LinkedIn is the world's largest professional social networking site with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries, and many are focused on using LinkedIn for small business. Professionals use LinkedIn to stay on top of their networking — and marketers are joining in by using LinkedIn as a platform for promotion.

Think of LinkedIn as the professional, buttoned-up sister of Facebook. Instead of baby pictures, you'll see updates from friends and colleagues on career events, such as work anniversaries and new jobs. LinkedIn has one of the world's best job boards, as well.

Here are five tips for effective promotion on LinkedIn:

1. Create and/or Improve Your Company Page

To promote on LinkedIn effectively, you need a robust company page to back you up. LinkedIn offers company pages to businesses of all sizes — even a one-person company. Determine who will run and manage the page, and then come up with a strategy. How often do you want to post on the page? What kind of information do you want to promote? Look at your competition to gauge what they're posting — can you improve on what they're doing? Some good places to start include updates on completed projects, creative tips related to your industry and newly offered products or services. Make sure your page stays up-to-date and accurate.

2. Keep It Educational

Many companies post content on LinkedIn, but much of it is boring and irrelevant to customers, or too focused on sales. Results come when you post content or discussion topics that teach people something or, at least, get them thinking. Post educational articles and avoid sharing articles that come from your site alone. Participate in discussions on LinkedIn Groups, as well.

3. Use Compelling Images

When you post an article or website on LinkedIn, it automatically pulls in an image using open graph data. Open graph data is tagged with metadata indicating that it can be added to a social networking site such as LinkedIn. Make sure those images are compelling and exciting, and not just your company logo. Social media posts with images get more clicks and shares. In fact, visuals with color increase people's willingness to read content by 80 percent, according to research conducted by Xerox.

4. Invest

LinkedIn offers targeted self-service ads, which are a great way to test the waters. You don't have to spend a ton of money on LinkedIn to get results. Start by promoting a post to a targeted audience. See how many likes, shares and comments you get. If you have good results, it might be worth dedicating more of your budget to promotion on the platform.

5. Involve Colleagues

It's great if your brand posts content on your company page, but best results come when you get your team members involved. Bring them together and explain why social sharing matters, and encourage them to share company content on their personal pages. This will give your LinkedIn strategy a boost.

LinkedIn offers plenty of promotional opportunities to small and midsize businesses. These tips will help you use LinkedIn for small business effectively and get the results you want.

Tags: Online Content Effective Promotion Marketing Campaigns LinkedIn social media