The social media landscape is changing (I know, I know..more changes!) and having a presence online isn’t something to put off for a rainy day. Prospects and clients will look to the social networks for guidance on who to work with for their next purchase or refinance.
Don’t believe me? The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) annual study of home buyers and sellers revealed that 42% of home buyers ultimately purchased the home they found online. Bottom line: Home buyers and sellers do research online and a lot of them do this research before they ever pick up a phone, send an email or fill out a contact form. So, how do you get prospects and clients to find YOU when they are doing their web research? I suggest you consider creating a LinkedIn Profile or optimizing your current profile.
Here are 7 steps to get you started:
1. Avoid Overused Words-Even though LinkedIn added 50 Million users in 2012, “Creative” is still the #1 overused word in LinkedIn Profiles. Your profile should target your strengths and maximize your expertise but in an authentic voice. Remember, LinkedIn is an inbound marketing platform which means traditional networking ROE’s apply.
2. Add Applications– LinkedIn has a variety of applications designed to enrich your profile such as Reading List by Amazon and My Travel. Don’t skip over this! Similar interests and activities foster lively discussion. Best part: There is even a real estate application called Real Estate Pro, which allows you to feature property listings and promote client transactions on your Linkedin profile. Access LinkedIn’s apps here: http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=application_directory
3. Create a Vanity URL-This makes sharing the link to your profile much easier than the random selection of numbers and letters you get when you sign up. Where should you share it? Your email signature, on your website, the About Section of your Facebook Business Page, your blog as well as your printed marketing collateral and business card. Visit http://www.linkedin.com/profile/pubic-profile-settings and click on Customize Your Public Profile URL on the lower right hand side of the page.
4. Add a Profile Badge– LinkedIn provides you with several choices for profile badges that you can add to your website or blog. This is another way for you to let your prospects and clients know that your are on social media so you can stay top of mind and build credibility over time. Visit http://www.linkedin.com/profile/profile-badges.
5. Get a Credibility Boost with Endorsements– You may have received a notification in the last few weeks letting you know that one of your LinkedIn connections has endorsed you. (And, then you deleted it because you had no idea what it was or what your were supposed to do with it!) If you’ve filled out the skills and expertise section of your LinkedIn profile (and I highly recommend that you do…), then your connections may be prompted to endorse you for those skills and expertise when they visit your profile or Linkedin may select some of your connections and prompt you to endorse them when you login.
Why Should You Endorse Someone? The Golden Rule applies here. If you want endorsements, give endorsements! Keep in mind that you can only endorse first-tier connections and you must approve the endorsement before it can be added to your profile. It’s a heck of a lot more convincing to a prospect or clients when 27 of your connections endorse you for Real Estate, no? Take advantage of this new feature and your profile will reap the rewards.
6. Edit Your Profile Settings-You are spending all this time beefing up your profile, so it would be a pity if a prospective client couldn’t see your valuable info due to privacy settings. Take a look at what you have setup and control how you appear in public search results.
To show your public profile or change which sections display:
7. Measure, Refine, Repeat– Use the Who’s Viewed My Profile? tool in the right hand area of your profile to see how often your profile is showing up in search results and click on the blue hyperlink to delve deeper into who is actually viewing it. This number should be going up over time and the viewers should be members of your target audience-prospective home buyers, sellers and referral partners. Even if you are killing it on LinkedIn, you should still review and revise your profile every 3 to 6 months. You’re not static so your profile shouldn’t be either!
I understand that social media changes can be overwhelming but having a social media plan can help you tremendously. A social media plan can help you identify your target audience(s), outline goals and objectives and create strategies and habits to achieve those goals. Download our Free Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Social Media Plan and you’ll be on your way to social media success!!