Why LinkedIn Is The Best Tool You’re Not Using

And it is the sh*t.

It's time to move LinkedIn from being an afterthought to being a first thought. If you’re using the platform the same way you were three or four years ago, it’s time to do some serious catching up. There’s a professional content revolution underway and those involved are on LinkedIn roughly 8 hours a week reading, publishing, sharing and liking just about everything.

To be clear, we aren’t talking about beefing up your LinkedIn profile or helping you to reach that glorified 500+ connections badge. We’re talking about using LinkedIn for your nonprofit or business in a way that goes beyond cross-posting from your other social channels.

When it comes to B2B interactions, LinkedIn drives more social traffic to corporate websites than any other social channel: More than Facebook, more than Twitter. Let that sink in for a second. LinkedIn can—and should—be your bazooka when your goal is to drive leads and interest. Major Key Alert: It’s also incredibly powerful in raising brand awareness and positioning your organization as an industry leader.

Basically, LinkedIn can help you achieve your James and the Giant Peach sized objectives. But before you tinker with your plans, it’s important to know how people on LinkedIn behave and align that behavior with the tools provided by the platform.

Top Three Considerations for LinkedIn Content:

Be so smart that you help others be smart.
As the only exclusively professionally-focused social platform, new information can often help those who are in a position to make key business decisions. Content that provides new information and shares serious knowledge bombs generates attention and fills your audiences’ minds with some positive sentiment fairy dust.

Say something, not anything.
Cover topics that spark conversation. This boils down to industry trends, strategy and insightful points-of-view that add value for your connections. Not all content needs to be original—but your commentary and opinions about whatever your post should be. Be purposeful in what you say and avoid adding to the noise.

Elevate others.
No one is scrolling through LinkedIn for sarcastic quips or Bachelorette spoilers. They’re scanning posts that feature content that can benefit their extended professional network. If your content is found to be on-point, your connections will engage and share it and you’ll have just turned them into a source for quality content within their own circles.

Knowing what type of content to focus on is only half of LinkedIn’s power. The platform offers a handful of ways that allow you to present key insights and points-of-view. Knowing which tool works for what content will help you get results.

A single, long-form post on LinkedIn’s Pulse can gain upwards of 25,000 views. That’s pretty much the definition of “a lot.” To be an insights leader in your space, you’ll want to publish meaningful long form content on a semi-regular basis and Pulse is the place to put that content. Even better? Pulse allows content to be found outside of your designated LinkedIn company page through tagging and categorizing your stuff. Amazing. Oh, and don’t skimp out on including keywords and filling out one heck of a robust author profile—both help in being found and being counted as credible.

Little known fact: nearly four million suit-and-tie types visit LinkedIn’s Slideshare each day, making it one of the world’s largest content-sharing communities. This piece of LinkedIn’s platform has five times the traffic from business professionals than other top ranking websites. To break it down with some numbers: 1,140 slides are viewed per second. To take advantage, start repurposing content you already have and get to sharing.

Visual Content
Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text, making the brain naturally drawn to graphics and videos and anything from Giphy. Visuals are the new headlines for grabbing attention with 40 percent of people responding more positively and faster than straight up text. On LinkedIn, videos and images can attract three times more inbound links than text-only posts, resulting in more content views, user engagement and greater influence.

LinkedIn is the sh*t—kinda like that older sibling you look up to because he/she seems to have his/her life and career in order. And, hey, don’t be overwhelmed. Start with what you have! Look at your existing library—blogs, articles, case studies—and repurpose that content with the three key considerations in mind. Now’s the time. Get IN.

Original article appeared on TheBlackSheepAgency.com, August 2016.