We wrote about how LinkedIn should be a part of a social media marketing strategy for commercial real estate. LinkedIn is the most powerful and active business social network, so it would be beneficial to use it as part of a marketing strategy.
This is the reason that every commercial real estate company should use it to engage with prospects and clients for building their personal brand, commercial real estate prospecting, or promoting their listings.
LinkedIn provides an opportunity to directly connect with people you want to talk to, as well as a platform to promote your property listings to a relevant audience.
There are some things you can do to make your LinkedIn profile more effective. These include making your profile more attractive, engaging with potential customers, and driving traffic to your listings.
Having an effective LinkedIn strategy is key to improving your performance on the platform. Some things you can do to improve your performance on LinkedIn are:
How to Use LinkedIn as a Content Platform
There are three types of LinkedIn posts, and each of them can be supplemental to your broader marketing goals. They include:
- Company Posts – Posted to your Company or Organization Page, these posts are branded by your CRE business, and therefore can be as promotional as you want them to be. They are also the only posts eligible for paid campaigns so offer a number of benefits over the other two options.
- Personal LinkedIn Posts – Posted directly to your personal profile, these are the bulk of the posts you see in the news feed when you login each day. They are the most likely to get engagement, but also the hardest to make directly promotional for your CRE listings.
- LinkedIn Articles – LinkedIn has a communal publishing platform. Once called Pulse, the article function allows you to share content with anyone who follows your profile as a thought leader, your direct connections, and a much larger potential audience if it gets picked up by editorial. This can be a potentially powerful resource if used properly.
How to Set Up Any Type of LinkedIn Ad
There are six steps to creating any type of LinkedIn ad: identifying your audience, creating your ad, choosing your ad format, setting your ad budget, tracking your ad campaign, and analyzing your results.
If you want to create a Campaign Manager account, you can do so for free. Once your account is created, LinkedIn will provide guidance on how to set up your campaign.
To create your ad, you first need to decide what its purpose will be. Are you looking to raise awareness of your brand, get people to consider using your services, or directly generate leads? LinkedIn provides different suggestions for formats, features, and bidding types depending on what you’re looking to accomplish with your ad.
Choose your audience wisely for LinkedIn Ads- there are over 20 categories to choose from. Save time by making a template of your criteria for future campaigns. You can also choose to enable audience expansion, which will allow LinkedIn to show your ad to people similar to your target audience.
Choose an ad format that best suits your campaign. LinkedIn ads can be shown as single images, videos, an image carousel, sponsored messages, spotlight ads, text ads, and event ads. For example, if you are looking to develop relationships with real estate investors, a carousel with a few property options would be a good idea. Alternatively, if you’d like to generate client leads as soon as possible, a spotlight ad with a CTA leading to your website could be beneficial.
How much money do you want to spend on your digital marketing campaign? You’ll need to keep track of your spending to make sure you’re getting a good return on investment.
You can use a variety of content and topics for your ads on LinkedIn. This could include repurposing blog posts from your website, an old LinkedIn post about a successful listing, etc. The important thing is to make sure that the content is valuable to LinkedIn users. They are more likely to engage with content that is informative rather than simply promoting your listings.
General Guidelines for Posting on LinkedIn
Regardless of which type of post you are publishing, it’s important to build something that speaks to your target audience directly. Here are some things to keep in mind when crafting content:
- Is It Professional? – LinkedIn is a professional network. It’s designed for sharing career and industry related tips and advice, not for politics, general complaining, or YouTube videos. As a social network, there is bound to be some crossover, and your content should still be entertaining and engaging whenever possible, but keep it professional.
- Does It Answer a Question or Provide a Tip? – Content should be actionable as well – it should speak to the core needs of your target audience. Other people may see the posts, but make sure you’re offering real advice they can use in their lives.
- Is It Consumable on Mobile Devices? – Make sure your content is accessible and mobile friendly. Don’t write long, paragraph heavy content that is hard to read on a phone (more than half of all content on LinkedIn is accessed via phone).
