Heard about LinkedIn but not convinced whether it is for you? Even if you aren’t passionate about social media, the nature of business in the 21st century has made this medium nearly impossible to ignore.

While there may not appear to be any consequences for not having an account, the opportunity cost of not being on this network could be costing you an untold amount in sales.

Marc Leder understands the power of this platform, as he uses it to connect with fellow colleagues in the private equity industry on a regular basis.

If you are ready to learn about the opportunities that can only come about from being part of LinkedIn, here’s how you can make the most of this social media site as an executive.

1) Keep your profile up to date 

As an executive, you know a thing or two about appearing professional via your appearance and the actions you take.

The same applies to your LinkedIn profile. Update your profile with new information as it becomes available so that inaccuracies do not paint a false perception of you in the minds of your clients, vendors, and colleagues.

Once you have finished creating your account, take a hard look at what you have shared with the world and ask yourself: does this represent me and my business in a positive light?

If it isn’t up to your expectations, make the necessary changes until you are fully satisfied with what you see.

2) Draft a strategy 

Some business executives put little thought into their LinkedIn profile, inserting the minimum amount of information required by the platform.

LinkedIn is more than a professional version of Facebook: It is a tool that was designed to give people unprecedented control over how they market themselves to others in their field.

Keeping this in mind, upload specific information, craft status updates, and engage in activities with a set of specific goals in mind.

Do you want to find someone to help launch your new business idea? Are you eager to network with people that share your business interests?

LinkedIn provides you with the venue to achieve these goals and others, but you need to draft a coherent strategy in order to make best use of this popular social media website.

3) Network where mutual benefit is possible

One of the most powerful aspects of LinkedIn is its ability to connect people with specific business needs together.

Need to recruit key talent for your department? Younger generations have embraced this platform enthusiastically, thereby making this site the perfect place to begin your search for the best talent in your business niche.

Is somebody asking a question in a LinkedIn group to which you know the answer? Answer it thoroughly and you will have made a new friend that might be able to help you in the future.

Even if they are not able to assist you directly, they might know someone that can, making it incredibly beneficial to engage those in need of your knowledge.

4) Build your brand through additions to your account 

As more business moves online these days, the content that you post on your LinkedIn account can either build up or tear down your personal brand.

As such, it is imperative that everything that you add to your account is consistent with the image that you want to project.

By accentuating your career accomplishments and sharing your opinions on current affairs that are relevant to your business, you will be able to build a persona that will allow you to stand out from others in your space.