I Want the Freebies… I Just Don't Want to Join Facebook

I recently have received email after email asking me “how can I get a free sample or coupon from XYZ company without joining Facebook?”

I wish I could say that Facebook coupons are going to decline, but in fact I think they will increase! So while we cannot avoid the ever growing popularity of Facebook, I can show you some quick tips to keep your information private. You do not have to join Facebook, but if you don’t, there are many promotions you will miss out on. (it is perfectly fine to miss them too if you are not comfortable!)

Companies love the ease of collection  and mass marketing capabilities of Facebook. So you may want to consider a Facebook page and use the controls built in to secure your information.

1. Create an account with the minimum allowable information. If your name is Melissa A. Jones, set the account up as M.A. Jones.  You do not have to put a profile picture up either.  Now, you will have to give the company your mailing address for samples, but this is no different from any other  free sample offer.  Some people create Facebook pages for their pets. ( I am not suggesting it, just saying)

2. Remove yourself from Facebook search results - If you don’t want old croonies from high school looking you up, then simply make it impossible for them to see you.

  • Go to account and then privacy settings page in upper right hand corner.
  • Click on view settings  under the Basic Directory Information.
  • Change your settings to be friends or custom only me, depending on what is allowed. (Note: If you have no friends, no one can find you)

3. Turn off public searches Capabilities. - You can make your name not show up in Google searches as well.

  • Go to account and then privacy settings page in upper right hand corner.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for applications and websites and edit your settings.


Scroll down to Public Search and click. You should see a checkbox to enable public search. Make sure it is turned off.

If you set it up with minimal information and then these securities, you will be virtually invisible on Facebook. If you are still uncomfortable, I say skip Facebook. If you are already on Facebook, make sure you stop over to For the Mommas Facebook page!

Comments

  1. Tammy Collins

    I dont want facebook page

  2. bill black

    please take me off facebook. I do not want to join facebook Thank=you, Bill Black

    • Shannon

      @bill black,

      You are leaving your name on a blog, if you need to contact facebook, you need to go to facebook.

  3. bill black

    I do not want to join facebook please take my name off your list Bill Black

  4. Karen

    @Shannon
    Ooops! *I’m sorry*. My response was directed at Elizabeth@TheThriftyDivas above ^^^^^^.
    (I thought my response would end up under that response…..sorry it wasn’t clear!)

    I appreciate you clear explanation as to how to limit your Facebook exposure use…..it certainly makes it easier to understand. :)

    • Shannon

      @Karen,

      Sorry Karen. I just wanted to make sure you knew that I wasn’t saying that! If you don’t want to be on Facebook, don’t do it, thats what I think! :)

  5. Karen

    Please don’t call someone who chooses not to have a FB account for deals “dumb

    I choose not to have a FB account as I get plenty of deals as it is, already spend enough time on my computer and don’t want the hassle of maintaining/monitoring/following another online “account”.

    I appreciate the tips posted and will certainly apply them should I decide to cross over to FB.

    • Shannon

      @Karen,

      Im sorry, the post was not in any way shape or form calling people dumb! I would never.

      Shannon

  6. gme

    When you “like” something on Facebook, it automatically posts to your wall and your friends’ newsfeed. Unlike before, when you could block that from showing up, you can’t any more. The only way to get it off your wall/friends’ newsfeed is to delete it from your wall AS SOON as it shows up – and then *maybe* you’ll get it before it hits the newsfeed. But seriously, someone doesn’t want their friends to know they’re trying to save money?? Really?

  7. wifeeonline

    As to wanting to check ID. If your “vague” FB page is your initials plus last name then it will match your ID.

    Funny I made my own “vague” FB page months ago once I noticed all the “likes” adding up on my regular page. I was more concerned with being able to post comments and replies on the FB pages without EVERYONE being able to see me then concerned about my friends seeing what all I “liked”.

  8. Traci

    I noticed someone mentioned Cheesecake Factory requiring ID to use coupons. I work retail, and sometimes my store emails coupons that we require you to show ID with. The main reason is that they are intended as a perk for the folks on our mailing list or frequent customers, and generally, they’re a really good deal… the company wants to make sure people aren’t photocopying dozens of them and selling them on eBay or the like. Can’t speak for Cheesecake Factory… but that could be a possible reason. I guess it’s similar to the way CVS coupons only work if the right CVS card is used with them.

  9. Mike

    I love Facebook. It is a great way to re-connect with people you have lost touch with. When I have to “like” something to get the coupon, I print the coupon and then go back to the company’s FB page and “unlike” them. That way they cannot get any more info from me in the future.

  10. Catherine

    I would hesitate to call people “dumb” who may be avoiding Facebook for reasons other than to protect personal privacy. Some people have difficulty controlling themselves with social networking sites, or just the Internet, or even anything that offers the temptation to waste time. If someone chooses to avoid Facebook and thereby forego extra coupons for any of these reasons, I would call him just plan wise.

