When you think about ways to connect with others, some typical activities may come to mind – meeting at events, using Facebook or Twitter, sending emails, or perhaps even creating a website. But there’s one powerful way to connect with new contacts that you may be missing out on, or not taking seriously enough: LinkedIn.

As of April 2014, LinkedIn has more than 300 million members around the world. Additionally, according to a recent social media usage study, 40% of LinkedIn users log in at least once per day. If you are not using this powerful network to its fullest advantage, you may be missing out on opportunities to establish and grow connections with valuable business contacts.

Here are a few ways that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile page to encourage additional business connections, which may help you make more contacts and find new business.

Can your social media activity play a role in determining your credit score?

At the moment, credit scores in the US are determined by five factors, none of which have anything to do with your online activity. However, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, some lenders are beginning to use Facebook and other social media sites to verify the identities or worthiness of loan or credit applicants.

Surprisingly, for some lenders, this kind of behavior is nothing new. Read on to learn how some companies are using your social media profiles or activity to determine whether or not you have a high “social credit score” and are worth the risk of a loan.

For as long as content marketing and social media marketing have worked together, there has always been a slight hesitation when sharing content you didn’t create. You may wonder, “how is this helping me?”

Though it is best practice to share and share alike, it is often difficult to see the effectiveness of sharing content from sources other than from your own domain. Valuable visitors going anywhere but your website can often seem counterintuitive. Fortunately, the folks at Sniply, July’s tool of the month, made it their goal to bring the traffic you’ve been sending out into the depths of the Internet back to your own site.

Update: Sniply increased it’s awesomeness this past week by giving our readers a very generous offer. Use the coupon code “sniplyfan” and you will get a 20% discount on any plan for a lifetime! More details below.

Social media essentially hands everyone a megaphone, and it can make it more challenging for businesses to manage their image if something goes wrong. But just as social media makes marketing more authentic, it also enables businesses to respond to a crisis in an especially effective manner.

The trick, of course, is knowing what to do, where and when. Here are some examples of the kinds of crises you may encounter online, as well as guidelines for using each social media network appropriately to manage different issues that may occur there.

The value of a social share varies as time goes on, yet there is always a push to increase your social reach. Who couldn’t use a little boost in their social media promotions? That is why June’s tool of the month is CoPromote.

No matter what industry you categorize yourself in, you will always desire to have more likes, fans, and followers. Content you create can perform rather disappointingly on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe if you had more followers, or just one retweet from that industry figure you admire, you would greatly improve your website’s traffic. Thankfully, tools like CoPromote strive to improve your social media performance.

CoPromote app

Amid the loss of organic Page reach on Facebook, the introduction of a “mute” button on Twitter, and the split of Foursquare into two separate apps, one social media platform is thriving: Pinterest.

A recent study published by RJMetrics contains some very interesting data about the usage and retention rate of Pinterest. Perhaps the most surprising part of their data was the discovery that 84% of female users who signed up four years ago are still using the site. In fact, women actually grow more active on Pinterest over time.

graph from RJMetrics
graph from RJMetrics

For a social media network — or for any website, really — this is an amazing user retention rate. Compare this data to studies showing that only 10.7% of Twitter users who signed up in 2012 are still active on the site. It’s hard to keep someone’s attention for four minutes, much less for four years. But Pinterest is doing it.

If you aren’t already using Pinterest to promote your brand or business online, or aren’t taking it seriously, you have many reasons to start. Even if you’re not an ecommerce company, or your target audience isn’t women, there are distinct advantages to utilizing this social media platform along with — or even more than — old favorites like Facebook. Here are three convincing reasons you should be using Pinterest to promote your business, plus a few examples of out-of-the-box pinning you can try for yourself.

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