Welcome to part three of our seven-part series about using social media to take your real estate investment business to the next level.
We are covering how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, various social media management tools, and posting calendars in your marketing campaign.
Part One: The Real Estate Investor's Social Media Plan
Part Two: The Real Estate Investor's Social Media Plan – Facebook Edition
Part Three: The Real Estate Investor's Social Media Plan – LinkedIn Edition (you are here)
Part Four: The Real Estate Investor’s Social Media Plan – Twitter Edition
Part Five: The Real Estate Investor’s Social Media Plan – Pinterest Edition
Part Six: The Real Estate Investor’s Social Media Plan – Instagram Edition
Part Seven: The Real Estate Investor’s Social Media Plan – Management Tools Edition
As discussed in Part One…
Businesses that invest time and money into a social media plan, AKA industry leaders, dominate internet searches.
Their websites, blogs, videos, LinkedIn pages, Facebook pages, and Twitter handles will all be listed at the top of Google searches for all to see and explore.
Chances are the individuals and organizations you hope to do business with will look into what industry leaders have to offer because their SEO alone indicates they are serious about what they’re doing.
As industry leaders, it’s more than likely that top notch real estate investment companies, such as yours, will utilize Facebook to maximize their exposure and cultivate their referral base because Facebook is the undisputed king of social media.
To be a true leader, you should also using…
LinkedIn – The CEO Network
75 percent of Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn as their primary recruiting tool on this social networking site that has attracted 400 million users.
10.8 percent of these professionals identify as entrepreneurs and these are the LinkedIn users who could become valuable to your business.
As a real estate investor, there are two reasons why you should use LinkedIn:
- Access to capital
Let’s Get This Party Started
Set up your real estate investment profile. It’s quick and free.
You will need a LinkedIn Profile and Company Page.
You should have a real estate focus because that is the identity you want to share.
Add your LinkedIn (and all social media links, actually) to your business cards, website, email, and private money presentations.
You will receive a confirmation email to activate your profile and that is when the real work starts.
Make sure you maximize your profile by making it as complete as possible. Do not think of this as busy work, this is how you will be found on LinkedIn and listed at the top of searches.
Think of this as your virtual resume, business card, and bragging rights all in one spot.
Profile 100% Complete
A complete LinkedIn Profile means that potential buyers, sellers, partners, and fellow investors searching for you on Google will find your LinkedIn Profile near the top.
Fact is, Google loves LinkedIn so much that LinkedIn URLS rank higher on Google than all other social media profiles. That’s worth its weight in gold!
Write a headline that rocks. Use a call to action if you can. Do not simply list your company name and title. You have 120 characters to make yourself stand out from the crowd, work it.
Do not make it:
- Desperate (especially this!)
Instead, Pete Leibman – Executive Recruiter and High Performance Coach who helps you create a better career. Featured on Fox/CBS/CNN (yes, this is his LinkedIn headline) says to:
- Say WHAT you are.
- Say WHO you help.
- Say HOW you make their life/work better.
- Give PROOF that you are credible.
Provide relevant information about your real estate investment company.
Include successes, education, and partnerships in the summary section. Remember, you can use three links on your profile page to other websites, so be sure to add custom anchor text to these links.
By doing this, you will help your chances for ranking higher in Google searches for those keywords used in your anchor because search engines look at the text in links to understand the page it’s linking to.
It’s not cutting corners; it’s knowing where they are!
Also in your summary section, further optimize your key words.
Investment. Real Estate. Leads. REO. Asset Manager. This full section is indexed by Google, so using favorite key words helps your ranking even more.
Don't be a douchebag and add a bazillion keywords in for the obvious purpose of increasing your SEO. That is annoying. And dumb.
Customize your LinkedIn URL.
Use your name in the URL. This not only lends to your credibility, but helps with search engine optimization (SEO).
Use a professional photo.
Really, have a professional take it.
A LinkedIn Profile with a professional headshot is seven times more likely to be viewed than a profile without. Take a look around at what other real estate investors are using. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
You can upload JPG, GIF or PNG files. File size should be 4MB maximum. Pixel size: 200 x 200 minimum and 500 x 500 maximum. Your photo should be square.
Ask for recommendations from colleagues, partners, and clients.
Testimonials from third parties attesting to your awesomeness is much better than saying it yourself. That’s why recommendations on LinkedIn are so important.
LinkedIn has made giving and receiving recommendations simple and easy, and is set up under the age old adage: the more you give, the more you receive.
