By now, most professionals understand the value of Facebook for growing their businesses and attracting new customers. However, in the rush to master this social network, one equally important network continues to be overlooked: LinkedIn.

According to recent research, LinkedIn surpasses Facebook for producing new dental patient traffic. If you want to stay ahead of your competition and reach higher profit margins, you must learn how to utilize this significant network.

Here are my top 6 tips for navigating the ins and outs of LinkedIn:

Know your audience.

According to Growth Hacker Central, the average age and income of LinkedIn users is 44 years and $110K+ per year, while the average age and income of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube users is 18 to 29 years, and $69K per year. Keep in mind that these audiences will likely respond differently to the content you post, so try to tailor what you post to appeal to the average user on each network.

Post often.

Posting to Linked frequently will help you improve your search engine rankings, as Google monitors for this behavior. Your posts can vary from short updates about upcoming events at your practice to links to longer blog posts on your practice’s website. Don’t be afraid to spice it up; just make sure everything you post is relevant and well written.

Interact with your network.

LinkedIn may differ from Twitter and Facebook in the average age and income of its users, but it’s still a social network. Interact with your network, but do so in a dignified and professional manner. Avoid spamming your connections, as this behavior is frowned upon.

Ask for recommendations.

Don’t be shy – ask your patients or people you’ve done business with to provide you with recommendations on LinkedIn. If you know them well and have fostered a good relationship, they’ll be more than happy to do you the favor.

Participate in group discussions.

Search for groups related to your industry on LinkedIn. Join these, and participate in discussions every now and then. This will help to establish yourself as a credible professional in your field, and may even help you attract new business. If a group in your industry doesn’t already exist, create your own!

Optimize for keywords.

If your page is public, search engines like Google will index it. Make sure your page contains keywords where appropriate, and always include a link to your website.