Rudy Molinet, Broker-Associate
Royal Palms Realty
933 Fleming Street
Key West, FL 33040
My search engine consultant tells me its time to turn the heat on Twitter social media and networking. Not only do Google and Bing use Twitter links in ranking, but more importantly, the nature of social media is perfect for nurturing personal relationships that lead to new listings and customers.
- Think about your goals. You want new listings and new buyers - and you also want to extend your influence. If you are blogging, Twitter is a great way to drive traffic to your recent posts, and that may result in not just new relationships, but to links to your content. Decide now what you want from your Twitter campaign. Make a plan.
- Sign up and fill out your profile completely. Make sure your photo or logo is eye-catching and professional. A red background can draw attention, for example. You may want to use your logo, but remember, while a logo may be great for branding, but a photo is more personal. Think about your user name - you can use your real name, but it might be better to use the name of your community or something that describes your area of expertise. For example, if you specialize in luxury condos, you might use luxurycondomaven as your Twitter handle. Your handle will be used when anyone sends you a Direct Message or mentions you in a Tweet. Your real name will also appear on your profile, so use the @handle for keywords or an appealing description. My handle is @KeyWestProperty. Be sure to complete your bio. You have 160 characters to let other users know what interests you and what you do. This helps people decide whether to follow you or not.
- Find some Tweeters to Follow. Try searching your home town and see who's talking about your area. Follow people whose Tweets or profile interest you. Look through their followers to find more folks to follow. Remember: it's not all about business. Follow your passions, too. A search for your hobby or special interest will find people with whom you have something in common. Many of those will follow you back and you will acquire new contacts. Remember to thank them for following you.
- People are even more likely to follow you if you have something to say. Of course, you will want to Tweet your new listings or price reductions, but don't make it all about you. Find information that will be interesting to your followers or will attract new ones. You might Tweet inspirational quotes, or news items about your community. Showcase any event that you plan to attend. Don't be afraid to Tweet more than once about something that is likely to be of strong interest to others. Aim for a user friendly/self-serving ratio of 10 to 1. In other words, make your promotional Tweets no more than 10 per cent of what you put out there. If it's all about you, you won't keep your followers for long.
- Ask questions. Look for ways to engage your followers. If you see something interesting in your market or your community, you can Tweet asking if others see the same trends. Or if they agree with what you see. Savvy Realtors sometimes use the answers to make a blog post on what they have learned from their Followers.
- Do Unto Others. Look for items to ReTweet. Whenever you see something that may be of interest to your followers, pass it along by ReTweeting it. This helps the original Tweeter and makes them more likely to Retweet your content. If you follow the major real estate sites and publications, you will find lots of useful information to share with others.
- Consider using a platform such as SproutSocial to organize your social media campaign. The web application integrates your accounts: Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn, etc. It also offers contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, and reports to track your effectiveness. You can schedule your Tweets for later or on a recurring basis. It also makes it easier to find new contacts and to quickly see who you may no longer wish to follow. It costs $9.95 a month.
- Size Matters - especially when it comes to URLs. You only have 140 characters to get your message across (less if you want to make it easier for your messages to be Retweeted since your Twitter handle becomes part of a ReTweet or RT). If you want to post a URL you will need a way to shorten them. Bitly.com or TinyURL.com are two examples. If you sign up for Bitly, though, they will track the clicks your links get and give you a better idea of the popularity and effectiveness of your Tweets.
- Have fun! Remember why you got into real estate to begin with? Chances are it wasn't just about the great income potential, but because you genuinely like people and enjoy helping them. Twitter is simply a new tool to increase the scope of your influence, widen your contacts and find and share more information.
- Follow Me On Twitter. @KeyWestProperty. I will be sure to Follow you back, especially if you send me a DM and let me know you found me through this blog post. Better yet: ReTweet my Tweet on this post.
Some Twitter Resources to Help You Get Started