LinkedIn is perhaps one of the most resourceful – and misunderstood – social media platforms in the game today. Many people consider it a place to simply professionally connect with colleagues, and then fail to peruse its other features. LinkedIn possesses numerous tools and networking functions that can make it a seriously effective lead-building site if used properly.

In order to help explain how important LinkedIn can be for building a business, here are 5 ways to generate more leads on LinkedIn:

  1. Article Publishing

It’s generally accepted that blogging is crucial to improving website SEO, legitimizing expertise in a field, and encouraging social media interaction today. But, most people fail to take their business blogs and publish them as original articles on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn wants its users to be happy and consequently pay for premium packages. It therefore provides a free tool for publishing articles that it then shares with everyone in your respective network. Since LinkedIn is used for professional as opposed to fun purposes, people are more likely to read your blog on LinkedIn than they are Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  1. Groups

LinkedIn Groups are an incredible way to connect with fellow industry professionals and like-minded people. To join a LinkedIn group, it is completely free, and just needs approval from the group organizer. Once you’re in, you are free to post whatever content you want and interact with other group participants. It’s a solid way to start building a lead list in a niche field you’re after.

  1. Celebrating Others

LinkedIn is a perfect place to pump other people up with endorsements, reviews, and posting comments. If you’re after specific leads on LinkedIn, providing them with a little endorsement love (you can endorse skills) and sharing their most recent post will certainly make them consider your services. You can essentially validate their professional expertise to their network – all for free.

  1. Moderation

LinkedIn is a social media platform centered on brief activity and signing in just once per day. It’s a complete 180 from how we obsessively check Facebook every hour. But, though this may sound like a shortcoming of LinkedIn, it is actually a lead-generating benefit for you. There is a lot less pressure to respond to LinkedIn messages/comments in a timely manner. This means you can sign on once per day, like everyone else, get in your activity in about 20 minutes, and sign off for the day, still ensuring your leads are being built.

  1. Lead Lists

LinkedIn provides users with an extremely helpful tool for identifying first, second, and third degree connections. First degree means you are already directly connected, second degree means you are connected through your first degree, and third degree means you are connected through a second degree association.

By having this information, you know exactly who to contact to start building your connection with a prospective lead. Not to mention, with LinkedIn’s resume feature, you can learn everything you need to know about a person’s professional background.

Though LinkedIn remains a substantially misunderstood social media platform, it doesn’t have to be that way for you and your business. Consider exploring its lead-building functionality tools, and harness the free publicity and interaction that comes with being active on LinkedIn.