Is Facebook account worth it?
July 26, 2012 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Is joining the Facebook Club worth the deals you may get by "Liking" businesses, etc. - or is it really just a pain in the ass?

With regards to all the issues surrounding Facebook pretty much from day one, is it still worth it to set up an account in order to "Like" businesses to get bargains?

Have you really netted some great deals simply by "Liking" something? (Currently, I'm thinking of such discounts as to Lowe's and Home Depot, stores like that). Is that how it works? You "Likey", You get discount?

I know MMMV. I've been reluctant so far to set up an account, greatly encouraged by all the confidentiality issues, breaches, hacking, etc that seem to be in the headlines a bit too frequently. So, part of me thinks I'd rather not have that worry...

(FWIW, I am aware of the printable coupon sites that are online.)


Thank you very much!!
posted by foxhat10 to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We can't answer this question for you. You need to figure out how much you value your privacy - as in an exact dollar amount. You sound like you value your privacy, for the simple reason that you haven't bothered to join Facebook yet. As a practical matter, that is now distinct from the norm, so you must value your privacy more than the average person. From that perspective alone, I think you can answer your own question.

I think it is highly unlikely you will save any more than, say, $10/month with "like" bonuses on Facebook. As someone that doesn't care much about privacy, but doesn't particularly enjoy "liking" businesses out of principle, I've gotten a couple of restaurant discounts and a pair of movie tickets.

I suggest watching deal watcher sites like FatWallet or SlickDeals. You'll find details of everything that's worth getting on Facebook, and you can objectively make your decision that way. I think you'll find out that the deals on Facebook are not nearly as valuable as other deals you find on these sites. Or, maybe you won't. Either way, it will provide you with some more information than your anecdotal/intuitive information you have right now.

As an aside, there's almost no reason you need to join Facebook with real information. Perhaps if you want to pursue this, you should consider joining Facebook with fake information - it's the best of both worlds, as it were.
posted by saeculorum at 8:14 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I have a real facebook account that I never use, but set up a fake account with an old hotmail address for "liking" businesses when they have deals/promotions. Works great! I never check the hotmail account, signed up with a fake name, have no FB friends/pics/etc., and don't have to alert the people I really know on FB to the fact that I'm a coupon whore.
posted by jabes at 8:22 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have a Facebook account that I use regularly for keeping up with friends and family. I rarely "like" commercial business and when I do, it's usually a small local business and I'm doing it specifically to help promote them among my local friends. The best deal I can remember seeing was 15% off at a yogurt shop for checking in on Facebook or 4square. It's a chain, but I did it once just for the novelty. I haven't done it again, even though we frequent that yogurt shop regularly. It's just not worth 80 cents to dig my phone out of my pocket to check in.

If Outback Steaks or Chili's offered my $5 off to check in while eating there I'd do it. But since we rarely eat at chains like that I probably won't get that opportunity anytime soon.
posted by COD at 8:27 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most businesses that are heavy into social marketing tend to use both Facebook and Twitter, so having a twitter account where you basically just keep an eye on those would be a low impact way to get similar service. In fact, just last night, Mrs. Advicepig and I had free wood fired pizzas courtesy of a social media deal advertised on Facebook and Twitter.
posted by advicepig at 8:34 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I stopped using my Facebook account a while ago and deactivated it, because I couldn't really be bothered with it anymore. However, I found more and more links required one to sign in to view them. As I occasionally go through phases of entering competitions, and these are increasingly via Facebook, I set up a 'dummy account' with my real name but no picture, friends or other details - it's just so I can log in to access the kind of discounts and giveaways you#'re looking for.

In the UK, I use a website called Hot UK Deals to find coupon codes - it regularly makes the news here as the members are obsessive about bargains and will post up instances when a supermarket is selling eg. a £2 item for 10p by accident (a 'glitch'). They will then post up pictures of hundreds of these items in a big stockpile.
posted by mippy at 8:50 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Have you really netted some great deals simply by "Liking" something?

Yes. Companies really care about their social network strategies these days and will give away great deals to people who "like" their page, follow them on twitter, etc. A dummy account for the corporate whores and a "clean" account for your actual friends (if you want) is absolutely the way to go.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:18 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Worth it" is up to you, but I did just recently win a nice umbrella (and some gift cards I will probably not use) from Travelzoo, whose email list I'm already subscribed to. So: didn't have to pay anything and already receiving their ads (am a known quantity to them) anyway. It's a wash. This would not be in itself a reason to join Facebook.

As far as the "is it a pain in the ass" question: if you never go to the site, it's not like they'd ever contact you. I'm a fairly active user and the only email I ever get from them is when someone tags me in a photo.
posted by psoas at 9:37 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Through facebook I have got for free: 2 full sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner from L'oreal, hair dye from John Frieda, £60 worth of lipstick from Max Factor, samples of various serums and moisturisers. You only need to fill in your name and email address to get a facebook account and they don't have to be the truth.
posted by missmagenta at 9:57 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

It is definitely worth it on occasion - I used a dummy account to get in on a computer processor deal from Microcenter and saved almost $100 off the going retail price online. They had a tab in their company Facebook page to fill out name/info and it was printable to bring to the store.

I've also netted various giveaways.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:12 AM on July 26, 2012

Response by poster: thanks very much, all! i think i will consider setting up an account, but solely for "liking" stuff.
posted by foxhat10 at 10:13 AM on July 26, 2012

I have stopped doing the "liking" for coupons thing, because the coupons are usually not that great and on several occasions they've been refused by employees who insisted they were fake.

As an alternative, the above-mentioned FatWallet and SlickDeals forums are pretty great (and I've netted $200 in FatWallet cash back), and also there's Hey It's Free for freebies and coupons.
posted by lily_bart at 4:26 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Facebook can't share any information you don't give them.

Don't give them any more personal data than the absolute minimum required to set up an account.
posted by twblalock at 7:00 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

A lot of 'like us and get a discount' things are done by discount code submissions, and those codes can be found on RetailMeNot and the like.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:18 PM on July 27, 2012

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