A little secret about Twitter: "NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU ARE DOING"

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I was reading a question in Toplinked about a week ago regarding Twitter. I believe the actual question was " "Raise your hand if you don’t really get all the hoopblah about Twitter".  I think I was the 100Th person to comment on twitter (The first 90 or so evidently didn't get Twitter either).  Of course, after I commented I checked the little box to notify me of future comments on the blog.  Over the last week I have been absolutely amazed at the number of comments that say things like this guy "I don't get it either. I think it may work for some business' better than others.  I get followers that I have no idea why they would want to follow a local sign shop. I don't even tweet that much. "

It seems that most people that I talk to have this misconception that Twitter is only about letting your "friends" know what you are doing.  ITS NOT!  I will be the first to tell you that I know that none of the 300 or so followers I have on Twitter care about what I am doing at this very moment, I don't blame them because I don't really care what they are doing right now either. 

There are 6 huge benefits of Twitter for a business:

1)     Information sharing: Twitter has proven to be a phenomenal way to get information out to the masses.  You probably first noticed Twitter during the elections in Iran. Remember; the Government shut down everything they possibly could to hide the rebellion that was occurring in Iran but they couldn't stop Twitter!   Studies I have seen indicate that most of the successful Tweeters share links.  And that's another power of Twitter.....

2)     Links. Links allow you to drive followers to your website, blog, FB page etc... easily. 

3)    Search: A third power of Twitter is Search.  If "Green" was the word of the year for 2009, "Search" could be the word for 2010.  There is a silent war going on right now in regards to search.  For as long as I have been using the Internet, Google has always been where I go to "Search",now there is Twitter Search and FB Search, the Search possibilities go on and on. Google and Bing even index Tweets now for easier "Real Time Search". 

4)    Acquisition and connection: A fourth  power of Twitter is the opportunity to identify  customers and get this.....connect with those customers on a deeper level.  Dell gets it, Best Buy gets it, these are 2 companies that actually have a staff of people that do nothing but Tweet about their products and services and build stronger relationships with their customers.  I have not been much of a Best Buy fan in the past, (they didn't do anything wrong) but since I have been following them on Twitter, I have a whole new experience with them.  I say "them" because BestBuy doesn't seem like an "it" anymore, and its because of Twitter. 

5) Apps. If "There is an App For That" on the iphone you can bet there will be one for Twitter.  Developers are working overtime to design programs like TweetBeep, FutureTweets, Hootsuite, Seesmic etc...  all for the millions of Tweet-aholics.

6) Service.  If you are one that expects great service, (like I do,) get ready for an increase in great customer service.  I mean disgustingly great service. Not only in restaurants but at large corporations and mom & pop stores too. Programs like Tweetbeep that allow you to monitor keywords will also allow business' to be able to respond immediately to customer complaints.  Soon you will be able to Tweet about a poor experience and get an immediate response from the headquarters of that particular company (that scares the heck out of that 15 year old hostess at your favorite restaurant and it will show when she tells you 15 times "your table is almost ready".

Look for companies to include the consumer in the experience in the future as well.  Tweet contests are surely coming where companies large and small will encourage tweeters to tweet about a great experience.....they may even reward us for it with 10% off our next purchase! Hooray!!

Companies like Dell and Best Buy are making money with Twitter, and its not a little either. I read a fantastic article today about Dell's success called "Want to Make Money on Twitter? Take a Look at How Dell Does It" 

I feel confident enough about Twitter to say that those companies that dont embrace Twitter and all its possibilities will run the risk of being the next Blockbuster Video. Because their competitors will embrace it. Netflix took Blockbuster's lunch money and their is very little they have been able to do about it.  Now Blockbuster is saddled with debt and trying to catch up.  Here is a free tip......Don't be the next Blockbuster. 


At this point you may be saying, "well I'm not a company, I'm a Realtor or Loan Officer."  Well last I looked, you were independent contractors.  Smart Realtors and Loan Officers will look at their occupation as a business and run it as such.  People still do business with those that they like and trust, Twitter can be a fantastic resource to help you reach that end. @MyTitleGuy

Join my Grass Roots effort to take service to the next level here. http://activerain.com/groups/IDS


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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cyndi Papia 01/08/2010 01:13 AM
  2. Dawn Bahr 01/08/2010 06:34 AM
  3. Amy Boxer 01/13/2010 06:35 AM
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Mary Alice Ruppert
Coach Realtors - Huntington, NY

Okay, I've dipped my toe into the water - I still don't quite get it but I'm here and I'm not going away. I'm determined to wrap my head around this thing and make it work for me like it is working for so many others. Thanks for the encouragement!

Jan 08, 2010 02:45 AM #23
Dana J. Smithers

As a home staging instructor I do recommend that my PRES graduates find the social media sites they think will work the best for them. I really like Active Rain, Facebook but I have to say Twitter...still not sure. I am meeting with a 'social media expert' Mhairi (Va-ri) of out-smarts.com to get some assistance with just exactly I should be tweeting :) I am like many of the readers here, I don't want to know what people are doing in their personal lives (TMI)!

