How I (Legitimately) Use Social Media to Make Money and Get Free Stuff

There are over 500 million people and companies on Facebook, and about 300 million users on Twitter, worldwide.

Then, there are other social media sites like Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedInThat is a lot of people on social media!

And that’s a lot of ways to make money, and get tons of free stuff. Don’t worry I’m not talking about the spammy types that annoy all of us.

There are legitimate ways to get free stuff, like gift cards, earn cash and win prizes – all with social media. Here’s how I do it.

Freebies with Facebook

“Like” companies

If you’re wanting to make a purchase from a certain brand or company, they are almost certainly going to be on Facebook. By “liking” them you will get access to coupons, free shipping codes and daily specials.

Many companies like offer daily/weekly contests, for gift cards and free products. Once you “like” companies on Facebook, you will have the opportunity to enter current sweepstakes and giveaways.

The benefits of using Facebook:

  • Daily contests
  • Sweepstakes
  • Giveaways
  • Discounts
  • Coupons

In the past I’ve won a free basket of Burt’s Bees hand lotion and manicure supplies, plus a lotion/lipbalm set from Carmex, just from using Facebook. Follow Careful Cents on Facebook for freebies and other prizes.

Freebies with Twitter

Now, in case you don’t already know, I LOVE Twitter!

I really enjoy interacting with fellow bloggers and readers, that share some of my same passions. If you aren’t following me already, you should do it now (you don’t want to miss the next time I set my towel on fire).

“Follow” on Twitter

Many times I’ve seen a discount or limited-time only coupon, posted to Twitter before it’s posted to any other social media sites. I find it’s quicker to get the updates on Twitter than to wait around for a Facebook post or email.

Attend a TweetChat

TweetChats are one of the highlights of my week. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve laughed at the things some people say.

A TweetChat is like a chatroom on Twitter, where everyone uses a hashtag (#) to follow the conversation. Normally they are about an hour long, and will have questions asked by the host/company, followed by answers from participants.

Some chats are about personal finance, career advice, or food/recipes. Basically anything goes. More often than not, the host of the chat offers prizes, like an Amazon gift card.

I’ve won two-$10 Amazon gift cards and one-$25 Visa gift card. All for attending a chat, interacting with other Tweeters and sharing random tips.

Use Sponsored Tweets

Yes, you can make money for each tweet you post. All you have to do is sign up (using your Twitter account) at for free, set your price and start accepting offers for ads.

If you’re picky like I am and don’t want to tweet a particular product, you can decline.

You might have to start out low, only getting a few cents per tweet. But once you build up your reputation, you can ask for more money.

As you can see, I’ve made $32.92 just from tweeting. I could make more if I wasn’t so picky in what I promote on Twitter, I try not to be too spammy.

Sponsored Tweets account balance



The benefits of using Twitter:

  • First dibs on sales/discounts
  • Win gift cards
  • ReTweet giveaways and contests
  • Get paid for tweets
  • Money saving tips

Freebies from Bloggers

“Connect with” your favorite blogger/website

Until I became a blogger, I had no idea bloggers hosted giveaways on their blogs. By “connecting with” a blogger or website, you will be able to enter giveaways for books, cash, beauty products and even clothes.

The winners are chosen randomly, and if there’s only a handful of entries, you will have even MORE of a chance of winning. Some of the most popular kinds of giveaways include Amazon gift cards and books.

I have personally won two books, a tax organization kit and $25 cash. You never know if you will win, unless you enter.

Which normally only requires you to connect with that blogger on social media or leave a short comment.

Bloggers that are really popular, get first dibs on trying new products, which they can pass along to you in a giveaway. I’ve even hosted a few of my own.

The benefits of following a blogger:

  • Win gift cards or cash
  • Try the latest products
  • Get free books
  • Win a handbag, scarf or other accessory

Most of the time I don’t even try that hard to make money on social media, but if you put in the time and effort you could really get some great prizes.

Here’s everything I’ve won using social media in the past 6 months.

  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • $25 Visa gift card
  • Tax kit giveaway (worth $30)
  • Book about investing (worth $12)
  • Book about finances (worth $11)
  • Pearl and jade bracelet (worth $45)
  • $25 cash
  • $32.92 from Sponsored Tweets
  • Manicure/lotion set (worth $20)
  • Lipbalm/lotion set (worth $12)

Total in cash and prizes in 2012 – $232.92

Have you ever won anything using social media?

Photo Credit: webtreats

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About the author: Carrie Smith is the financial artist and owner of Careful Cents, a site that helps creative freelancers discover the art of making a living. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. She recently launched her new course called, Solopreneur Finance: Managing Money On Your Own Terms. When she’s not writing about finance, and geeking out over numbers, she enjoys painting, sketching, and making food with her chef husband. You can connect with her in real time on Twitter or Instagram: @carefulcents.

11 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • Daisy March 13, 2012, 8:08 am

    I’ve considered sponsored Tweets before but I’m not so sure. I don’t think I really Tweet enough for the sponsored ones to not be spammy, you know?

    • Carrie Smith March 13, 2012, 9:11 pm

      I’m pretty particular about not being too spammy too. I only accept a few Sponsored Tweets per month. It doesn’t seem too bad.

  • Michelle March 13, 2012, 8:09 am

    Wow you’ve won a lot!

  • Andrea March 13, 2012, 8:51 am

    You’re so right, social media is great for winning things!  I won a $500 Target gift card in a Twitter contest on Black Friday, but those little wins really add up too.

  • Jessica March 13, 2012, 1:54 pm

    I stopped getting sponsored tweet offers a few months ago. I’m not sure what happened but even after lowering my cost per tweet considerably, I still don’t get them. BUT I LOVE winning prizes via blogs and social media. I just won a $100 gift card the other day from J$s site.

    • Carrie Smith March 13, 2012, 9:09 pm

      Yeah, I haven’t been getting very many Sponsored Tweets either. But I’m also pretty picky, so I figured that’s why.

      Winning on social media or blogs is awesome! I love getting free money :)

  • Kari March 14, 2012, 12:05 am

    I have won a couple of blog giveaways. One of for knitting supplies which I loved. I don’t do a lot of social media things, yet (I’m still learning how it all works). But I’m getting better :-)

    • Carrie Smith March 14, 2012, 1:12 pm

      That’s awesome Kari! I’m learning more everyday too. The worldwide web is a huge place.

  • Julie Dawn Harris March 14, 2012, 2:41 am

    Indeed! Social media could give you lot of opportunities. It
    widens your social reach plus joining in every contest would be another great
    bonus if you win.

  • Ryan Hardy March 15, 2012, 6:20 pm

    Wow, I never realized how many different ways you can earn money with social media. Thanks!

  • Sarah Li Cain March 7, 2013, 11:01 am

    I am totally obsessed with contests. That’s how I came along your blog and now I’m a loyal follower!

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