With a network of more than 450 million professionals, LinkedIn may not be the biggest and best social media platform, but it’s definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to networking for your brand. In fact, 76.9% of users say LinkedIn helped them research people and companies. LinkedIn’s exclusively business-focused community is a useful place to build brand awareness, establish connections and cultivate meaningful conversations.  And while LinkedIn may not be your destination for entertainment, it should definitely not be overlooked as a valuable networking tool.

Here are some tips to help you engage clients, consumers and audiences and watch your business flourish:

Complete your profile

A simple step that seems to be frequently overlooked by many LinkedIn users.  Your LinkedIn profile is where first impressions are made – so make it easy for your connections to find the information they are looking for.  This means it’s extremely important to complete all sections of your business or personal profile, being sure to use short, sharp and punchy sentences that effectively deliver the relevant information. It’s particularly useful to include appropriate keywords in all sections of your profile.

Use Keywords

Using keywords in the headline, summary, job title, skills, specialities, career history and personal information sections of your profile is a great way to make your profile more accessible, and can help your connections find you, your products, your skills, or your services.

For example, in the property business we need to include keywords that relate to property, land and development.

Make valuable connections

Unlike other social media channels where users strive to gain as many friends or followers as possible, LinkedIn is all about developing more meaningful networks and creating professional connections.  Individuals generally have fewer LinkedIn associates than Facebook friends – this is because people are more selective about who they connect with on LinkedIn.  People connect with those they know, those they recognise and those who post content that is meaningful and relevant to them.  It’s important to link with accounts that help to build, fuel and flourish your business.  Be mindful of who you reach out to, and how you word your invitation to connect. We recommend tailoring or personalising your messages to the person you are reaching out to – it makes your invitation seem more considered.

Be careful with the content

LinkedIn provides a platform to demonstrate expertise, share milestones, news and updates and develop a valuable network.  LinkedIn’s community is strictly professional, so it’s important to limit or abandon personal and unrelated posts, as they could potentially damage your engagement capabilities. Avoid bombarding your audience with sales content, as it could drive them to disengage. Instead, post content that means something to your connections.  Like other social media channels, adding relevant images to your posts is a great way to increase effectiveness.  According to Webdam, posts with images produce 6-times more engagement than posts with just text.  Also, adding links to content on your company’s website or other social media channels is a great way to generate traffic.

Sponsor content

A great way to reach more people and attract more followers is to sponsor the content that performs well on LinkedIn.  Focus on sponsoring content that receives high levels of engagement from your target audience and that aligns with your marketing objectives.  Doing this allows you to promote your content directly to the feeds of the professionals you want to connect with.

Don’t underestimate the value a well-planned LinkedIn profile can bring to your business.