Lab42 recently commissioned a survey of 500 users of LinkedIn in the USA to see how they used the site. They published the results in this interesting infographic.

90% of responders think that the site is useful as it helps them to connect to individuals in their industry as possible clients.  If you are using your LinkedIn profile to that end, here are a few tips.
Profile Shot – If Social Media is all about building contacts and relationships, then give your contacts a visual to help them build that. A logo is fine on a company page, but for a personal page a clear head-shot is very important.  A grey shadow pic, just like an egg on twitter, gives the impression that you have not spent time on your profile.
Recommendations – Write recommendations for people that you have had contacts with. Ask people to write you recommendations.  Possible clients will feel reassured seeing recommendations referencing previous work.
Groups – Have a look at the Groups that discuss issues important to you and your company.  Once you have decided which groups are the most helpful and informative, join them and join in the discussions. Great ideas are shared round in these groups and you can share your  knowledge and experience. It will also raise your visibility and that of your company.  Just like in your blogs, you can position yourself as an expert while learning new things from others.
Connections – Build up your connection through “People You May Know” and through the connections of others.  Have LinkedIn search through your address book to find connections and run this regularly to make sure that you are connecting with all those that you have any interaction with.
We’ll return to this as there are a lot more hints and tips, as well as dos and don’ts for effective use of LinkedIn in business.
LinkedIn is a powerful business tool, and one that you can use with great effect.  Like any relationship building it relies on the time and effort that you put into it.  How much time do you spend on LinkedIn for your business?