Jan 08, 2010 02:55 AM #24
Doug Patterson
Park Place Real Estate, Broker-In-Charge - Winston-Salem, NC
CRS, ABR, Broker-In-Charge

Stephen, thank you for this post.   I've had a hard time with Twitter, and part of it is the short, abbreviatedtext that you see on the pages, I believe.  I'm still working with it to become more familiar.  Signed up for Hootsuite, and have not yet fully understood how to set it up.  It's incredible how much time each Internet Social Marketing Takes to become effective. 

I just started AR blogging only a few months ago and I "enjoy" that the most!   and get the most out of it.  

After reading your post today, I'm going to dedicate some more time to Twitter....I do NOT want to end up like Blockbuster. 

Jan 08, 2010 03:16 AM #25
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I didn't get twitter at first.  I am starting to understand it, but do not have time to really develop it yet.

Jan 08, 2010 03:25 AM #26
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Stephen,   My daughter tried toexplain this whole thing to me and eventually said it is mostly for people with a lot of spare time.   Happy 2010 to you !

Jan 08, 2010 03:27 AM #27
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

For those of you that aren't that familar with Twitter, I just did a blog post yesterday on how I would describe it to an Agent new to the service:

You go to the NAR Annual Convention. There are 500 booths. Each with different conversations happening at each booth at the same time. Some of it could be considered just noise, as you don't care about those companies/products/services/latest news. Some of if could be considered good information, as you do care. You chose which booths you want to pay special attention to. At the convention, you may run into people you know and catch up with them while walking around. Also, as you are walking around, you'll naturally hear other people talking to each other in the aisles.

- The convention = Twitter
- The conversations happening in the individual booths that anyone can join in = Thread or themes tied together by a hashtag (#)
- People talking to each other in the aisle, while everyone walking by can publically hear them = @ replies
- People who go behind the booth curtain for a private conversation = Direct message or DM     

- When you exchange business card with someone = "Following" or giving permission to connect

Jan 08, 2010 03:41 AM #28
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

Sorry Twitter fans.  I just don't get it at all.  I rather stick a fork in my right eye-socket than spend any time "twittering" nonsense all day.

Jan 08, 2010 03:46 AM #29
Casey Wright
WingWire - San Diego, CA

I love Twitter and use it quite a bit, but I would never pretend it's a necessity in business, particularly for Realtors. What's important is reaching out online and connecting with people. That can happen on Twitter, Facebook, a blog, or a message board. In general, I find that Facebook is better for real estate professionals, because the networks tend to be more localized. Connecting with people in Singapore rarely has a positive impact in my San Diegan business. 

Jan 08, 2010 04:09 AM #30
Kathy Opatka
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches

Thanks for the great explanation of Twitter!  Now I see a need to start my Tweets!

Jan 08, 2010 04:37 AM #31
Tom Waite
Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker - Cypress, CA
So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments


Thanks for all the great ideas.  I'll put some of them to work right away.  Keep up the good posting.

Tom Waite  Tweet...Tweet

Jan 08, 2010 04:48 AM #32
David Pylyp
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., - Toronto, ON

you summed it up in the first sentence  very eloquently!


You can google me with this little tool from LMGTFY


If they invented their own form of money we would need to convert.

David Pylyp

Living in Toronto


Jan 08, 2010 04:48 AM #33
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Thanks for your insights on this. I don't fully get Twitter either. So every bit of info either pro or con helps me to understand its relevance to me.

Jan 08, 2010 06:44 AM #34
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

So true, so true!  I wonder why people post all of this stuff all over the internet when they could be doing better things with their time.... like..... GETTING APPOINTMENTS AND SELLING REAL ESTATE!!!!

Jan 08, 2010 08:35 AM #35
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Tweeting is in, so what's out?  That's the task ahead of us all as we determine what new elements to insert in our business plan, and which we'll abandon to make room for new.

Jan 09, 2010 01:19 AM #36
Dean Carver
United Brokers Group/Carver Home Team - Ahwatukee, AZ

Twiiter explained! Finally! Now that we've acknowledged that nobody cares what we're doing maybe we can use it for what it's good for!

Jan 10, 2010 02:37 AM #37
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Great advice, you're an addict I can tell.

Jan 10, 2010 02:49 AM #38
Sonja Adams
Samson Proprties - Purcellville, VA

Guess I need to get back on the twitter bandwagon...I didn't get it but realize I may have to take another look!

Jan 10, 2010 11:17 AM #39
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Ok, so I'm trying to understand. I bookmarked your post, and I'm going to go back and spend some time on it. Thanks for trying to help us out!

Jan 10, 2010 03:11 PM #40
Dean Carver
United Brokers Group/Carver Home Team - Ahwatukee, AZ

Ok My Title Guy, let's see some more blogs!!!! Hi Steve!

Jan 13, 2010 03:41 PM #41
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

I've learned a lot of great information about Apps, events, and the news just by watching twitter updates. Good if you don't have tv

Jan 14, 2010 03:48 AM #42
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