LinkedIn has attracted more than 6.8 million small businesses in the United States, as the platform continues to add features for marketers.

A report from eMarketer suggests that LinkedIn has become an ideal addition to social media marketing strategies for smaller companies in the United States. According to the report, 6.8 million U.S. small businesses maintain a presence on the professional social network.

LinkedIn is an ideal fit for companies, especially in the B2B sector, to communicate with prospects and share relevant insights. In 2012, the platform has added or improved a series of features that help companies maintain strong conversations with prospects and engage them on a regular basis.

As LinkedIn continues adding new features, it’s appeal for both consumers and businesses will only grow. Perhaps the most important evolution of LinkedIn in 2012 has been adjustments to brand profiles, which helped distinguish businesses on the platform. Adding greater capability for visual content as well as a layout more conducive to spurring engagement. The design is similar to the Facebook profile, as marketers can add an image atop the page to show off their brand’s personality.

Improving a brand’s ability to attract users with visual content has been a focus of most social networks in 2012. Most recently, Brafton highlighted a new Twitter layout, designed for both consumers and brand pages, that includes a larger image along with the usual profile image.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.