets related to key terms. I sat and watched tweets cascade down my screen and in about a minute I found out about a 60-day trial membership to a wholesale club, ice cream, and movie tickets –- all free.
If you use an RSS reader, one more option is to subscribe to a feed with the #freebie or #freebies hashtag. I did this using Twitter Search. Once I did my search, I clicked “Feed for this query” in the upper right-hand corner to grab the RSS URL. You can also use a service like Twilert to get hashtag search results sent directly to your inbox when you want them, whether every hour or once a week.
2. Follow Freebie Tweeters
There are quite a few people on Twitter who only tweet out freebies, including free food at restaurants and free samples.
A few that I follow include:
In my opinion, these accounts share the most legitimate freebies.
You can also use Twellow or WeFollow to find other freebie tweeters. Search for key terms like “freebie” or “free stuff” and see which accounts pop up. Twitter users are sorted by number of followers.
Giveaways are abundant on Twitter too, with many brands and bloggers using them as a way to gain followers and readers. A couple of users I follow to find out about the latest giveaways include @twitaway and @ilovegiveaways.
3. Visit Freebie Aggregators
Another way to find free stuff posted on Twitter is by using an aggregator site like TwitterFreebies.com. This site displays a running list of freebies and giveaways along with links back to the Twitter users.
Best bets are to click on either “Twitter Freebie” or “Twitter Giveaway” for the most relevant freebie tweets. Click on the “Free on Twitter” tab, and you’ll find too many irrelevant tweets from people with “free time on their hands” and whose sites are “free to join,” since this category basically culls all tweets that include the word “free.”
4. Stop By a Twitter Party
You’ll find a Twitter Party going on every night of the week, and sometimes during the day. The Twitter Party has become the marketing vehicle of choice these days, and loads of brands have signed up to host these online events that feature an hour or two of discussion on a set topic, as well as giveaways of CDs, gift cards, coupons, and even bigger prizes like iPhones.
There are multiple groups that host these events, and to follow along you’ll want to log in to a site like TweetGrid or TweetDeck that enable you to separate tweets into columns. I use TweetGrid, and with three columns, I can view at-a-glance all event-related tweets, all tweets by the event hosts, and all tweets to me.
5. Follow Your Favorite Brands
If you want free stuff, it’s a wise move to follow your favorite brands and retailers, but then separate them into a dedicated Twitter list. By following your favorites, you’ll be among the first to know about special deals, coupons and freebies. In many cases, these are Twitter-only benefits.
Recently, True Lemon was giving away free tote bags to Twitter users who sent in a Twitpic of themselves drinking True Lemon flavored drinks. Last summer, Rubio’s, a Southwestern restaurant chain, gave away free All-American Tacos to anyone who shared an “All-American Moment” photo via Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.
I wonder what freebies I’ll be able to score today. A free shampoo sample, a free pack of gum — maybe a free reusable tote bag. Who knows? But just the thrill of discovering a freebie is enough for me.
What Twitter strategies do you use to score free stuff? Please share them in the comments below.
More Twitter resources from Mashable: