As the leading business-to-business social media platform, LinkedIn provides users with unbeatable online networking capabilities
LinkedIn allows you to establish a network made up of your connections and your connections' connections, automatically linking you to thousands of business professionals.
This is really the primary objective; LinkedIn is used as a search tool for potential partners and suppliers.
Ensuring your profile is keyword-rich to match the search terms is the first task. Then it's all about getting the click-through from the search results page to your profile page.
Now it's time for your career story to shine. For visitors to your profile to understand what you do and how you can help them, your profile needs to be more than a replica CV. A list of bullet points from your job description is of no real value to a potential business partner or potential customer.
People buy from people, so they want to know about you, to establish some credibility and trust. They want to know your achievements, what projects you've been involved in and the organisations you support.
How much is too much?
Once your profile has helped you make a great impression, it's time to connect. When you're connected, you need to nurture and build your relationship. Send one-to-one messages when appropriate, and post updates to maintain visibility in peoples' newsfeeds.
One update a week, short-form or long-form, is enough activity on LinkedIn. It's not as fast-paced as other social media platforms - in fact, you can overdo it by posting too much, making it seem as though you have no work to do… and people always prefer to do business with a busy person.
The best way to promote your business on LinkedIn is by being helpful and adding value - posting content, sharing content on profiles, pages and contributing to group discussions with the aim of sharing insight and demonstrating knowledge and expertise, without a sales pitch.
Engaging in conversation is the key to success with any social media platform; on LinkedIn it's particularly professional in style.
LinkedIn does, of course, also offer paid-for advertising opportunities to help you promote your business - including Sponsored Content, Text Ads and Sponsored InMail.
She is passionate about best practice and knowledge sharing and is the author of Relax! It's Only Social Media and a course instructor for Lynda.com, LinkedIn's online learning company.