General tips on giving great recommendations on LinkedIn:
- Short and sweet is best.
- Include specifics that quantify the results a partner helped you achieve. “Five buyer referrals that led to $800,000 in sales.”
Build a Network.
Now that you are ready to share your profile, start requesting to connect with people you know. Target those who are relevant to your real estate investment company.
Connecting with people you have done business with is a great way to gain access to their connections.
Connections need meaning.
- Start with the people you know. Colleagues and business connections help build that first tier you need to get started.
- You can also search under “companies,” which is a great way to discover more industry related expansions to your network.
- Get a private lender leads list and make connections. (hot tip)
- Connect with portfolio lenders and banks.
- Use LinkedIn Answers to connect with thought leaders and establish yourself as a thought leader.
- Post high quality content. Experts suggest to post content up to three times a day (too much in my opinion) with a minimum of once a week. This will keep your followers engaged and keep them coming back for more.
- Optimize LinkedIn for Business. This might cost a few bucks a month, but it’s worth it. This is where you can dig deep into marketing techniques, metrics, and the analytics of LinkedIn.
(Full Disclosure: I do not have a paid LinkedIn account. Everything I do is with the free version.)
Establishing social proof.
Social proof is a marketing tactic that helps customers feel comfortable about what they are buying.
Considered a psychological phenomenon, it can be used on LinkedIn to help potential clients follow the actions of your current clients to increase your sales.
It makes sense.
When prospects see other people interacting with you on LinkedIn, they want to follow suit.
Use your social proof.
- Interact with your prospects and partners on their walls and profiles.
- Update them on the deals.
- Scan your friends’ posts and walls for anything related to raising money and/or real estate investing and take a screen capture of it for use in your presentations.
- Use screen shots of your LinkedIn recommendations and Facebook compliments.
Get a seat at the cool table.
I know it was a hassle in high school, but now is the time to start joining the cool groups on LinkedIn.
Don’t sweat it.
Unlike high school, everyone is really cool on LinkedIn, and typically no one will try to blacklist you from the cool groups.
- Follow the most popular discussions in these groups.
- Start your own discussions.
LinkedIn groups give you great opportunities to reach and engage potential customers because they are industry or interest specific.
If you don’t see a specific group for what you are looking for, you can start one.
Be the ring leader of a group!
Make the group about real estate investing, not your company. Fellow entrepreneurs on LinkedIn want to be a part of something they can benefit from, not just a fan of someone.
Try running a campaign in your group or sponsor posts to increase exposure to your page. This will attract the group members you are looking for. Customize a logo to make your group legit.
Promote and manage your groups.
Similar to how you promote your own LinkedIn page, you should invite partners and past clients to join your group(s). Don’t forget to promote your group on your website and other social media platforms just like you do your own profile.
- Invite your group members to start a discussion. Be bold and reach out to your heavy hitters to offer advice. Remember, you are just as cool as they are!
- Send LinkedIn emails to your group members. Group members will recognize the email as a trusted source because they signed up for it.
- Use LinkedIn DirectAds to generate leads from and within your group. This allows you to provide offers to subscribers based on a targeted demographic.
- Use LinkedIn applications such as the blog link, Box.net File and Slide Share to promote your content and brand.
What not to do.
Remember, LinkedIn is the CEO Network, so don’t do anything on this social networking platform that you wouldn’t do in a board room.
Don’t post your offering or anything about rates or any direct solicitation on LinkedIn. This social platform is about getting access to capital and marketing.
You do this by building and growing relationships not with hit and run (illegal) advertising. LinkedIn professionals are savvy and will know when content or posts were designed to sell them something.
Don’t be spammy – it’s annoying. Remember your social proof and be influential and a trusted advisor. Always.
Don’t forget to be personal. LinkedIn’s “I want to connect” option is designed to be easy, but if it’s the only way you’re attempting to make a connection, it can come off as presumptuous or cold – especially to an important second, third, or fourth degree connection.
Make the message personal and think of it as a cold call worthy of a follow-up.
Congratulations on using LinkedIn in your real estate investment social media strategy.
Just like on Facebook, the best thing to do is to set aside a block of time in your schedule to get started on LinkedIn.
Twitter– The Scan the Headlines Network
The remaining segments of this social media plan series will continue diving deeper into understanding and optimizing networking platforms.
We will also suggest and explore social media tools and posting calendars to secure your position as an industry leader in the world of real estate investing.
Get connected, and as always,
Have fun. Create value.