We've been looking at different social media options for small businesses this week. We covered Facebook on Monday, Twitter on Tuesday, and hump day was dedicated to the new(ish) kid on the block, Pinterest. We'll be looking at LinkedIn today- a tool that can connect you to a wealth of business networks and resources and save you time, effort, and energy. Connect with Customers Firstly, LinkedIn lets you search for potential customers by suggesting people in similar networks and interests to your own. The site's search feature also gives your an awesome time-saving tool to connect you with those people directly. Asking people to write recommendations for your profile also validates you professionally to people new to doing business with you. In the same vein, by linking your profile to your other social networking sites and/or blog, you can prove yourself as a dedicated and confident professional in your field by producing quality content. Connect with Employees Secondly, recruiting employees is also a fantastic reason to stay active on LinkedIn. Posting a detailed job listing garners an average of 11 responses according to the its website. It's easy screen responses for these postings using the individual's LinkIn profile. Check out resumes, recommendations and areas of expertise as soon as you are connected. You can also hand-pick people to recruit for your business by simply messaging them or asking a mutual connection for an introduction. Connect with Investors Looking to start up your business or need capital for expansion? Use LinkedIn to search for investors in your area who have helped businesses like yours get off the ground and expand. Using premium features of the site, you can directly message investors who are not connected to you, but have invested in similar companies. According to the site, one entrepreneur raised over a quarter of a million dollars in just over a week, simply from the connections he made on LinkedIn. Clearly, connecting with potential investors in this way have have huge payoffs from minimal effort. Additional Resources: A Guide to Generating Leads on LinkedIn - Packed with helpful infographics, this article gives you the tools you need to grow your business using LinkedIn. Warm Calling via LinkedIn - This short and sweet post offers some helpful tips about using LinkedIn as an alternative to traditional cold-calling. Market Your Company on LinkedIn - Gives helpful advice on how to grow your company's online presence using LinkedIn. How do you use LinkedIn, and how does it help you run your organization? Let us know in the comments!