Most business owners will readily admit that they have a LinkedIn profile, but they just don’t know what to do with it.

However, since 2018, the network has launched numerous upgrades have resulted in significant spikes in activity. With LinkedIn continuing to add more than two new members per second, it may be time to become more active and take advantage of this new frontier in social media marketing.

Because LinkedIn is the most popular network for professional networking, it can provide an invaluable tool when utilized correctly. This is especially true if your marketing focuses on business-to-business (B2B) or if you target professional in a specific industry.

With engagement currently increasing by 50 percent, year over year, now is the time to take these steps on LinkedIn.

Tip #1: Construct your personal profile.

Company pages are still important, but personal profiles garner more views and engagement. Plus, there are certain things you can only do from a personal page: Send connection requests, send personal messages, and use LinkedIn Publisher. So make sure your profile is up to date on key criteria, and post from it regularly.

Tip #2: Highlight special skills.

Use this part of your profile to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Include interesting, but relevant information such as languages you speak, projects you’ve initiated, awards and honors, your volunteer work, and causes that matter to you.

Tip #3: Update your photo.

Remember that this is the image other users will see each time they engage with you. Choose a high-quality, professional, and friendly photograph. Update your background photo, too; this can help you showcase your brand.

Tip #4: Create your vanity URL.

The default link to your profile will contain a long, randomized series of numbers that are not memorable or easy for users to type into their address bars. Take advantage of the customizable vanity URL offered by LinkedIn, and make it easy for other users to find you. Hint: You can also print these on business cards.

Tip #5: Change your Connect button to Follow.

Social media users are more likely to click a Follow button.

Tip #6: Ask for Recommendations.

Ask current or past clients to add their recommendations to your profile. These can be used to showcase your unique skills or accomplishments, but most importantly, these endorsements serve as an indirect “word of mouth” advertising (which is still extremely powerful).

Tip #7: Check out your profile from a mobile device.

Many of your contacts will be viewing your profile from a smartphone or tablet. Log in on a mobile device just to make sure everything looks right in that format.

Tip #8: Engage with others.

One fundamental rule of social media marketing is to remember that it’s a give-and-take endeavor. Respond to posts and others will want to do the same for you.

Tip #9: Generate content.

The content on your profile should provide relevant value for your followers, accurately reflect your brand, and contain keywords that show up in search results. Take advantage of the opportunity to publish articles on LinkedIn; this is your opportunity to beef up your profile with helpful information that builds your reputation as an expert.

Tip #10: Optimize your posts.

Unlike other social media platforms, text actually outperforms visuals on LinkedIn. But make sure your posts are engaging and readable; proofread carefully, and break the content into paragraphs. Finally, avoid simply posting links to external content. Try posting your thoughts on a topic and then including the link as the first comment, rather than in the body of the post. Research has shown that this simple trick generates three times as much interaction!

And now for one final bonus tip: If undertaking a new social media experience seems overwhelming, ask us for help. Whether you need to fine tune an old LinkedIn account or get started with a brand new one, we can help you craft a professional image, generate top tier content, and then effectively network on this growing platform.