In a world that is constantly moving to more digital and online interactions, businesses everywhere are thinking of ways to engage clients, prospects, and partners. Social media platforms, CRMs like Salesforce, and mass emailing apps have taken off.

LinkedIn is one platform that’s been around for years yet is frequently overlooked as a potential source of lead generation, client/prospect engagement, and contact management. The reasons that LinkedIn is often overlooked vary depending on who you ask.

Here’s what we know: After establishing a presence on LinkedIn, we have noticed it’s our top social platform, driving the most amount of engagement. Engagement for us is defined as any interaction from views, likes, and comments to direct messages.

In some cases, we’ve had calls or emails as direct reaction to one of our posts.

Build the Right Audience

One of the easiest starting points on LinkedIn and other platforms is to build your list of followers/connections. You can go on an adding binge (although LinkedIn has implemented tools to stop this to some extent) and easily have thousands of connections that have the possibility of seeing your posts.

If your business or marketing team is seeking to build an audience on LinkedIn, the key lies in who makes up that audience. For some companies, based on the nature of their business, the focus is building an audience of partners that could make referrals.

For example, we provide invoice financing to small businesses and have targeted lawyers, realtors, and accounting firms as referral sources. For other companies whose marketing is driven more toward business to consumer, like retail or companies providing products, the right audience is anyone that would be an ideal buyer of the product being sold.

LinkedIn has over time developed tools like Sales Solutions and Marketing Solutions that can help you identify your perfect audience.

As with any marketing idea, you should come up with a plan and strategy if you’re seeking to start engaging through LinkedIn. Outside of identifying your target audience, it’s important that your company’s home page is properly updated and its content is written specifically for LinkedIn.

One of the most popular ideas within LinkedIn is to attempt to become a thought leader within a specific space. This particular path is the ultimate goal for a small business, or for any firm. To become a thought leader, you’ll have to build content that is related to your industry, which we do for inventory financing, while also avoiding going stale or repetitive with what you’re posting.

LinkedIn’s algorithms, like any social media platform, are developed to track engagement and reward posts, and in turn accounts that are driving traffic and engagement.

Post the Right Content

The content you post will vary considerably based on your goals. If your goal is to have brand recognition with a specific demographic on an additional platform, then your posts should be focused on constant brand building.

If your goal is to provide informational topics to potential clients, your posts will consist of articles published on specific topics, industry-specific ideas/thoughts, and surveys that drive interaction with your audience.

Regardless of your goals on LinkedIn, you should never forget the basics of any social media platform, including the fact that everyone loves pictures.

Pictures on posts have been proven through many data points to produce more engagement than posts with no pictures. We’ve actually tested this ourselves to determine how much of an impact a picture had on our post. After conducting our test, we concluded that our posts with pictures would lead to 25-35% more likes, 10-15% more comments, and 5-8% more direct messages.

Leveraging LinkedIn to build your business isn’t difficult, but it does require some planning, strategy, and consistency.