Beginner Twitter For Real Estate: Always Updated
In the grand scheme of marketing and community outreach, is it really worth your time to actively participate in the Twittersphere? You are a brokerage, or a real estate agency, or perhaps you are a realtor on your own. Are there perhaps better ways to reach your audience? After reading this blog post you will know for certain if Twitter is going to be a point of leverage or a point of contention for your real estate brand.
Launching in March of 2006, Twitter was destined for greatness as the very first ‘micro-blogging’ platform. What makes Twitter stand out from the rest of the social media platforms? Twitter enables your brand to interact with your Twitter community in real-time, in a highly contagious and responsive manner.
Compared to platforms such as Facebook and Linkedin, Twitter is the Usain Bolt of social media. With Internet Live stats showing that over 75,000 tweets are being sent every 10 seconds, 2016, your 140-character remarks are on the world stage for less than 22 seconds! Unless you are Justin Bieber and you just deleted your Instagram account, only then are your tweets immortalized!
Posting of FB vs. Twitter:
A defining difference between Facebook and Twitter is that Facebook has an algorithm that decides who gets to see what when you post, Twitter, on the other hand, does not have such algorithm. When you tweet, that tweet is put in front of every single home buyer, realtor, and property investor that follows you (via newsfeed) – without bias. This is refreshing, because you have an extraordinary opportunity to be seen and remembered by your followers. Statistics show that an audience is more likely to passively following your brand on Twitter and more likely to actively engage with your brand on Facebook. What does this mean? This means that Twitter taps into your audiences’ subconscious and the more times they see your tweets, the more times your brand is ‘logged’ in their brain. This is where it is important to really read the section below on “Building Brand Awareness on Twitter
Real time Feedback:
Another great feature of twitter is the real-time research potential of the platform. Instead of taking weeks to organize case studies and cohort surveys, companies can now organize a twitter campaign where they can discover a wealth of raw data in weeks rather than the traditional months it would take to gather and analyze data from more traditional means:
ie. If you are a realtor and you are wondering what amenities are most important to buyers looking for a house in a certain area, you can start a poll that states the question and then a maximum of 4 possible answers: A) School B) Grocery Store C) Rona D) Cocktail lounge
Alternatively, you can send out a tweet that looks like this:
ie. “We love the Oak Bay area in Victoria, BC because of the Oak Bay Marina, you love Oak Bay area because of _____ & _____ #ILoveOakBay
If you are seeking specific feedback, be sure NOT to leave your Tweets ‘open for interpretation’:
Ie. McDonalds ran a highly publicized campaign around the hashtag: #McDonaldStories. This was a big mistake because it left McDonalds open to a considerable amount of criticism. #Fail
Is my audience really listening?
YES! Did you know that Twitter recently announces that 45% of twitter accounts rarely tweet? So even though your followers may be following thousands of people, 45% of them have ‘browser’ accounts so you have 45% more screen time with a captive audience. Why is this? Many prospective home buyers and sellers use twitter as their newsfeed, interior design tips, humor fix, gardening source, and for discovering new realtor accounts.
How are the biggest real estate agencies and brokerages using twitter?
More and more realtors are using Twitter as a medium to answer questions and issue quickly and effectively – all in the community eye. I know what you are thinking, “what about the trolls?!” Believe it or not, by using Twitter to quickly address issues, you are able to show prospective home buyers and the world, that you DO care and you DON’T just hide behind your brokerage (or if you are a broker, your insurance company). Don’t be foolish by thinking that your followers all think you are perfect, because that is just not the case. We know that mistakes happen and you cannot please everyone. It is the simple act of quickly responding in a professional and caring manner and then taking steps to rectify the issue. In the end, your community really just want to heard and know that you care. You of course – you should take the conversation offline as quickly as possible after the initial engagement.
Be sure to set clear expectations if you do offer customer service on your twitter. I advise you to clearly state in your intro that your ‘Twitter lines’ are open as long as your local real estate office is open. This sets clear expectations for buyers and sellers if they are seeking to engage you on this platform.
Humanising Your Brand
This is your stage to show people that there is really a person behind your brand. It is not a secret, people do business with people, not businesses. This is a great opportunity for you to print off a 50 by 50 image of your logo, laminate it and then hold it while someone takes a picture of you. This is a great idea for solopreneurs or for brands that have just a small team behind them.
