safe to say there won’t be a movie made about the founding of LinkedIn. It has
more than 187 million users. Facebook has more than 1 billion. LinkedIn was
founded in a living room, not a dorm room. And the only relationship status
LinkedIn users see is whether they have a professional connection to another
why CCIM members like LinkedIn.
a recent survey of members, 73 percent of respondents said LinkedIn was their
favorite social networking site. For anyone looking to digitally connect with
commercial real estate professionals, LinkedIn is a logical first step. The
following tips can help unlock the site’s potential.
Take Advantage of
profiles are typically on the first page of Google search results when a user’s
name is searched, which means a profile can be a prospective client’s first
impression. And that first impression is going to be increasingly visual
following a redesign of LinkedIn profiles.
bigger profile picture is the most noticeable change in the redesign, which
began rolling out in October 2012. Users should make sure their enlarged
profile picture doesn’t look grainy or draw attention to previously
redesigned profiles also give more prominence to the user’s activity on
Linked-In. Status updates, new connections, and shared links, which were
displayed in the right column, are now just below the user’s profile picture.
Skills and expertise have been moved toward the top and work experience toward
Create a Company Page
is best known for its individual profiles, but users can also create company
pages, which are similar to Facebook pages. Company pages offer familiar social
networking features — status updates and the ability for users to follow a
company — with a professional twist. Page owners can send status updates to
followers from a specific company size, industry, seniority level, and more.
Follower analytics are broken down into similar categories.
Explore Premium Features
free accounts allow users to build a network, search for other users, and join
professional groups. Premium accounts, which start at $19.95 per month, extend
these popular features and make it easier to connect with other users. Premium
plans include a quota of InMail messages, which allow users to contact anyone
on LinkedIn. Premium account holders can organize contacts into folders, see
more search results, and get more information about who’s viewed their profile.
Connect Without Being Connected
a LinkedIn user who is not a first-degree connection typically requires an
introduction via a mutual connection. Users with premium accounts can bypass
the introduction by using InMail. Premium accounts also include OpenLink, a
feature that, if enabled, gives any LinkedIn user the ability to contact the
premium account holder at no cost.
with basic accounts can use LinkedIn groups to contact users with whom they aren’t connected. When joining a group,
LinkedIn gives users the option to allow other group members to send them
messages via LinkedIn. Unless this option is deselected, users who belong to
the same group can contact each other at no cost by clicking “Members” from the
group page and then “Send Message” when hovering over the intended recipient.
way to contact group members is to reply to an update posted by the intended
recipient. By clicking “More,” then “Reply Privately” below the update, users
can contact the person who posted the update even though they may not be a
Change the Group Dynamics
groups can be a hit or miss. They are free to join and easy to leave, so
kicking the tires is the best way to determine which ones are useful. Group
members can increase the quality of conversation by contributing useful content
and commenting on other group members’ posts.
a give and take,” says Daniel G. Zelonker, CCIM, broker associate at Mizrach
Realty Associates in Miami. “Write back when you read a positive article from
someone else and be informative. Make sure readers learn something they did not
View Profiles Anonymously
default, LinkedIn users can see the names of other users who have viewed their
profile. This feature is useful when networking but less so when researching
prospective clients or the competition. To browse anonymously while logged in,
go to the account settings page and click “Select what others see when you’ve
viewed their profile,” then select “be totally anonymous.”
Use Social Dashboards
media dashboards consolidate different social media platforms, giving users one
place to view and update multiple accounts. HootSuite, a popular dashboard used
for Twitter and Facebook, also integrates with LinkedIn. The dashboard allows
users to update their LinkedIn company pages and personal profiles, follow
activity from their network, and participate in LinkedIn group discussions.
Customize the News
Today, the site’s socially aggregated news section, delivers industry-specific
content that can be accessed by clicking “News” on the main menu. Stories
shared by the users’ connections and uploaded by subscribed sources such as the
Wall Street Journal and CNBC
appear at the top of the news feed.
Find Your Next Hire
members can use the CCIM network and CCIM Career Center to find qualified
candidates for open positions. LinkedIn offers a way to broaden the search.
Users can post job openings directly from their company page. Postings are
geographically targeted, and rates start at $295 for a 30-day posting.
LaMantia is interactive marketing manager at
the CCIM Institute.