Here are some important tips that can help you master Twitter and become a #twitterexpert and see your client list grow!
1. It’s Fast
For those just tiptoeing into Twitter, understand it’s not Facebook. It’s in real time, it’s public and that can scare some people away.
“Twitter is live and moves very fast. When you go on Twitter, you look to see what’s happened in the last 10 minutes, unlike Facebook where you look at more what’s happened in the last day or two,” Lance says. “You are also putting something out there that anyone can see. With Facebook, you connect with people you already know and built relationships. Twitter lets you connect to those beyond who you know and is one of the best ways to expand your network—that’s vital in real estate.”
The fact that Twitter is so fast is one of its strongest features. Think about it, when news happens today, where are you finding out about it? Many times even before CNN or the news outlets have it, someone is tweeting about it on Twitter.
“It’s an incredible source of news and information,” Lance says. “As a real estate pro, if you are thinking about your social media strategy, Twitter is a great source of knowledge.”
2. Create Lists
According to figures released by the site, nearly 75 percent of Twitter users access their account via a mobile device. Since real estate professionals are often out and about, they need to learn how to maximize the experience for people when they are at a grocery store or waiting for their kids.
First, select the option for Twitter to send an email notification to your contacts explaining that you are now on Twitter and encourage them to follow you.
With every client Lance works with, she searches to see if they are active on Twitter and if they are, she puts them on a private client list. On Twitter, a list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.
“If I work with a company and connect with seven people at that company, I put them on a client list. Once a week, I take five minutes to scan their tweets and instead of seeing 500 followers, you only see those active clients and see what they are talking about,” she says. “I might respond, re-tweet and engage. It helps me stay better connected to them.”
To create a list, go to your “Lists” page via the gear icon drop down menu in the top right navigation bar or by going to your profile page and clicking on “Lists.” Click “create list,” enter the name of your list, a short description of the list, and select if you want the list to be private (only accessible to you) or public (anyone can subscribe to the list).
Lance has also created a Public News List, which contains Tweets from all the things she enjoys reading, like the Washington Post and other real estate news sources. Once a week, she will scan the list and see if there’s anything breaking or interesting and if there is, she will re-tweet.
“One of the easiest ways to put out good content is to put out news,” she says.
3. Who to Follow
You’ll want to follow your friends, clients and companies you work with, but Twitter will also recommend suggested Twitter handles to follow based on your profile and people you already follow, who might be of interest to you.
Lance recommends also searching your address book to see if any of those contacts are already on Twitter. Remember, the idea is to create a network as big as possible.
Plan a messaging schedule plan working on the premise of 80 percent newsworthy content and 20 percent sales messages by directing traffic back to your social networks on all the social channels.
4. Keep Track
Eventually, you will have a lot of Twitter followers and the tweets may be coming in quicker than you can read. Thankfully, there are social media dashboards that help manage and measure your social network activity.
Lance likes to use Hootsuite, which helps engage users and measure results. It can be used to track certain hashtags (like “#moving,” “#yourlocation” etc.), analyze social media traffic and will monitor all mentions, direct messages, sent tweets, favorited tweets, and more in dedicated streams.
Hootsuite also lets you schedule your tweets, an important part of a business strategy. She doesn’t recommend scheduling every tweet, but it’s a valuable tool when you can’t be physically in front of your computer or mobile device at a time you want something to go out.
5. Engage Authentically
The last thing you want to do is be someone who re-tweets everything and become more of an annoyance than a name people seek to see what you have to say. Re-tweet those things that will matter or are interesting and be selective.
Another great tip is to always respond to any message or Tweet aimed at you, even if it’s just a quick “thanks.” When you have a new follower, mention them and thank them.
Also, never expect anything in return when you post something publicly to recognize someone or something.
“But, I will say, it is the cherry on top when they do notice and respond. As I always like to say, “Just because you aren’t there, doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t happening,” she says. “You have to have the best of intentions when you publicly thank someone. It can’t be because you want to look good on your social networks, or gain a lot of “at-ta boys” it has to come from the heart, and be genuine. It has to be something you’d say the exact same way if no one was listening.”
While in-person communication is most valuable, Twitter is a fantastic tool to build and engage your real estate network to connect in real time. Maybe you’ll consider implementing these tips into your 2014 marketing plan. Until then, keep calm and tweet on!