  11. Shannon, thanks for this great post! I get that question alot on my blog. Companies are using Facebook more to spread the word about their new products and you will see a huge growth in coupons, offers and freebies on Facebook over the next year!

    Your post explains how simple it is to take advantage of these great offers from companies without compromising personal information. AND anyone who still doesn’t have a “vague” facebook account to take advantage of these offers – they are just plain dumb!

  12. Annette

    Amen to that!!! I’d rather “like” some type of food or drink than the things most people on facebook are “liking.” Plus just because you like something, that doesn’t mean you are cheap- your friends don’t even know you got a coupon- they just think you like it!

  13. alyssa

    Just a tip for those on FB who don’t want the “junk” or “spam” that comes after you “like” a product or site: Go to Edit Friends under your Account, then click on All Connections. You can then X anything you don’t want to see anymore! Hope that helps someone! :)

  14. My husband has a FB acct and he forbid me (knowing I already spend enough time on the computer!). But he was tired of me “liking” all these companies for the coupons and I only did a few. So I finally set up an acct w/ my blog alias Need ANap. Thanks for the privacy setting recommendations. (Marie,) I’ve never had a problem with places wondering about my name, half the time they don’t even take the coupon but just give you the discount.

  15. Allison

    Haha, I’m the total opposite. I have a photo album with my grocery deals, like the bloggers post, but I don’t have a blog. Everyone knows I get killer deals on my groceries and I have lots of my friends asking me how I do it. I’ve even converted a few people to being frugalistas! I don’t consider myself a cheapskate (in reality we are nearly broke, and coupons have made it possible for us to survive), I just consider it savvy use of my money!

    As for friends seeing the pages you “Like”, how can “liking” Red Baron Pizza or International Delight creamer look worse than “so and so Likes the OMG OMG YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE XYZ SCANDAL!!!” stuff? ;D I’m not ashamed of being smart with my money…you might be surprised how many friends ask you for tips!

  16. Marie

    Update– established account — however cheesecake factory wants you to present id when you use coupon. Have you encountered this before?

    • Shannon

      Never! I have only seen cheesecake factory do that. I didn’t publish that one there because I know most people aren’t comfortable with that. I did put it on facebook.

  17. Marie

    Finally someone listened!! Thanks so much for facebook advice. I wanted the coupons and now I can get them.

  18. I made a new account with no friends and info just for signing up for facebook offers. I don’t want spam enter mixed with my friends you know.

  19. Day

    Just like Lysa, I didn’t want all my friends to see all the products I “like.” Just seems like unnecessary garbage. To get around that, but still get the coupons, I went and made a second account just for coupons using a completely fake name. No info. added, no friends, no pics, no nothing, but just enough to like the product and get the coupons.

  20. Great Article!! I love facebook freebies btw.

    Would you mind if I linked to your article on my blog? I publish a lot of the FB freebies every week and I know a few of my readers are not 100% on joining FB yet and are missing out. I think this would help.

  21. Lysa

    I generally just skip on all facebook offers because I don’t want all my friends to think i’m a total cheapskate- because it will show everyone everytime I ‘like’ all these brands just for the offers. I feel like I get my share of free samples and whatnot anyway, although sometimes it is tempting… :)

    • Shannon

      @Lysa,

      you dont have to show that to your friends btw!

  22. Anne

    Done! New FB page set up.

  23. Ronda

    I’m on Facebook but have never been able to get the coupons to print. It always says “your coupons are printing” but nothing ever happens. It doesn’t tell me that my printer is not found or not installed, and eventually it says “thank you, your coupons have printed”, even when they haven’t. I’m always able to print from other websites, SmartSource, Coupons.com, etc. It’s pretty frustration to me that the Facebook deals don’t print, but there seems to be nothing I can do about it.

    • Shannon

      @Ronda,

      Make sure your pop up blocker isn’t blocking facebook, that could be the issue.

  24. Anne

    I have a personal account. But feel squeamish about using it for coupon deals. So I will take your advice

  25. Lisa

    Thanks for the tips. I went in and changed some of my privacy settings. I resisted joining for quite some time, but it seemed like there were too many sample and coupon offer to miss out on.

  26. Melissa

    I also wish I could access the special deals companies offer through Facebook but refuse to join. I can do without if it requires me to sign up for a Facebook account, my choice.

  27. Jesse W.

    I am strongly against Facebook but it seems that many retailers are forcing you to use Facebook to gain access to coupons and deals. In all reality I just forego these options as I am not a fan of Facebook in any way.

    • Shannon

      @Jesse W.,

      Yep, if you are that against it, don’t join for sure, but I just want people to know there are security measures you can take and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing..

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