LinkedIn is by far the best social network for generating leads in a B2B setting. So how do you make your brand’s profile a lead generating, relationship building, machine?

These 5 keys to generating leads on LinkedIn will help you build the most impactful message and target the right audience to find new business opportunities from this powerful platform.

1. Publish articles on LinkedIn.

Long form posts to LinkedIn are a great way to generate leads for your brand when you write them correctly.

Posts should be brief (600 words, max), contain an image or two and most importantly, be informative. The audience on LinkedIn is different from that of other social networks and your posts should be career and industry oriented to reflect that. By publishing your own content on a subject you are establishing yourself as an authority in that subject matter.

Every time you publish an article from your business, your network will get notified and your page will get attention, so it’s a good idea to produce something valuable at least once a week and engaging with the comments in a thought provoking way. This added credibility is especially crucial to establishing strong leads when you’re just starting out

2. Sponsor updates.

Just like other social networks, you can promote your business using promoted posts on LinkedIn to reach a larger number of people. For B2B marketers, this tool can be incredibly valuable when they combine it with strategic targeting and the right message.

If you’re marketing a service or product and you know that most of your decision makers are C-class executives, LinkedIn gives you the power to put your message in front of thousands of people in your targeted position.

The same goes for any other position that you might be looking to reach, but targeting only gets your message in front of them. Getting them to take time and actually read the content is what you really want to do. The message needs to be broad enough to make sense to send to everyone, but narrow enough to be useful to those who you might be picking on.

For example, if you’re looking to land a partnership with a private company that’s been preparing for an IPO, perhaps an article about preparing for that would be a good idea but too micro targeted to be useful to everyone. Take a more holistic approach to a specific issue that you know would be of interest to that executive, but also useful to others who may not be going public anytime soon.

When your message is applicable to the entire audience and particularly useful to your primary targets, you can get an incredible amount of leads in addition to landing the meeting with that key prospect you’ve been working on.

3. Engage with your audience as your business.

Going back to the first key we mentioned, if you’re looking for leads you need to be adding value from your business account rather than personal account. This means you should be replying to all the comments you receive, even if it’s just a compliment on your content, but that’s just one part of the plan.

To really start getting leads from LinkedIn, share and comment on your network’s content. If you have something to share with a specific person, share it.

Don’t be bashful on the best B2B social network for generating leads, but make sure your content is bite sized and keep in mind that many users are on mobile when viewing your content.

4. Join groups.

Groups are one of the most organized and efficient ways to generate leads on LinkedIn, but it’s important to understand that this is not a short term strategy. It will take time for you to start to add useful content and build relationships, but once it’s in place you have a lead generation machine.

Find a group with a large amount of members from your target industry and become a member. Once you’re a part of the community, engage with them regularly and make sure you’re sharing content with them that shows what you bring to the table.

Know the group’s pain points. For example, say your industry is involved with natural resources, they are concerned with regulations, so produce something that has insightful advice about dealing with them. The point here is to be useful to them so they are interested in what your business does and how it might continue to be useful in the future.

Once you’ve established yourself as a helpful resource for one or two areas people are much more responsive to additional ways you might offer to be helpful. This strategy isn’t the quickest and takes some legwork on your part, but once you’ve got it down it can be one of the most efficient ways to generate leads for your business on LinkedIn.

5. Strategically design your page.

Why does your business, or any business for that matter, have a LinkedIn? Sure it’s great to be able to move your industry forward by sharing the innovative things you’re doing, but if you really get down to the core reason you’ll likely find that businesses have social media for one reason.

That reason is to get more business, and you should design your page with that as the core if you want to be successful at it.

Design your LinkedIn page like you would design a lead generating landing page. Before anyone sees your actual page, they see your headline so we’ll start there. Most headlines list your career, location and industry, but this is boring and typical, so we won’t be using that format to generate leads. How do you help people?

What is the service you want to eventually be hired to do by the leads you generate on LinkedIn? Tell them what it is in your headline. Creative headlines will get more interest in your page and more visits to your page.

Use an attention getting image above the fold on your page and include a showcase to immediately tell your visitor why they should give you their time on your page.

Creatively pitch your readers in your business description and provide evidence of your work by getting clients and contemporaries to write recommendations on your LinkedIn page.

Overall, treat your business LinkedIn page like you would treat a conversion optimized landing page and you will see results from your prospects.