LinkedIn is a great tool for business and one of the more business oriented social networking sites out there. People ask me all the time how can we more effectively use LinkedIn. The answer we give is sometimes not what these people want to hear. Using LinkedIn effectively takes work. It is not something you see huge success with over night.
That being said, what is it that you need to do to become a master with LinkedIn? Start with posting your profile if you have not already done so. But the next key as with any web based promotion is to change things and add updates often. This is easily done by connecting LinkedIn to your blog. We recommend every business have a blog with articles that are informative and helpful to your customers and prospects, but not "salesy". Set up the helper apps to pull your blog on to your site. This will update content on your LinkedIn account as often as you update your blog. We recommend you do this regularly (weekly, best a few times a week).
Next look into some of the other LinkedIn apps like the books by amazon to share industry related books you may be reading or have read and that would be helpful to your prospects/clients. There is also a slide show app. Why not upload a few slide show presentations to show how you help your customers or give tips to prospects. Keep in mind these should be more about the prospect and helping them than about your company. Remember all marketing should answer "what's in it for them" instead of "hey look how great we are".
Next start posting Questions in the "Answers" section of the site. This will help you find people that can help you get answers to some business questions you may have and it will start to build community. Next start answering questions that other people post. This is where you start to be known as the expert in your industry.
All of this can be extremely time consuming so what can you do to make it easier on yourself? Well, we have some software that helps you manage your social media networking. This system is very effective and something we not only sell, but use ourself. If you are looking to be a power user in LinkedIn this may be the tool you need to get you there.