This is a talk that I gave to the Profile Network on Wednesday 20th January 2016. Profile is a networking organisation and information exchange for professionals involved in property marketing and PR. Most of the audience are usually in comms, but there was a good sprinkling of fee earners and one brave HR person who got a special mention.
The talk was centred around 5 Tips for a LinkedIn Strategy for property professionals, aimed at in house business development, marketing and PR professionals in property and construction. As you will see I don’t subscribe to the ‘hard-sell’ technique of using LinkedIn to go prospecting via the inbox. Many trainers will tell you that this is what LinkedIn is great for, but as a construction professional myself I know this has no mileage for busy professionals who will just switch you off – so why should you train your staff to be pushy?
I hope you find the slides and notes useful. They give just a flavour of the talk, and if you have any questions, would like me to deliver this talk to your board or provide training, or would like to get in touch for any other reason, please use the contact methods here.
5 Tips for a LinkedIn Strategy for Property Professionals
1. Make Yourself Visible
- In order to ensure people can find your staff on LinkedIn, make sure their public profiles are turned on and key elements are visible to Google search and to Google searchers.
- LinkedIn profiles are much more sophisticated than they were. Look at options for introducing rich media such as video, slide decks, pdfs and links to additional material on your website.
- Think about who your key client facing staff members are. Who should be looking at their profiles? What should the profiles contain?
2. Talk to HR
- When it comes to LinkedIn, the most knowledgeable people in your company are likely to be in HR. Social Media is all about people and people are their stock in trade.
- Don’t forget that everything you post on social media (including LinkedIn) is visible, if only to one other person.
- You’ll need a social media policy that sets boundaries but is enabling if you want your staff to participate.
- Consider the three types of training:
- Awareness of what you’re doing and why – ideal for board members
- Safe and Sensible – for all staff.
- Proactive – for your key client facing users so they know how to plug it into their business development jobs.
3. Make Yourself Invisible
- You visit people’s profiles anonymously. Which of your staff would benefit from this knowledge?
- Work as a team to go hunting for prospects on LinkedIn, learn about clients and find opportunities to engage and develop business intelligence.
4. Status Updates First
- Social Media is foremost a conversation platform, and on LinkedIn this is also true. Where should you encourage conversation? In the Status updates system
- LinkedIn Groups are undergoing severe changes that is affecting their effectiveness. Remember the only people on groups who will see your posts are those who are active.
- The private messaging system is good but it is a closed system and some people find misuse of it frustrating.
- Your Company Page is your company’s home on LinkedIn. You should post here, but having conversations is difficult as the audience is small. The most important thing about company pages is how they act as an indicator to visitors of who they know at the company.
- Status Updates however are open and powerful in helping you spread a message to a wider audience. Encourage your staff to hold public conversations in the status update system.
5. Be Useful
- Finally, if social media is about conversations and publishing, what are you going to publish?
- Many LinkedIn users publish frivolous or boring content that isn’t useful to the people they are trying to reach – it’s a distraction.
- You can differentiate your company if you publish information that is useful, targeted, self contained, shareable and free.
And a closing thought:
If everyone in the construction industry is using LinkedIn, what differentiates us is how we use it. It won’t be long before candidates will be employed on the strength of their LinkedIn networks. It is already the case that prequalification questionnaires are being cross-referenced against LinkedIn profiles. Think about how you can use LinkedIn to your own individual and corporate benefit, before they all catch up.
Read more about what I think of LinkedIn for Construction here.