I've got several friends who have tried out Twitter after I bugged them enough, but for the most part, they're still just not getting it. If you're in that camp, I understand. I didn't "get it" at first either... However, I'm guessing that's because most of your tweets are announcements about whether or not you chose to super-size your value meal, or what time you woke up this morning. Furthermore -- you're probably only following a small handful of people who you already know, and they don't yet get it either. Don't get me wrong -- those kind of tweets are perfectly fine, but if they're all that you have in your arsenal, you'll never get out of the "I don't get Twitter" camp.
To get the most out of twitter, you're going to want to be more proactive and start interacting with other people outside of your personal sphere who have similar interests (ie: real estate), and talk about interesting things with them. Even if it's telling someone that their tweet was funny, that's still striking up a 2-way conversation, and it'll be far more effective than one way "I'm eating breakfast" tweets... The best way to do that is to do it in real time. Waiting 2 or 3 hours after their tweet could confuse them because they may have sent 2 or 3 other tweets since the one you are responding to.
Jeff Turner recently pointed out a great site called TweetGrid, and I can't help but share my elation about this great tool because it is a fantastic way of surveying different conversations that revolve around your interests, and it lets you do it in real-time (but on your own time)! (By the way, Tweetgrid is just one of many marketing ideas Jeff shares via Activerain, as well as his real estate marketing ideas website: RealEstateShows.com.)
Now bear in mind that I previously had about a dozen different searches saved via search.twitter.com, and I could "spy" on conversations all around the world about subjects that interested me. But this service Jeff pointed out has allowed me to take my ADHD to a whole new level. Now, I can watch dozens of conversations on one page and distract myself into oblivion by jumping into those conversations whenever something new and shiny strikes my fancy.
After watching Jeff's TweetGrid orientation video and once you have an idea of how tweetgrid works, I'd like to share how I use it to find an excuse to talk with other folks in Twitterville who are talking about stuff that interests me, and how those conversations can turn into future business for me. Because it's easy to get overwhelmed, I've broken my posts into 3 different sections:
- General real estate discussions
- Local Discussions
- Discussions about anything BUT real estate (which will probably become your most valuable discussions.)
General real estate discussions: If you visit this link, you'll see dozens of 140 character conversations about general real estate interests. It contains anything from up to the minute updates about other Realtors' blog posts, news about real estate or interest rates, debates about the market, and even tweets from Realtors sitting at open houses wanting to be entertained by other Realtors.
Tweets from this column can help you come up with industry specific fodder for your own posts, show off your knowledge about the industry by responding with helpful information, and help build relationships with Realtors around the country who may very well refer business to you in the future.
Again, rather than giving you instructions on how to do this, I did it for you so you can start watching other conversations about real estate right now: Here is your pre-populated TweetGrid cheat sheet. Visit it, tweak it to search for terms that interest you, and occasionally jump in on an ongoing conversation about real estate or loan topics that interest you. It'll be fun. I promise.
This was part 1 of a 3-part series on ways to engage in conversation with your desired audience. For part two -- keeping an eye on local real-time chatter, and how you can turn it into local business -- click here.