10 Ways to Improve Your Finances with Social Media

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms can help you save and earn more.

U.S. News and World Report

By ,  June 17, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.

Up your social game.

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Twitter can make it easier to lodge a customer service complaint, and LinkedIn can help you land a new job. Facebook friends can offer encouragement when you share progress toward goals, and you can collect inspiring images of what you’re saving for on Pinterest. There are all sorts of ways social media can give your finances a boost – but there are also some dangers to avoid.

Perfect your profile pages.

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If you freelance and are looking to pick up new clients, then you can use your Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn pages to describe the services you have to offer. Similarly, a fleshed out LinkedIn profile with examples of your work, recommendations from co-workers and any honors you’ve received can help you land a new (and higher-paying) job.

Become known as an expert in your field.

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Before Donna Karan spokeswoman Aliza Licht ever started writing her book, “Leave Your Mark,” she began tweeting career tips for young people in public relations using the hashtag #PR101. As a result of the outpouring of interaction she received over Twitter, she turned her ideas into a book – just one way social media posts can lead to offline opportunities.

Share your goals.

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Without giving away details that are too personal, you can share goalswith your friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. If you want to pay off student loan debt, you can let people know, especially if it means they’ll gently keep you on track by not asking you to go out to an expensive dinner with them. Sharing savings goals with friends can make it easier to keep them.

Get better customer service.

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Instead of waiting on hold when you call up customer service by phone, consider sending a tweet first. Many retailers, banks and other customer-facing companies have customer service representatives on social media, ready to respond. The response might involve a direct message or communicating offline to avoid sharing personal information, like an account number, publicly.

Talk with your bank.

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Banks are increasingly using social media to communicate with customers, and it’s often the first outlet for sharing news about new products or deals. Following your financial institution through social media can help ensure you know what’s going on at your bank.

Use social shopping apps to snag low prices.

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Apps from Wish to Blinq make it easy to browse products, get deals and share thoughts – or desired items – with friends. Retailers often announce their sales first through social media so their followers and fans get the early deals. Just make sure you’re not oversharing – if you’re making purchases you don’t want the world to know about, then avoid sharing them on Facebook.

Make new connections.

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Tweeting at someone you admire in your field, retweeting a co-worker’s thoughts or following professionals you look up to are all great ways to network. It’s less time-consuming than in-person get-togethers, and networking over social media has the advantage of potentially being less awkward, too. Plus, you can communicate with people who are based around the world from your desktop (or phone).

Make your accounts secure.

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If someone fraudulently logs into your Facebook account, he or she could collect a lot of personal details about you and potentially use that information to defraud your friends or log into your bank account. To reduce the chance of becoming a victim, use strong passwords and turn on two-step authentication when possible.

Protect your privacy.

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Posting vacation photos while you’re away lets potential thieves know that no one’s currently home; sharing details like your wedding anniversary can give someone the answer to a security question that makes it easier to log into a financial account. Avoid sharing too much personal information, turn up privacy settings and don’t accept friend requests from strangers.

Consider your digital afterlife.

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To keep your accounts safe even after death, Facebook allows you to appoint someone to manage your accounts after you pass away. Other social media platforms offer different options, including setting your account to delete or freeze. Consider reviewing your current settings to make sure they reflect your preferences – and you might want to tell one trusted person where to find your passwords.
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