You will be ahead of others if you do all three of these things.
Anatomy of a Good LinkedIn Post
Some other things to keep in mind when structuring your LinkedIn Post include:
- Image Selection – While not required, if you plan on linking back to your website, publishing long form content as an article, or posting to your company page, strong visuals that represent your subject are important.
- Visible Text in the Feed – Your post, especially if long, will only show the first hundred or so characters in the feed. Those 100 characters should define the purpose of the post, outline the solution you’ll offer, and engage with your target audience.
- Link to a landing page – The space available in a LinkedIn post is limited and before your users will get in touch they will want to know more about what you’re offering. Linking to a property website from your LinkedIn post enables your prospects to learn more about the location, amenities and availabilities and further entice them to contact you.
- Adding Keywords and Hashtags – Keyword integration is important for all digital content, especially on a social platform heavily on reliant on algorithms to showcase your posts. Target local, relevant terms and supplement with hashtags that highlight specific topics you’re discussing.
- Call to Action – If you want someone to click a link, download a document, give you a call, or leave a comment, ask them to do it. Include a call to action, the same as you would on your website or in an email.
- Supporting Content on Your Feeds – Make sure your content is surrounded by other strong content that discusses similar topics. If you post an article to your company page, for example, that offers tips about selecting a certain type of property in your area, other posts could be for some of those listings in the area.
- Actively Engage in Comments – Keep an eye on the comments – if someone asks a question or offers a compliment, respond to it as soon as you see it. That kind of engagement not only encourages more responses, but it keeps your post higher in the feed for longer.
Tips to Generate Organic Visibility on LinkedIn
It’s not enough to just write a great post and use the above tips to optimize it. You also need to make sure people actually see it.
If you want your post to reach a wide audience on social media, you need to promote it effectively. You only have a limited time to do this, so it’s important to make sure you’re reaching the right people.
Here are some of the things you should be doing:
- Tag Colleagues and Team Members – Draw in the people most likely to engage with your posts, including coworkers, colleagues, and team members at your CRE business.
- Mention Your Tenants – You can also use the tagging functionality to mention any tenants that you want to feature in your post.
- Connect Personal and Company Pages – Make sure your Company Page is linked from your Personal Profile as your place of employment. Everyone else in the office should do the same to increase the reach of that Page.
- Engage with Other People’s Posts – Spend time every day commenting on, liking, and reading other people’s posts. Not only does this familiarize you with what works and what doesn’t, it gets your name out there.
- Tag Influencers in Your Posts – Tag people with much larger audiences than you in your posts. Do this in context and with the right content and, if they respond, you can greatly increase your reach in a single post.
- Use relevant hashtags – Hashtags on LinkedIn help users discover and participate in the topics and interests you’re mentioning
The following steps will help you create an intriguing LinkedIn post that will also provide content that is relevant to what potential customers are searching for. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your post will be seen by people who are most likely to be interested in your property listings and marketing content.
A separate post could be written about paid campaigns on LinkedIn since they offer a tool to target your ideal audience, but for the purposes of this blog post, the basics will be covered.
A paid campaign, if done correctly, can help you target specific groups of people based on demographics and employment data.
This includes things like:
- Job Title
- Company Size
- Interests and Location
- Years of Experience
- Size of Audience on LinkedIn
In short, you can target your ads to very specific groups of people by specifying things like their profession, years of experience, and location.
The content you pair with your LinkedIn Paid Campaigns is more important than the targeting.
Ads on LinkedIn are more expensive than those on Google and Facebook, costing up to $20 per click.
Although the hyper targeting you get is beneficial, the cost is only worth it if you spend a significant amount of time creating effective ad copy that is specifically tailored to the individuals you are targeting. If you don’t put in this effort, the cost of the ads will quickly add up.
