How to Reduce Gift Returns with Social Media

My brother got me the exact watch I wanted from my Amazon Wish List. Then, I shared the gift on Facebook and Instagram!My brother got me the exact watch I wanted from my Amazon Wish List. Then, I shared the gift on Facebook and Instagram!

‘Tis the season for returns. Amidst the wonderful gifts, meals and family time, it’s inevitable that returns will be part of your new years plans. But with social media, that can be reduced if not avoided all together. Much like the gift list for Santa, social media enables gift givers to know exactly what their friends and families want for the holidays. It just takes a little digging. Here’s how to do it.

Amazon Wish List

Amazon Wish List lets you keep track of anything you want on Amazon or any other website. On Amazon.com, simply click “add to wish list” near the shopping cart. You’re not buying it but rather creating a list of things you may want down the road. To add a product from another site to the wish list, just install the “Add to Wish List” button for your browser and as you shop, you just click the button.

To find wish lists from friends and family, just search for their names or enter their emails onto the Amazon Wish List page. If they keep it public, you’ll have complete access to the products they want, including the links to purchase.

There’s a new feature called “Amazon Friends & Family Gifting” where you can sync up with Facebook to correlate friends’ and families’ birthdays with their Amazon wish lists. Learn more here.

Facebook Check Ins

You see your Facebook friends checking into restaurants, hotels, bars, stores, etc. and that’s typically a hint that they enjoy those places, especially if they’re checking in multiple times to the same place. Get them a gift card to that restaurant or meet them at that bar for a holiday drink. My friend saw that I checked into a local spa and got me a gift card there for the holidays. It was a perfect surprise!

Facebook Likes

This is another way to know what your friends and family enjoy. Millions of business are on Facebook and anyone can like them. When they do, it appears on your news feed. You can also see the list of likes on your friends’ page. From there, you can visit the business page, which often has holiday deals.

Foursquare Check Ins

Much like Facebook check ins, Foursquare enables you to check into your current location and add comments, photos, etc. These check ins can be displayed on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare (so you don’t have to be a Foursquare member to see them). What’s more, Foursquare houses tips and discounts, so you can get an idea of the best gifts to get and if you’re a member, you can take advantage of the deals.

Pinterest Boards

Pinterest is practically the social media platform of Santa’s list. It’s made up of pictures of users’ favorite things, especially what they don’t have. Each board can be organized by topics such as “For the Home”, “For my Baby”, etc. and you can click each item to get to the original website for purchase. Find your friends’ boards to see what they’d love for the holidays and create some boards for yourself!

Instagram Pics

Instagram is an image-based social platform full of photos of food, travel, people, food, dogs, kids, food, etc. (Yes, food pics are very popular here.) Nevertheless, it’s a great place to see what your friends and family enjoy. Maybe they take pictures from the same restaurant or they always take pictures of pets. You know that a gift card to that restaurant or something for Fido is a good bet. You can even have their Instagram pics printed and framed! Check out Printstagram.

As a business, consider how you can easily help your customers share and discuss your product/service. Include social share buttons including Pinterest on your product pages, hold deals on your Facebook page, have a “like us” promotion or partner with a site like Amazon for more exposure.

What other ways do you share your likes and interests with social media? Have you used social to find gift ideas for friends and family? Share your thoughts here and don’t forget to share your favorite gifts!

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