Twitter boasts over 1 billion (with a B) user accounts, and over 500 million tweets each day. Here's an interesting fact, a survey of people under 30 showed that over 80 percent use a mobile device to communicate with friends while watching TV, with 72 percent using Twitter, Facebook or other mobile applications to actively comment on shows as they are watching them.
What does that have to do with Real Estate lead generation? People are communicating more rapidly these days. Gen Y is texting more often than they talk and they are asking and receiving the collective opinions of their friends ALL THE TIME. Gen X is not too far behind and even Baby Boomers are getting onto the instant messaging bandwagon. With Twitter (more so than Facebook), you can be part of those conversations and generate leads as a result.
Twitter is a little trickier to understand than text and Facebook, but if you want to generate new business from this incredible social platform, you should probably take the time to figure it out.
Here are the Basics
Tweet- On Twitter, you only have 140 characters to use for your update ... that includes spaces. An update is called a Tweet.
Tag- If you want to tag (communicate with) a specific person, you need to add the @ symbol in front of their twitter handle (aka username). So if you want to tag me and my twitter handle is HarleyLtd, then you would use @HarleyLtd.
Hashtag- Users search for information and topics using the # symbol, also known as a Hashtag. So if you wanted to tweet about skiing in Park City, you would write, "I love #skiing in #ParkCity" for your tweet. Now, anyone searching for skiing and/or Park City will be able to see your Tweet. If you wanted to also tag a friend, you could write it this way, "Had a blast #skiing with @HarleyLtd in #ParkCity". The words with a hashtag in front of them become links to other tweets with that same hashtag.
Retweet- If someone likes your tweet, then they will Re-Tweet what you've put out there. Retweeting is the same as repeating something someone else has said but now their followers will see it.
Follow- On Twitter, users will follow other people they know or respect. When you follow someone, their tweets will show up in your feed. Following topics or hashtags is a little different. When you search for a hashtag, a list of all tweets with that hashtag will show up on a page. This is a great way to follow a particular topic.
Apps- In addition to Twitter .com and Twitter's own mobile app, there are several other apps available for interacting with, and taking full advantage of, the Twittersphere. I like both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is now owned by Twitter. Whichever app you use, you should download that app to your smartphone because that’s where you will be sending and updating many of your messages as you're on the move.
Rules of Etiquette
Re-tweet comments of interest. Why? The obvious reason is that you like the info and feel it is worth repeating. The not-so-obvious reason is that when you re-tweet, it shows people you are like-minded. Those users will often start to re-tweet your tweets. The re-tweet is paramount to your success on Twitter. When you tweet something, it goes out to your followers. What if five of those people re-tweeted it? Then another 10 of their followers re-tweeted it again? Your audience and potential leads grow exponentially. Remember, our goal is to generate leads and that takes people noticing you, and recommending you.
Respond to all mentions and messages in a timely manner. See who has mentioned you and thank them every day! Respond to direct messages (DMs) quickly. Send a quick "thank you" DM to anyone who follows you, but do not send them a spammy message of they may unfollow you.
Share your thoughts, expertise, opinions, and cool stuff you've learned or found. Be personal and be real, but be thoughtful of others. You don't have to always "tell it like it is". People want to connect with real people and experts in their area. Contribute information about new restaurants, the best places to take pictures of the city, favorite entertainment venues, awesome jogging trails, etc. Show people that you are a person they want to be connected to.
If you want to share new listings, that's totally okay but do so sparingly. They should not overwhelm your tweets. Keep your advertisements to less than 20 percent of your tweets. Definitely tweet about real estate but keep it mostly informational and less advertising.
Have you used Twitter successfully in your real estate business? How are you using it? Please share your tips below in the comments! Also, please connect with me on Twitter. You can find me at @HarleyLtd