by Ruth Mesfun*
I love the holiday season! During the month of December, I revert to a nine year old, anticipating the slew of holiday traditions upon us. First, my family assembles the fake pine-like tree in our living room. (Well, my father assembles the tree while I read the directions.) Then, my siblings and I decorate it until it looks like a personalized Santa’s beacon with every light blinking.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday is gift-giving. However this year it seems like more of a financial burden than fun. Brands seem to understand this and are incorporating humor into social media holiday campaigns. Old Spice and its MANta Claus One Man, Seven Billion Gifts campaign is one example.
While a far cry from seven billion gifts, here is how I am using social and online media to spread a little holiday cheer while spending only $43 on presents for four family members, three awesome friends, two roommates, and one cat.
1. Craigslist. I love Craigslist for vintage and technology. I found a quality, fully-functional vintage record player for free. It just needed a little TLC, and my father (whose record player broke) would love this. ($200 value). I also received 30 vinyl records, which I am giving half to my dad and the other half to my roommate who equally loves vinyl – potentially saving $20 on gift for said roommate.
Remember to check if it works before paying and to ensure the seller is legit. Also, make sure you know what your receiver wants. There is no use getting something for free if no one wants or needs it.
2. Groupon. I love Groupon for trips, beauty/spa deals, events, and classes. But we all know how addicting Groupon was when we first signed up and started buying all those Groupons that we thought we would use, but probably won’t. Now we can put them to good use. I have six random Groupons from a day spa to belly dancing. I am giving a Groupon to my sister, mom, and two of my friends. ($800 value).
Again, before giving random Groupons to people (unless you don’t care and will never see them again) make sure you know they will actually like the gift.
3. Marshalls. Marshalls is great to buy name brand for less. I bought an adorable jewelry box set for my other roommate and a mouse toy for the cat.
4. eBay. I bought a miniature doll tea set for my best friend who loves all things miniature. eBay is a smorgasbord, if you know what you want this site is loaded with deals.
5. Barnes and Noble. I love my brother and he loves Legos. So, with my sister’s help we split the difference for the LEGO 2011 Architecture White House and received a 10 percent discount because I am a member.
The best part is that my friends and family are getting something that they always wanted.
What other ways have you used social and online media to saved money or to promote your products and services during the holidays?
Bio: Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, as social media specialist, Ruth worked as a marketing assistant in a kitchen design firm and, later interned with Turner Public Relations. She holds a BA in Economics with a minor degree in International Relations from Rowan University. In addition to economics, education, and finance – Ruth is passionate about understanding the business implications of social media, including how it can be used to increase ROI, find and maintain a career, and create a business. Connect with her on Twitter: @RuthMesfun LinkedIn: Ruth Mesfun Facebook: BurrellesLuce