To get the most from your Ad campaigns, consider the following:
- Format and Placement of Your Ads – Ads can be run as thumbnails in the sidebar or as in-feed news items. The latter will perform much better (but cost more as a result). The combination of good content that you boost and share via advertising can be extremely effective though when done right.
- Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression – The default is to pay for every click you get on an ad, but don’t be afraid to experiment with impression-based payment as well. If your content is attractive enough, this can be less expensive.
- Property Listings or Content Shares – For direct sales, you can share property listings and links back to your real estate website, but keep these super targeted. Content shares can be more general, and will have a lower ROI, but much higher click rates.
- What is the Value Per Lead – Know your targets. How much should you spend per click to make it worth your while to spend money on ads?
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for marketing, but it is important to carefully target your ads to your audience to avoid wasting money.
Leveraging LinkedIn Groups
The final topic to discuss is LinkedIn Groups. At first, they may appear to be a professional version of Facebook Pages or forums. However, they are much more valuable to smart marketers than either of those.
You name it and chances are there’s a relevant, highly-engaged Facebook group for it. Facebook groups are a great way to find highly targeted and engaged groups of professionals in a given field. For example, if you’re looking for real estate investors in the tri-state area or landlords in Miami, chances are there’s a relevant Facebook group for you.
Groups are an important part of your marketing strategy because you can target a lot of potential customers.
It also makes it a tricky minefield to navigate, because a LOT of people try to spam these groups. To get started, consider the following:
- Most Groups Require Approval – If your profile is a sales-heavy brochure attempting to promote your business, some groups will decline your invite request because it’s likely you’ll spam them. Be careful of what your public profile says and how it conveys your value add.
- Group Admins Will Ban Fast – While not as trigger happy as mods on Reddit or in some large Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups don’t put up with a lot of spam. Your posts will need to add value and provide useful information to users, not drive traffic to your sales pages.
- Groups Require Personal Profiles and Are Limited – You can only join groups as an individual and you can only join a certain number of groups at a time. So, you’ll need to select one or more people in your CRE business to join target groups, and you’ll need to be somewhat selective of which ones you join.
- You Can’t Automate Posting – LinkedIn recently removed API access to groups, meaning all posts must be manually created from personal accounts. This limits the ability to automate or scale your posting to multiple groups at once.
The more restrictions you see, the fewer people will attempt to do this. Here’s what you should be doing:
- Post Regularly – Don’t post only when you want to promote content on your site. Post on a regular basis to engage with the group and build a reputation.
- Answer Questions and Provide Value – Answer common questions, provide value through links you share, and call out other people’s content as valuable.
- Focus on a Handful of Quality Groups – You can join 30+ groups, but it will be difficult to maintain a relationship and any kind of authority in all 30 of those. Choose a small number with a good following to target first.
- Share Marketing Content, Not Sales Materials – Always share content that can provide value to people, not just to you. Brochures, sales links, and other sales-first content will get flagged or ignored.
If you manage your LinkedIn Group properly, it will result in more clicks, inquiries, and new connections on the platform.
Here are some tips to make your real estate LinkedIn Ad even better.
- Headlines and descriptions are character-limited, so stick to the point. A high-quality photo will also help to get clicks. LinkedIn suggests that for sponsored content, headlines should be under 150 characters and descriptive copy under 70 characters for higher engagement.
- Make sure that your profile is up to date. You’ll be driving viewers to your other pages and you’ll want to show your good – and most professional side.
- Avoid picking a target audience so small that it doesn’t have real value
- All ads should typically end with a clear CTA, often in the form of a text button.
- Always keep your website updated and up-to-par with lots of valuable content for prospective clients to explore.
Although LinkedIn ads are not used as often as other marketing techniques, they can be very effective in helping you stand out from the crowd. Because LinkedIn ads allow you to target a specific audience, you can be sure that you are reaching potential homebuyers who are interested in the information you have to offer.
It is easy to generate leads and establish your brand on LinkedIn ads if you know how. By following the steps above, you can attract viewers with your awesome content.