So many agents get tied up with social media marketing and trying to figure out how to do it correctly. There are a lot of “gurus” out there who will promise you all of the Unicorns in the Universe if you just follow their “marketing” systems for using social media. However, social media marketing is not about advertising or promoting your services and listings in order to generate INSTANT leads RIGHT now.
Social media marketing is a long term game.
(Think of it being a marathon, as compared to a sprint)
Social media marketing is simply just communications.
Good marketing is good communication with your existing and future connections.
It really is that simple.
So now let’s talk about LinkedIn. It’s a platform which is sort of like the Uncle who comes over for the holidays and family birthday parties with his own six pack of Old Style beer.
In case you’re unaware of the famous beer brand, Old Style, it’s a local Chicago beer which really is “old school”. This is a blue collar beer that guys like my dad used to drink. (I love my dad, he’s old school) Old Style beer can and will put hair on your chest and make you grunt like an early human Cro-Magnon.
You love your Uncle and he’s part of the family, and this is what LinkedIn is. It’s part of the family of social platforms we should and have to become part of because we just can’t unfriend our Uncle.
LinkedIn is an important piece of the social media puzzle, just not as important as Facebook is.
Now that we have established that let’s get started with marketing on LinkedIn.
The first step to take in using LinkedIn is setting up your profile. In the video below and for the rest of this article I’ll be discussing the what and how to put together your LinkedIn Profile.
VIDEO: How To Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile
SIDE NOTE: This video was shot LIVE at Red Rocks National Park in Las Vegas. it’s an awesome place to visit and I can’t wait to go back and film more videos and do more hiking there.
If you want to see the rest of my YouTube training videos go to my YouTube Channel and Subscribe to it here.
LinkedIn: The Basics
In 2015, LinkedIn is still an important platform for every marketer to be part of. There is a community on LinkedIn, it may not be totally engaged like the community on Facebook, but it’s still a community. Has long as there is Engagement taking place on a social media platform, then that platform is still a viable place to conduct marketing on.
The key word here is Engagement.
If you follow any of my training or read my ebook “The Online Marketing Plan for Real Estate Agents”, then you’ll hear me talk a lot about the concept of Engagement. It’s a really important concept to understand if you want to learn about how to market yourself, brand, and listings online.
For LinkedIn, a lot of the engagement is taking place on the actual profile pages of the people on it. There is a newsfeed in LinkedIn, but the engagement levels on it are low. Basically people simply just don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn.
According to this article by Social Media Examiner, people in the United States spend on average 17 minutes a month on LinkedIn. Read the full article by clicking here…
By comparison; on Facebook users spend 6.33 hours per month on. Or look at the 13 minutes per month people spend on MySpace.
You will find more statistics at Statista
(sourced from Social Media Examiner and Statista.com)
SIDE NOTE: If you really want to learn more about Social Media and stay up to date with all of the changes going on in the world of online marketing then Social Media Examiner is a great resource to have. I personally rely on their blog on a weekly basis to keep myself up do date with everything. They have an email list which is a good thing to sign up for.
Go to their website at www.SocialMediaExaminer.com
Lower engagement levels on LinkedIn means allocating your time and resources accordingly for it. Yes it’s important, but it’s not that important.
Since we don’t know if a current or future connection will prefer to look us up on LinkedIn, this means we should have a presence on it.
Do you think buyers and sellers do Google searches on you?
YES THEY DO…
When a buyer and/or seller looks you up online to research you and find out who you are, they will type your name into the search engine bar. Because LinkedIn has such a good overall presence online your profile has a good chance of pulling up with the first 5 results of that search result. This is a major reason why LinkedIn is important and that you have a complete profile which tell people: Who you are, and What you can do for them.
Your LinkedIn profile should tell people What You Can Do for them, not What Have Done. It’s not a resume so don’t treat it as such.
Setting Up Your LinkedIn Profile: Part 1
Part 1 is laid out in 4 steps A thru C.
A: Your Profile Picture
Using images properly are an extremely important part of your overall marketing on and offline. They should be used to show you off who you really are. This doesn’t mean it has to be a totally professional headshot anytime you update it.
Your profile picture should be clear and fit properly into the space LinkedIn has allocated for it. The profile picture shows up as 200 pixels by 200 pixels. If your image is too big, to small, or very pixelated and not clear it will not show up well. A surprisingly large number of profile pictures are like this.
