LinkedIn advertises itself to users as a “professional” social network. Unfortunately, this reputation has made the site appear clumsy and unwieldy for many such professionals. LinkedIn should not have to be this way.

Just because LinkedIn is a place intended to allow professionals to keep a sort of online address book should not mean that everything posted there must be constrained to dry and business related topics. Social networks are meant to be places where people can actually connect with each other. This, of course, does not mean LinkedIn should become your sole means of communication, as Twitter user Frank Chimero satirically suggested with a series of New Yorker cartoons earlier this year, but rather that you should use the site as an opportunity to relate with your business associates on a somewhat more personal level than you would otherwise.

Having personality on LinkedIn does not mean that every post should be of your dog or of your kids. Instead, use the site to let your personal side shine through your “professional” aura.

Why? Because people tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. It is hard to know and like and trust someone who only posts business related things on social networks. It would be like doing business with a chatbot, a prospect which currently annoys many people.

LinkedIn, like all social networks, is a place for people to meet and build relationships. By being more personable on LinkedIn, you will find that more people will want to view your profile and make connections with you.

Image via Slate.