Want the Best Deals? Check Twitter, Facebook

Companies give out some of their best discounts to online followers and friends.

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Southwest Airlines: On Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Facebook, Southwest keeps customers up to date on the latest company news, including the recent emergency landing after a flight from Nashville to Baltimore unexpectedly depressurized and a hole was found in the top of the aircraft. The Twitter feed told followers that all of the other Boeing 737s would be inspected overnight. It also answers customers' questions about everything from baggage rules to in-flight refreshments.

Don't have time to keep up on all the latest social networking sites? Consumers less inclined to follow the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of individual companies can instead tune in to people who scour the Internet for special deals and then post them in once place, such as RetailMeNot, DealDivine, and Dealyzer.