Linkedin is essential.
Linkedin is effective.
Linkedin is not static.
How do I use it?
Linkedin is optimized for B2B connectivity. The essentials are your PROFILE and updates.
In your profile you have the capacity to preselect the type of business you want by augmenting with more depth regarding expereince, education, preference and interests. Consider interests a whiteboard which you can leverage.
You will find the Linkedin inquiries will be golden. These folks have read your profile and have a specific purpose for contacting you. In five years I have received only two solicitation calls. Note, they CALLED as will most of those who actually have business to conduct. There may be even more gold if one chooses to chase messages. I don't respond to Trulla message, nor do I respond to Linkedin messages. Serious folks will call.
A few suggestions:
Develop and implement your profile in three stages.
Stage one - a professinal profile, reasonably complete that allows you to send out the invites to those you know will accept. (your name recognition) Your broker, corp office, entire office and the lender and or inspector and or appraiser to whom you send business.
Stage two - in a week or so, add advanced education, training, and real esate specifics. Send new invites. Professional contacts, haven't mets and expansion opportuntites. (Where are folks who move into your area coming from? That is your expansion opportuntiy.Attach to them. Remember, you are selecting the business you WANT.)
Stage three - update profile to include most recent skills and acheivements. Reword the preferences to focus or expand. This is the time to zero in on SOLUTIONS you provide. Understand many who are reading are professional but not in the real estate industry. SO please purge the realestate-eese from your dialog.
You must embrace this is a B2B enterprise. This is much different than a consumer facing enterprise. When business folks are researching, they are not seeking entertainment, they are seeking SOLUTIONS to a problem. This is important.
You will not get as much interaction from Linkedin as you will from Facebook. However, Linkedin has greater recurring potential than Facebook and is the forum to match problems to solutions. IN such an environment, the smiley face in the sea of smiley faces fades away because folks are seeking solutions and not solicitations.
Finally, Linkedin is one of the esstential validation points to which consumers will turn (if you point them in that direction.) There are other equivalent placements, but that is not the topic of your question. After phase 3, update your profile occaisionally, (when you have substance, don't babble like a facebooker) to let folks know you are still beating the bushes and walking the pavement and developing and providing solutions.
The care and feeding of Linkedin is much less than any of the alternative social media options. The benefit is a 'referral', an introduction, not a lead. And we know the math regarding the closure rate of a referral.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL