Yes, you can—if you use Twitter smartly, as one component of your electronic tool kit. Here’s an overview of how Twitter can enhance your social media marketing strategy.
- Get it started
- Do it by design
- Keep it going
First, you need a user name. Make it short, easy to remember, and preferably something related to real estate. A state or city abbreviation works well, such as nyrealtor9. Don’t use symbols or punctuation in your user name—it’s too easy to make a mistake, especially if someone is tweeting you from a mobile device.
Next, you’ll need to format your settings by clicking on the Account tab. This includes setting up your location, choosing your notification frequency, and linking to your personal or company web site. If you have your own web site or page, you can also add a Twitter widget to your page to attract more followers. A suggestion about notifications: If you ask to be notified when someone sends you a DM (direct message) and you follow everyone that follows you, be prepared for a lot of spam messages. As your follower list increases, you could be interrupted dozens of times every day with tweets and new followers.
As part of setting up your profile, you’ll upload a photograph. In the Twitterverse, your photo or icon helps establish quick recognition by your eventual followers. Keep your image consistent and resist the temptation to change or update it frequently.
Writing your bio is the next step. This is your elevator speech in less than160 characters. Keep it brief, snappy, and grammatically correct. Here are a couple of samples:
- Savvy Realtor with proven track record of successful short sales. More than 150 homes sold last year.
- Experienced Realtor specializing in lakefront and resort properties on the southern coast.
The best Twitter profiles are the ones that give readers a look into that user’s personality. For example, if you love to surf, upload an image of yourself catching a wave. You don’t have to bare your soul by being overly personal, but Twitter followers want to know something about you, and your public page is where they can first discover who you are.
Do it by design
Designing your Twitter page is the fun part. Clicking on the Design tab will take you to Twitter’s premade theme page. While these themes are attractive and most any of them will do to get you started, you should eventually customize your page. Under the premade themes is a link to Themeleon, where you can choose from hundreds of backgrounds and color palettes. A word of warning: Many of these themes are extremely bright and busy. Be sure what you choose is in keeping with the image you want to convey to your followers. Keep your page uncluttered and easy to read.
Keep it going
Now you’re set up and ready to tweet. Once you start, it’s important to keep tweeting consistently so that your followers don’t lose interest. Here are some important tips for effective tweeting.
- Tell people what you’re thinking and what’s going on in your business. Examples: interest rates just went down again or you got two new listings today.
- You’re limited to 140 characters but avoid being TOO brief. Keep tweets longer than one or two words so your followers can understand you.
- Listen to what other tweeters are saying and respond if you can add something of value to the conversation.
- Update your status at least once a day.
- Whenever you refer to another tweeter, use his or her name with an @ sign in the front. This way the tweeter can see your mention and other users can see whom you’re talking about.
- Use hashtags (#) to mark keywords or topics in a in your tweets. This is how Twitter users categorize messages. For example, #foreclosures would get you noticed by people who are searching for information on that topic.
Twitter is a tool—one of many that successful Realtors use. It allows you to establish a personal communication link with each and every follower. Compared to other forms of communication like email blasts, postcards, or newsletters, direct responses via Twitter are more compelling and more credible. Tweet to your advantage!