Connecting with potential partners and future customers is easier than ever, thanks to some new tools LinkedIn is rolling out.

Social media helps propagate your content across the internet, but it’s also a way for users to learn more about businesses. That’s certainly true when it comes to ecommerce and retail, as it’s been proven Facebook plays a role in how likely consumers are to buy particular products. LinkedIn is even more important in the B2B sphere: As Brafton noted, 77 percent of people on that platform use it to research companies.

The flow of information goes both ways, though. While people are learning about you and your company through LinkedIn, you can also learn quite a lot about potential customers and future business partners through on-site research. That process just got a lot easier, thanks to some new tools the site has rolled out.

Analytics come to LinkedIn

Udi Milo, a Product Manager at LinkedIn, published a blog post introducing some new tools that give users more information about profile visitors. You now get a breakdown of your total profile views and the keyword searches that led to your profile. There are even metrics that list the regions, professions and companies that visitors came from.

This is an unprecedented move by the business-oriented social network, which has traditionally been light on analytics, but it makes sense. After all, users have always been able to see who has been looking at their profiles – as long as they upgrade to a Premium account and their security settings allowed for it. However, LinkedIn seems to be acknowledging its integral role in social media marketing and commercial research. Specific data about potential connections gives companies the ability to both better understand their markets and optimally use LinkedIn itself.

For instance, LinkedIn is also testing some personalized tips for users, which suggests people to connect with, groups to join or even topics for news and content sharing based on who has been looking at their profiles. Brafton recently reported on the expansion of Influencer posts, and these new tools will provide excellent suggestions to make such posts even more successful. Smart social media marketers will immediately start optimizing their company and individual pages using these tools.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.