We all have LinkedIn, right? We’ve got a profile page — with a picture. We’ve crafted a well-written summary and a detailed history. And we’ve got connections – trusted associates who will help us succeed.

But how many of us feel like we’re actually getting something out of LinkedIn? How many are growing our businesses or finding leads with LinkedIn?

The unfortunate truth is that LinkedIn is a typically under-used business resource, something we have but we don’t get enough from. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there are five things you can do improve your LinkedIn ROI. Every day.

Check Your Mail.
Easy, right? LinkedIn wants you to be successful. They’ll send you emails every day with important updates from people in your network.

Pay attention to them. You won’t see every update from your network, but chances are you’ll learn something new – that someone got a new job, that someone’s having a “work anniversary,” or that someone shared an important business tip.

Use these updates as an excuse to be in touch. Say congratulations, and use the conversation to explore business opportunities.

Like, Comment, Share.
LinkedIn has made itself increasingly social over the last few years. From like buttons to comment buttons and share buttons, they’re practically begging us to say something, to congratulate someone, to say thanks.

Do it. One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is to respond to something they’ve posted on LinkedIn. Replying to their status update not only proves that you’re paying attention, but it validates that what they said was important. That makes you more important to them. And because LinkedIn shares your activity, your like-comment-share creates an update that can be seen by your connections.

Look at Who’s Looked at You.
LinkedIn wants you to know who’s paying attention to you. Even with a free account, you can see the five most recent people who have looked at your LinkedIn profile. Look in the navigation menu under the word Profile, and click the link that says “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.”

More often that not, these people will be identified by name. Some will be connections. Some will be people you’re trying to do business with. And some will be people you know nothing about.

Click on their names or faces to look at their profile pages, and figure out what you want from them. If they’re already familiar to you, check in. If they’re someone you don’t know, look to see whether there’s a real reason to contact them.

Note that some of these people will be “drive-bys,” people who got to your profile by mistake. Don’t feel like you have to respond to everyone who clicked on you. Focus on the ones that might work. And don’t worry about the generic or anonymous people who looked at you – there’s nothing you can do about them!

Say Something. Share Something.
With LinkedIn’s recent focus on being a publishing platform, sharing valuable information is a great way to increase your visibility. Publishing original content on LinkedIn gets you noticed, and builds your credibility as a trusted business source.

But sharing interesting and relevant business articles from other reliable sources will get you noticed, too. Identify the most important piece of business news you read each day, and share it with your LinkedIn network. Click the “share on LinkedIn” button from the original source, or copy and paste the URL into the message box.

Just be sure to explain – briefly – why the article’s important. This proves that you’ve actually read it – and can explain why they should read it, too.

Make a Strategic Contact.
Reach out to a LinkedIn connection you haven’t spoke with in a while. Send a connection request to someone you have not connected with yet. Or reply to a message that you previously ignored.

But do it strategically. Review the other person’s profile page to make sure you’re up to date. Think about how they can help you – or you can help them. And give them a specific request or offer them a specific piece of information that could help them succeed.

LinkedIn doesn’t work unless you work it. The key is to make sure you’re taking advantage of your connections and the information they share. And to take strategic actions every day.

This post was first published in the May 2015 edition of the Hauppauge Reporter from the Hauppauge Industrial Association.