With more than 150 million users in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms, specifically with B2B and B2C brands and professionals. LinkedIn more than just an online resume – it can be a huge contributor to a REALTOR®’s lead generation efforts as well as taking your networking to the next level.
A recent study of over 5,000 businesses found that traffic from LinkedIn generated more visitor-to-lead conversions than Facebook or Twitter. Since more than 90% of home buyers use the internet as an information source and many of them use LinkedIn in their professional lives, building a strong presence on the social network could pay big dividends.
Create Your Profile
Create a complete profile on LinkedIn that provides all pertinent information about your background, expertise, specialties and awards. Use descriptive keywords and phrases to make it easier to find your profile on search engines, which pull a lot of information from LinkedIn profiles. Use a recent professional headshot and include links to your website, blog or other social channels as well to give potential clients and connections a complete picture.
Manage Your Connections
Once your profile is complete, import your contacts, choosing colleagues, past clients or connections in the community. You don’t have to connect with everyone in your Rolodex, just those contacts you want to network with on a fairly regular basis. Connecting with other users on LinkedIn increases your visibility when someone searches for someone to do business with, so focus on business partners and connections with large followings.
LinkedIn enables users to publicly recommend others for positive business or professional experiences. Be generous with giving recommendations to people you’ve worked with in the past, from real estate colleagues to members of the community like your dentist, veterinarian. Also recommend real estate connections, like contractors, home inspectors or bankers.
Don’t be shy requesting recommendations yourself, but be sure to personalize them. Recommendations appear on your profile and it’s a small world – who knows how a potential client will be connected to someone who writes positively about you on LinkedIn?
Post Relevant Content and Calls to Action
Once you’re connected, develop a steady schedule of content on LinkedIn. Blog posts are a great way to display your expertise and links to relevant real estate articles will be valuable content to those following you. Posting listings and open house information is a great way to generate interest and leads. But don’t just post content – be sure to include a call to action. Ask people to comment or contribute to the conversation on your blog posts, tell them where they can get more information about listings – generate those leads and build closer bonds with your network.
Join Real Estate Groups
LinkedIn is full of groups full of real estate professionals posting and sharing information, as well as potential clients looking for information. NAR alone has six LinkedIn pages to share information and network. There are also forums dedicated to commercial, residential, foreclosure and green real estate, along with regional and city-based groups from coast to coast. Join groups and see what’s out there to see which ones are right for you.
Answer Questions and Be a Resource
Become an active participant in groups, posing questions to create buzz but also answering queries related to your expertise. Some REALTORS® pose general questions in LinkedIn groups to get conversations started, while others weigh in with insightful blog posts about everything from home staging to short sales ethics. Participating in these conversations will help you build more credibility on the platform and help you continually network with real estate professionals.
Are you on LinkedIn? What benefits have you seen from using LinkedIn over Facebook or Twitter? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.