What’s your first thing to do when you need some advice on a retailer, a product or a deal? Yeah, most of us just go ahead and ask friends and relatives – people we can trust. They may be biased but they will share their real experience and sincere thoughts – and this way you can be sure you are not being sold anything.
Today’s Internet offers a huge number of opportunities to get real people answer any of your questions. Let me share the 4 ways to ask a question online I find particularly awesome:
Go Shopping with Your Facebook Friends
Facebook is the perfect way to unite all your friends and relatives as well friends of their friends and random acquaintances from the past in the (almost) clutter-free environment. All those people buy and sell something every day and asking them to help with your planned purchases is a good idea. What I Want is a Facebook application that offers to share your shopping lists with your Facebook friends as well as with non-Facebook users:
- Manage your wishlist based on quantity, priority and purchases.
- Search for products from all your favorite places like as Best Buy, Amazon, Apple, Buy.com, Gap, etc.
- Create: recommended lists, shopping lists, wish lists, etc.
Take Advantage of Your IM
You may have a lot of contacts on your IM list but that’s not where you must stop. Aardvark is a new Facebook application that allows you to ask questions and get answers from real people via Facebook and your preferred IM:
- Allow the app to access your Facebook account;
- Add your IM account name;
- Add Aardvark to your IM buddy list;
- Send questions right to the Aardvark and the tool will match you to the expert who will answer your question.
Join Shopping Social Media Networks
Social web offers a huge number of social networks that can help you discuss your shopping experiences in real time. There’s no point in trying to follow all of them. Instead, choose the one that best suits your needs. My own criteria for choosing the best social community for me are:
- The network should be spam-free;
- The site should have clear interface;
- The forum should be active;
- The community should be friendly (no trolls please).
My favorite one is Buxr for a few important reasons:
It is not yet popular to the level where it becomes “too active” (too many friends you don’t remember, too many questions you don’t want to answer, too much activity you are unable to follow);
It is popular and active enough to give me something new daily when I check in;
It is attentively moderated, so is completely spam-free;
It offers a few social features but is not yet overloaded with them.
Ask on Twitter!
Well, currently Twitter is the most obvious way to ask a question on the web. But not everyone knows how to use it properly: don’t forget to use Twitter search to see what related questions have already been asked and who answered them. Twitter search offers a cool advanced search operator (?) allowing to filter questions. See how it may come on handy when searching for deals and special offers related to iPhone for example:
Search: [iPhone coupons ?]
And which tools are you using to ask a money-saving question online?
The guest post is by Ann Smarty, a blogger and online entrepreneur.