In my opinion, LinkedIn is one of the most under-utilised social networks around today. Lots of people have a profile on LinkedIn, but there is so much more to it than just that! So, what else can you do on a social network that has almost 250 million people on it?

Get the basics right: The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are representing yourself as you would like to. So, make sure that your profile has a good amount of information on it (not too much, not too little!), and make sure that you have a photo – there are a lot of spam LinkedIn accounts and a profile with no photo is one of the red flags. Show that you are a human!

Who do you want to hear from? There are a lot of companies on LinkedIn, so if you have an interest in a company, or they are a competitor of yours, then follow them and see what they are up to. This will not only give you their news (assuming that they are sending updates!), but also a chance to interact with the company by commenting on their update. This can be useful if you are trying to get on a company’s radar.

Groups are awesome: Groups are my favourite part of LinkedIn. Nowhere else on the web can you find groups of such specific people – whatever your job, it is likely that there is a LinkedIn group where you can get all of the latest news and make some new connections. But don’t just sit back and read then news, get involved. Add comments, start discussions and interact with people on groups – they are a great way of professionally meeting new people.

Take the hard sell elsewhere: As with any social network, if you are selling all the time, then you are going to turn people off. So, instead of just commenting on posts where you have a platform to sell your product, add some value back into the network too, e.g. by offering useful advice – this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell where it is appropriate, but remember to change the record!

Consider the audience: This is one of the pillars of marketing, and it is very important on LinkedIn. I would guess that the majority of people who are on LinkedIn also have a Facebook account. But they will post about very different subjects because they are portraying different sides of their personality, and are open to different messages. So, don’t post about your friend’s stag do on LinkedIn, trust me, I have actually seen that! LinkedIn is a professional network, so tailor your content accordingly.