When you think of social media, most people think immediately of Twitter and Facebook. Some people might even include some sites like Pinterest or Tumblr. However, one of the most useful social media websites out there right now that can help realtors sign new business is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to speak directly to professionals who are most likely within your desired demographic and salary range. In fact, young professionals who post regularly on LinkedIn are far more likely to have disposable income to spend on things like new homes.
With this in mind, realtors should look into how they can use those leads on LinkedIn to generate new business for them and their firm. But, how do you know who to concentrate on? Fortunately, there are several very easy ways for you to narrow down which people would be most likely to respond to your listings.
Start a LinkedIn Group
One of the most effective things you can do to gather new leads is to start a LinkedIn Group dedicated to serving your market. Make the group’s mission clear and enticing for people to join. Give them more than one good reason to join your group. For instance, if you’re looking to sign new clients in the real estate market of Seattle, start a young professionals Seattle group, or tips on finding the best real estate in Seattle. Make the group specific to what your theoretical clients will be searching for. The more keywords you can fit in your group name the better – but be careful, too many can make your group name sound unwieldy, and unappealing to the very people you’re attempting to sign.
Starting the group isn’t enough. Active participation and moderation is required by you (or a designated intern) in order for the group to grow. Share articles that your group members would be interested in. If you are a Seattle real estate LinkedIn group, don’t link to articles talking about finding the best pineapple (unless it’s where to find the best pineapple in random farmer’s markets). Keep the information clear and relevant to your group member’s interest. The content should revolve around one or more of the keywords within the group name. When users search LinkedIn, the articles you post (with the keywords) should also come up and passively introduce them to your LinkedIn Group. Before you know it, you’ll have hundreds of new users, all of whom should prove to be very valuable leads someday.
With your LinkedIn Group, try to share and encourage discussion on more than one article a day. But, be careful! Post too much and people will get annoyed with your group and hide the page, or worse leave your group altogether. Post too little, and the same thing will happen due to a lack of interest. When you post articles, encourage discussions by asking questions, facilitating a poll and engage with the responses.
Remember to review how each of your posts are doing. LinkedIn allows you to measure the impact each post you’ve put on LinkedIn has made on your users and audience. After 24 hours, LinkedIn shows you the amount of impressions and engagement for your company page and groups. Review which articles and discussions have made the most impact with your audience – in many cases, these updates can do more good than paying for advertising!
Whatever you do, post your updates manually instead of trying to rely on an app that will do it for you. Those scripts that autoupdate your status on social media networks are rife with failures. Embarrassing status updates, or appearing to be technically inept will chase your users away as well.
Building an online community takes time, but once you do, the rewards are unlike anything you’ll ever experience!
Create a Company Page
Along with groups, you can start a LinkedIn Page for your company. This Company page is similar to the page you (should) have on Facebook. This page allows you to demonstrate the individuality of your company and how you differentiate yourself from the competition. Choose a profile picture that is easily seen in thumbnail size and will attract people to your page.
Use a banner image that expands on your profile photo. Use a nice picture of one of your listings, or even a staff photo that can allow people to make a temporary connection with you and your business. People like the personal touch when they do business, and something as simple as a photo of your family or staff is much better than just a photo of a building. Use the photo upload options to upload photos of your listings if you want to show off what you have to offer to your clients.
Featured Product and Services
LinkedIn Company pages are set up very well to encourage your users to buy directly from you. LinkedIn offers a section for you to create links to products or services that you offer. Be creative with this section! Things like offering free or highly discounted services for those users who have “liked” your page on LinkedIn can encourage clients to purchase from you when they may not have otherwise. With the free product or service, you can also collect their e-mail address giving you another avenue to contact them with in the future. E-mail marketing is a whole other beast that can be covered in another post, but collecting e-mails that are warm leads is the sound foundation to building a better small business.
LinkedIn isn’t a panacea if you’re having trouble finding new clients. Instead, look at it as just another tool in your toolbox. LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for you to discover new clients and help maintain relationship with clients who are likely to come back for repeat business. Maintaining a LinkedIn Group and Company Page doesn’t have to be difficult! With a small daily investment of time, you can begin to generate new leads from sources you may never have imagined before!