By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator Of PrPro And Owner Of Energy PR

I’m amazed by the number of people who still see LinkedIn as a recruitment tool or, perhaps, a glorified business address book.

Yes, LinkedIn is used by recruiters and it is a neat way of staying in touch with all your business contacts, but it has the potential to be so much more than that. It can really reinforce your reputation, provide you with news content, it can inspire new ideas, it can be a place for getting questions answered, it will help you find allies, partners…the list is almost endless.

So, if all you have been doing so far is linking with people, how do you start getting more out of LinkedIn?

Well here are just three simple things for you to go away and do tomorrow:

Try the poll function — You will find the option to create polls under ‘more’ on the tool bar when you’re in LinkedIn. Polls are a clever way of encouraging interaction, getting conversations going or generating statistics that you can use in your PR activity. They are incredibly easy to set up and if you share them with all of your friends, contacts etc — not only in LinkedIn but perhaps tweeting it to people too — you can quickly drum up lots of participation.

Join a group that is popular with your customers and prospects - That’s right, focus on the people you are trying to sell to, don’t waste your time on groups that your peers and competitors are members of. Why waste time talking to them when you could be talking to prospects? Having joined a group that your customers or prospects are members of, watch from the sidelines for a bit and then start to interact subtly, ask a question…but DO NOT leap in with a sales pitch. Just sound intelligent, interested and prepared to listen.

Create a wish list - Identify 10 companies you would like to work with this year and search for them using the company search function. You may be surprised to see just how closely connected you are to those companies, especially if you have properly connected with everyone you know on LinkedIn.

If you’re still struggling with LinkedIn’s possibilities or want more advice and inspiration, I’ve a free download to share. Download a free copy of Don’t Just Think, Link

Louise Findlay-Wilson has two businesses to help get your PR motoring:

If you are looking for a great PR agency visit www.EnergyPR.co.uk

For more PR training and tools so you can do your own PR visit www.prpro.co.uk