Unless you have not watched television or been on the Internet in the past 12 months, then you most likely know, or have at least heard of, Twitter. Whether you have embraced Twitter just recently, have been using it for months now or are yet to “tweet”, this post is dedicated to explaining the value of Twitter as it pertains to your real estate business.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that allows people to “tweet” back and forth, similar to instant messaging or text messaging, but allows the public to view each message depending on who is paying attention to you (also known as “following” you).
Each “tweet” is limited to 140 characters so that the Twitter stream does not get congested with long diatribes or spammy messages. This forces each message to be short, sweet and easy to digest.
Twitter currently has about 15-20 million users and is continuing to grow rapidly each month. Starting as a simple messaging vehicle Twitter has now become one of the more common forms of communication for B2B, B2C and C2C.
Whether you think you need to be on Twitter or not, you cannot argue with the fact that millions of people actively use Twitter as a regular form of communication or medium for news, information and entertainment. In addition to the widespread usage of Twitter, the platform acts as a fantastic way for businesses to directly communicate with their prospects and clients, and vice versa. Once an attentive audience is developed Twitter becomes a low cost marketing tool for communicating business related information to attain new clients and generate more revenue. We’re going to tell you how to build your own audience so you can start marketing your real estate business effectively with Twitter.
Here is a list of some things you MUST do with Twitter to start establishing your voice and capturing your audience. If you already have a Twitter account setup, then feel free to skip to our section on How to Use Twitter for Real Estate Marketing below or go through the steps below in case you missed something on your current account.
STEP 1: Select a Relevant Username
To setup your Twitter account you will need to select a username. This will be your Twitter calling card moving forward so give this one some thought before you just choose anything.
Tips for Selecting a Username:
STEP 2: Find People to Follow
One of the most important things you will need to do on Twitter, especially during your first few months of using it, will be to follow and listen to people who have been using it for some time and/or have established some type of authority for what they are representing. For example, a good person to follow right off the bat for real estate professionals might be someone like Tom Ferry (@CoachTomFerry) or us of course (@REMarketingTips) <– shameless plug
Tips for Following People:
BONUS: Here is a list of some of the top real estate related Twitter users to follow.
STEP 3: Adjust the Your Settings
Twitter does a great job of keeping things very simple for its users, but there are a few things that are not activated by default that we recommend you spend some time on. None of these settings will make or break your Twitter account or its success, but we have found them to be helpful for us in building a strong following.
STEP 4: Optimize Your Profile
One of the most overlooked features of Twitter is the ability to actually do a little bit of optimization to help your profile and tweets get indexed in the search engines. This is especially important as the search engines continue to push forward with real-time search results and social search results.
Tips for Optimizing Your Profile:
STEP 5: Give Your Twitter Account Some Personality
The finishing touches to a great Twitter account are to customize the design of your Twitter page. Now, although most people use Twitter clients these days as opposed to going to Twitter.com, it is still beneficial to keep your branding consistent to maintain brand equity and awareness throughout all of your web properties.
Tips for Designing Your Twitter Page:
We have provided you with step by step instructions to get your Twitter account up and running. Now, we are going to tell you how to actually market your real estate business on Twitter to meet the following goals:
RECOMMENDATION: Get a Twitter application for your mobile phone and your computer. We suggest anyone of the following applications: HootSuite, Tweetie, TweetDeck, Seesmic. These applications will make tweeting much more convenient and easier to pick up as a part of your everyday routine.
TIP 1: Listen
If you want to learn how to effectively market yourself on Twitter, then spend some time listening to active users. By “listen” we mean observe, research and understand what effective users do to gain followers and strike up viral conversations. As mentioned above, here is a good list of sites to help you find active, authoritative Twitter users to listen to:
TIP 2: Update
One of the most important things you need to do with Twitter is to keep it updated. This does not mean that you have to tweet every time you take a bite of your lunch. All this means is that you need to consistently post relevant, useful and timely messages to your Twitter account. Even if your updates come once a week, if they are extremely valuable, funny, resourceful or unique then they will be much more effective then someone who just tweets every 5 minutes about irrelevant things. To get you going, here are some things to possibly tweet about:
TIP 3: Promote
At this point you should start seeing some people follow you and you should be getting a good stream of quality updates from people you’re following. The next crucial step is to promote your Twitter presence properly. Just as you need to market your website, you must also do so for your Twitter account. Fortunately Twitter, and many other companies, make it very easy for you to do so. Here are some ways to get people to acknowledge your Twitter presence:
BONUS: Check out our post on Link Building with Twitter to get some additional advice on how to best promote yourself and your Twitter account
TIP 4: Engage
Twitter, and all other social networks, are not meant to be a one way conversation. To realize the potential of a strong Twitter marketing campaign you MUST create conversations with other people using these networks. If you’re just constantly talking AT people and not WITH them, then your Twitter efforts are most likely to go unnoticed. Here are some tips to help you create results producing conversations:
We have found that the people who are not on Twitter or who have had no success with the Twitter account are also the ones that have not fully embraced its potential. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t think Twitter is for every single person. Some people are just not cut out to tweet. There is nothing wrong with this, but we highly recommend that you have someone manage your presence for you on Twitter if you fall into this category because it is another, free lead generation and traffic source for your real estate business.
Hopefully all of the tips above will get you going and help you to realize the potential that Twitter Real Estate Marketing can hold for you. Maintaining a successful Twitter campaign is really not difficult. If nothing else, just follow these 5 simple tips and we’re confident that you will do great:
Follow these and you will be well on your way to developing another solid lead generation source for your business. We’re even willing to bet that you become pretty addicted to Twitter, which will help you utilize other networks for real estate marketing like Facebook. If you’re already on that path then check out our post on Facebook Real Estate Marketing as well.
As always, if you have any questions, contributions or would like to pick our brains a little more then please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.