That’s a whole lot of professionals, on the same platform, for presumably the same purpose.
For this reason and more, I feel fairly confident making the assertion that LinkedIn, right now, is the most powerful social media platform for professionals in the property and mortgage industries.
I do have to wonder though, how many of these new users are utilising the full potential offered by LinkedIn. A quick scroll through my own wall does not reveal a whole lot of activity by the majority of the individuals I am connected with. Most, it seems, are still using LinkedIn as an online CV of sorts, and not as the active social media platform that it in fact is.
In this column therefore, I thought it would be useful to take a look at LinkedIn as a platform – what it is, how we can use it, and the ways in which we, in the property field, can benefit from it.
What is LinkedIn?
I like to see LinkedIn as a ‘Facebook for business’ of sorts. It serves many of the same functions as Facebook.
It is all about self-promotion and self-visibility coupled with networking and relationship-building, but without all the silly videos of cats you probably tag your friends in. It is a platform on which you build a business network, not necessarily a friendship network – although sometimes the two can, of course, intertwine.
LinkedIn has a few different functionalities.
First and foremost, there is the ‘CV’-like function. You should strive to display your own professional history and work experience as impressively as possible. Stand out from the crowd by adding links to your work on each role you have listed. Include a brief, impactful written statement about your achievements in each position. List any volunteer work you’ve done – even if this does not directly relate to your role in the property industry, it still shows good character. Ask current and former managers, colleagues or partners to ‘recommend’ you and ‘endorse’ your skills. And do make sure your profile picture is professional, high-quality and recent, not a holiday snap from 1995.
Second, LinkedIn is about making connections with other professionals. As the saying goes, it is all about who you know. The more meaningful connections you are able to make on LinkedIn, the better. Connect with current and former colleagues, clients and intermediaries, those in the industry who are doing work that interests you, and even individuals in related or non-related fields you find inspiring. It is also possible to follow businesses and corporate accounts.
Third, there is the wall. Your wall displays everything your connections post – articles, professional updates, videos and images, and so forth. It is important to like, share and comment on posts you find interesting or insightful. This is what we call engagement.
In addition, LinkedIn enables you to join groups where you can learn from others in your field and share ideas and information. Some groups property and mortgage professionals may find useful include:
- The Property Management Network
- The Property Network
- The London Property Network
- Mortgage Professionals
- Mortgage Professionals Network
What should I post about on LinkedIn?
You should post regularly and strategically. For example, it is better to post first thing in the morning or in the early evening, think commute, as these are the times when LinkedIn is at its most active and business folk are scrolling through their feeds on the way to the office, for example.
Two million posts, articles and videos are posted on LinkedIn every day. These posts generally provide business ‘voices’ and might include industry articles in the press; inspiring or informative videos or infographics; or even articles written by users themselves. LinkedIn has a self-publishing feature which is an excellent way to share your own knowledge and assert your status in the field. Keep in mind that posts with images get twice as many comments as those without and video posts are five times more likely to be commented on.
In summary, it is clear, the stats do not lie, that LinkedIn is not going anywhere. It is in your best interest, as well as the interests of your business and the industry as a whole, to embrace this professional platform with open arms.