LinkedIn reached a whopping 300+ million members in more than 200 countries and territories. The company has added more than 23 million members since December 31, 2013. That’s big news for a social media outlet often overshadowed by the likes of Twitter and Facebook. But brands are using LinkedIn much differently than other platforms. It’s more than just a “rolodex on steroids.” And contrary to the numerous articles that claim LinkedIn is dead, the channel is very much alive and well.

More than 3 million brands use LinkedIn for talent acquisition and marketing efforts. But utilizing the same tools that professionals use to market themselves can help brands win big on this mega networking platform. The LinkedIn population includes a wide mix of target audiences including job seekers, entrepreneurs, gainfully employed executives, philanthropists, venture capitalists, and so many more. The fact is: anyone could be a potential customer, current customer or future brand ambassador.

LinkedIn launched and enhanced three tools this year that could help your brand become smarter about targeting these audiences.

How You’re Connected

Earlier this year, LinkedIn launched a new tool called “How You’re Connected”, which can help brands find the best path or strongest commonalities shared between them and the individuals that could be the key to obtaining brand success. So essentially, your brand can be introduced to a potential customer by not only seeing who in your network knows them on their profile, but also how they know each other to help you decide the best contact to request an introduction from. 

Who Sees Your Brand in Real Time?

What if you knew that by adding a photo or sharing specific content with your customers, your brand’s visibility would increase by 30 percent? Well LinkedIn’s enhanced profile tool can tell you this and much more. In fact, you can even gain real-time personalized tips on actions you can take to make your brand more discoverable. 

The People You May Know

It’s true – strong professional relationships can be the lifeblood of a successful career. But building a healthy, thriving network among professionals can also build brand awareness and influence top decision makers to buy into your product or service. The CEO of a company, for instance, represents her brand. The more folks she can influence, the bigger her network can become. LinkedIn’s “People You May Know” tool simplifies the experience of growing your brand’s network. It does that by bringing all your pending invitations and suggestions to connect together in one place. This provides useful intelligence on why a particular connection is being suggested. That way you can better target that connection through appropriate content.

To make all of this work effectively, marketers should always personalize invites, stay on top of invitations, and request introductions regularly. Introductions not only help you connect with members in your extended network through people you both know, they also enable you to dive into new pools of potential customers.  But remember, when it comes to your LinkedIn network, the quality of your connections is more important than the quantity.