Product & Service Reviews Are Just a Google Away
We are now in the era that searching for a home to buy or a realtor to assist us is just a ‘Google’ away. Gone are the days that home buyers and sellers just rely on a realtor’s word to know all the in’s and out’s of a home and the surrounding community to help them make the ‘best’ decision. Are stunning website, complete with MLS integration and information-rich social media platforms are a great way to help you rank in the following departments:
1) Great customers service
2) Engaged community
3) Up-to-date FAQ’s and How-to’s
4) Sound return/exchange policy
5) Product/service information
6) Trust and authenticity in your brand
Let me put it this way. If you were to Google a product or a service and you found an out-dated website, with a mediocre social media presence and no Google reviews or website testimonials to be found, would you want to list your house with that agent, never mind buy from that agent? I think not. Before the buyer or seller walks in your local office, they have already made up 70% of their opinion about whether they want to work with you or not. The other 30% is in your ability to convey trust, competency, and expertise in the first 3 minutes of meeting them (a discussion for another blog post).
Many businesses’ have told me that they do not want to go on Twitter because they are afraid of what people may say about them. People are going to be talking about you regardless of whether you have a presence on Twitter or not, but wouldn’t you rather be part of the conversation and know what people are saying and take steps to incorporate the feedback into your business?
Lead Generation and Listening In
I have already told you that twitter is a busy place, if you are contributing meaningful messages, you will not be listened to nor engaged with. This means, don’t use the same spammy sales pitch you would in traditional marketing streams. You need to peruse the feeds of the people you would like to follow you and then purposefully tweet messages in a way that will reflect the values and goals of your target followers.
The very first question I always get asked is, ‘what should I tweet about?” The traditional channel for disseminating news to the good ol’newletter. Well, now you have Twitter! Twitter is a great platform to publish all relevant news about your listings, staging, community events, housing prices, new team members, supported charities, and give-aways. Of course, you don’t want to fill your feed with just news about your team because that would be pretty narcissistic and boring. We will get into detail a bit further on, the type of stuff you can tweet about.
Building Brand Awareness on Twitter
There are real estate players of all shapes and sizes on Twitter, and many of them are actively involved in Twitter simply to build brand awareness. If you are interested in using Twitter to ‘fill out’ your community reach and really carve out your niche in the market, you are going to have to follow these 4 important steps:
1) Identify who your precise market is, right down to the passions, income, sex, marital status, and education.
2) What story are your going to tell and HOW you are going to tell the story. Will you be humorous, will you be serious, or perhaps will you be nurturing?
3) Decide what content you are going to curate and what content you are going to create from scratch.
4) How often will you tweet and what percentage of tweets will be quotes, images, GIFs, educational, salesy, events, etc.
You cannot hope to ‘build out’ your brand unless you have a clear plan of WHOM you want to connect with and HOW you want to connect with them.
Build Support For A Cause
Twitter is the best platform for you if you are trying to raise awareness about a cause in your community, or that your agency feels strong about. It is a place where your rallies for support are multiplied to the hundredth degree. With such a short lifespan of every tweet, you can get away with tweeting every minute and no one will get sick of hearing from you. The chances of every person seeing every single tweet is so unlikely that you can bring on a whole team of tweeters that will keep your twitter feed churning with wildly entertaining and informative tweets that you can either have people stay right in Twitter or be encouraged to move from Twitter to your Facebook page or your ‘MLS-rich’ real estate website or landing page. If you throw in a few hashtags and encourage people to tweet you back and retweet, using predetermined hashtags, you will create an eco system of engagement that charities truly excel in. I will go into ‘hashtags’ in more detail in the next blog post: “Advanced Twitter For Real Estate: Always Updated”
In the offline world, orchestrating this kind of engagement at the same time is nearly impossible, it is only on Twitter can you have such a massive audience respond to your communication simultaneously. Really, it is rather magical the influence compound tweeting can have.
I will leave you with a final question. Do you think that you are ready for twitter? Do you think twitter could be worth a venture?
The next step is very simple: sign up for an account at www.twitter.com and tune in for the next blog post in this series: “Advanced Twitter for Business: Always updated”
I challenge you to try something different and let us know how you get on! Don’t be shy, connect with us on social media, and comment below if you found any of these ideas helpful!
Love the article? Please share it – don’t be concerned if another real estate agent sees it, because they will interpret this article completely different then you will – chances are – they won’t even act on my advice and they will keep trying the same, tired old market strategies that just don’t work. But not you, you are different, you are going to heed this advice as though it was a real estate doctrine.