First upload your image and see how it looks on LinkedIn. If it’s stretched out, too small, or over-pixelated then you have to change the size of your image. On a Apple computer this is really each to adjust. Simply double tap the image and and the preview window will open then it’s…
PREVIEW > TOOLS > ADJUST SIZE
If you’re on a Windows machine, I literally have no idea how to change the size of the image other than selling your computer and getting a Mac.
B: The LinkedIn Headline
I believe this could be the single most important part of your LinkedIn Profile because it sets the expectations of a viewer who comes across it.
When someone lands on your profile their eyeballs are going from Left to Right across the top of the screen. It’s a quick look at your profile picture and then on to your Name and the Tagline next to it.
LinkedIn gives you a generous amount of character space for your headline. You have two full lines of text you can use with a creative and interesting tagline.
Many real estate agents simply put the name of their brokerage, their job title, and phone number here. This is wrong. You would fill it out this way if the year were 1990 and you were using the Yellow Pages phone book for marketing your business. (If you we’re born after 1990 you might not even know what these large yellow books phone books were, but they were a big deal back in the day for every business…)
Your headline should be creative and state what you can do. Have fun with this and remember you can always change it. My headline is clearly brining out my own personality in how I market my brand online. It’s also consistent with the rest of my branding playing on the whole “mexican theme” I’m using. Yes it may be a little out there, however people do remember it and most importantly it’s ME. I have a very sarcastic sense of humor and I’m letting that come out.
Come up with some creative headlines and how you want to branded online. Have fun and be yourself. Try not to be too stuffy and over professional. By bringing out your personality into your profile and branding you’re actually identifying what differentiates you amongst every other real estate agent out there.
We call this Fascination and it’s an important element of your online branding and marketing. Sally Hogshead is the Author of a book called “How The World Sees You” and it gets into the whole topic of Fascination. I highly recommend checking out her work. It’s going to show you how what makes you YOU, is an important variable to incorporate into all of your communications. Check out her website here www.HowToFacinate.com.
C: Customize Your LinkedIn URL
When you first set up your LinedIn profile they assigned you a URL address for your profile. You want to edit this URL and change it to your own name.
This will help Google and Bing more easily find you in a search query and it’s a small detail that adds to making your complete profile looking professional. If you have a common name it’s most likely that a custom URL with it has already been taken. In this case you’ll need to add a number to the end of your name, or use your middle initial.
Step 1: Go to EDIT PROFILE in the LinkedIn Menu bar on the top of your web browser.
Step 2: Go to the URL address on your profile and CLICK the PENCIL ICON edit link next to your URL Address.
Step 3: You will be taken to the edit screen like the one pictured below where you click the PENCIL ICON edit link next to your URL and change it to your name. Use all small caps.
D: Background Image
Background Images to your LinkedIn profile are new as of June 2014. This is part of how LinkedIn is trying to make profiles more personable. The image size should be 1400 pixels by 425 pixels in size. A nice photo of a home, kitchen, city skyline, and/or cool backyard all would work nice here for an agent. I personally change out my profile and cover images every 3-4 months, but there is no rule for when you should change up your imagery.
Setting Up Your LinkedIn Profile: Part 2
In Part 2 we will cover the rest of your LinkedIn Profile. This is the body of the profile which includes the Summary, Projects, Publications, and Work History.
Part 2 being released FEB 2016…
Additional LinkedIn Resources
There are a lot of professionals out there teaching LinkedIn Marketing. Some are good and others aren’t worth your time. Here are two resources I use for keeping me up to date with my own LinkedIn marketing. Both offer a lot of good Free and Paid information.
1. Donna Serdula | The LinkedIn Makeover
Donna has been helping companies and business professionals with thier LinkedIn Profile’s for a while now. She’s the first Social Media Pro I reached to when I was looking for answers about what to do with LinkedIn. Visit her Website at: www.LinkedInMakeover.com
2. Ron Nash | The In Academy
Real Estate Agent Case Study: Katie Skomorowski
You can use this agent’s profile as an example of being creative with headlines, job titles, and summaries. Click the image below to see Katie’s profile on LinkedIn.
What’s Your LinkedIn Profile Look Like?
Is your LinkedIn profile optimized and looking the way you want it to? If so, share a link to your profile here and share it with us. Setting up your profile is the just step 1 for your LinkedIn marketing. After you have your profile squared away the next step is learning what to post on LinkedIn and growing your connections on it.