Twitter Advanced For Real Estate: Always Updated
I am sure by now you are wondering what ever happened to ‘Twitter Intermediate For Real Estate”. Well, as far as I am concerned, you either see the benefit of using Twitter to enrich the lives of your community and spreading the word of your real estate expertise or you have decided Twitter is not right for spreading the message of your brand. Remember that every social platform allows you to engage with your community on a completely different level and enables you to quickly ‘sort through’ your social contacts and realize each of their potentials to form a mutually beneficial relationship.
There is no middle ground when it comes to social media, you either do it right or you don’t do it at all as far as I am concerned. One of the primary questions I get from realtors is, ‘well, I might as well just have a presence on Facebook and keep Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and Google + ‘up to date’.
NO, NO you shouldn’t! Creating a social media account only to keep it ‘up to date’ is about as pointless as schooling without the hands-on experience. This last remark is quite important to take to heart. Another fallacy I often see realtors and developers falling into is maintaining their social media like they maintain the personal social media channels – casually posting whenever the thought occurs to them. I can spot realtors and developers who are guilty of this from a mile away. There is a huge departure between the way you word a social media post for business and the way you word and select an image for a business post. With this, let’s keep our social media ‘on brand’ and professional. After all, ‘real estate’ is so poorly understood in a world so consumed by ‘digital-estate’.
Let’s start going through some of the more advanced features of Twitter and get you on your way to using this platform to its full potential.
Twitter is essentially a huge database. You have the ability to wield that database to reveal everyone you wish to partner with, do business with, or engage with. Whether you are looking for key influencers in real estate, a specific target audience who will eagerly consume your content in massive quantities, attract new realtors to rent a ‘desk’ in your real estate office, mentors who specialize in your area of property investment, or home inspectors who will review a listing for one of your clients at the drop of a hat, Twitter is a rich and open resource. Your followers are waiting with baited breath to hear what you have to tweet so let’s dive in:
How To Use ‘Lists”:
Twitter has a feature called ‘lists’ lists are available to all users. Lists enable you to publicly or privately place people on a labeled ‘list’ so you can keep track of them. You have the option of making lists ‘public’ or ‘private’. Not sure whether a list should be private or public? Ask yourself this question, “Would the members of this list be flattered and stand up and take notice if I were to include them on this list?” If the answer is ‘yes’ on all accounts then I suggest you make the list public. If not (on either account) air on the side of caution and make the list private. As a general suggestion, make all lists private except for (3, 4, 9, 10, 12). Here are some examples of lists I suggest you make right now:
1) List Of Industry Partners:
These are companies that have the same target market as you but are not direct competitors. ie. Interior designers, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, tradesmen, gardeners, and property rental companies.
2) List Of Industry Influencers:
This is a great list to keep track of realtors, brokerages, or developers that you really idolize. You can use this list to get a quick ‘snap shot’ of what the trendsetters in your industry are talking about and how they are talking about it.
3) List Of Users Who Retweet You:
This is a great list for realtors because it gives you a chance to give a ‘shout-out’ to followers that actively support you and draw attention to your tweets. I wouldn’t name this list ‘users who retweet us because we are awesome’, I would focus on a more flattering name like ‘Local Real Estate Aficionado’s’
4) List Of Prospective Speakers:
If you are considering doing Meetups or hosting events/conferences, Twitter is a fantastic way to start making lists of people that may be able to answer some of the questions your target market may have and when you are ready to host an event (of any scale) you will be ready and armed with a strong list of speakers that can dazzle your audience but not compete with you (or your market share) in any way!
5) List Of Media Contacts:
There is a post coming soon, dedicated to Public Relations for realtors and developers but until then, here is a piece of PR advice I always give my brokerage and realtor clients:
Always keep an up-to-date list of local media that frequently publishes content relative to your area of expertise. Ie. new properties on the market, unusual features of local properties, news on the local trends in real estate. This media list must include the email and phone number of key journalists (if the publication is large) or editors (if the publication is smaller), the website, and a sample of the work (to refresh your memory as to which journalist/editor will be most receptive to the story you would like to feed them. Don’t just include print media on your media list, include local blogs, online magazines, radio stations, and local TV stations as well. If you are going to make this list- do it right!
6) List Of Prospective Clients:
If your prospective buyers or listers are on Twitter, one of the most non-intrusive ways to keep tabs on who may be interested in your latest podcast, open house, or downloadable PDF is to create a list of potential clients.
7) Location-based Lists:
As a real estate professional, you likely travel a lot for conferences, summits, and real estate networking events. Lists are a great way to keep tabs on new contacts you meet and allow you to quickly reach out to them again when you are once again ‘in the neighborhood’!
8) List of Event Attendees:
This is an important list if you wish to directly reach out to previous attendees for feedback/to re-invited them to future events) ie. If you have an open house, a conference on ‘the latest trends in Vancouver real estate’, or you launch a podcast – make a list on Twitter of your attendees / viewers so that the next time you hold a similar open house/conference/podcast, you can be sure to directly tweet your followers that participated last time.
9) Helpful Twitter Accounts For Your Customers To Follow:
This is where you can really integrate your entire Twitter strategy. If you have a list of experts that you have included on your ‘speakers’ list then why don’t you then list some of those same accounts in your list of “helpful accounts for our followers to follow”, that way you really build that rapport with those speakers and some of those speakers may pass you referrals, partner with you, or even become your next customer. The truth is, the stronger you build your network of supporters, the more successful you will be in the long run.
10) Customers You’d Like To Recognize & Reward:
When you sell a client’s house or help a client find the perfect home (even if it is NOT one of your listings) this list is a perfect opportunity for you to reach out once a month or so and publicly ask them how they are doing in their new home or public recognize them in some way. Remembering to ‘touch base’ with your past clients will go a long, LONG way in building a strong and lucrative network of referrals and evangelists. If you are not sure what an evangelists is, now is your chance to Google it – it is very important you embrace this term and learn how to wield it in your business.
11) “Notice me” List:
This is a list of Twitter users whom you wish would notice you and, eventually, follow you. Perhaps label this list a little more eloquently ie. ‘Industry Trendsetters We Celebrate’. Not sure who you should include on this list? I do!
1) If you have a team of realtors and you are looking to add one more realtor to the team because you are growing at such a fast pace (ie. The Mark Imhoff Group of Victoria, BC) I suggest you include only the brightest and most resourceful seasoned realtors that you wish to attract to join your team.
2) If you are looking to qualify for local or international awards, adding these ‘award Twitter accounts’ on this list will be a great way to draw attention to your candidacy!
3) If you are looking to speak at major events abroad, including organisers and decision makers of these events is a great idea.
12) List Of Celebrities:
You would be surprised how quirky and relevant A-listers can be. To create this list, start looking for celebrities in your industry in the movie industry. Select stars that are in line with your values and share quotes, quips, and insights that you think your followers will also appreciate.
Creating a list is one of Twitter’s most valuable features, be sure you take macro approach to creating lists and keep them relevant and up-to-date.
Hashtags On Twitter:
Many people do not know how to use hashtags properly (# signs that help categorize social media content). When used properly, they help people organize information properly. When used properly, they can help increase the visibility of your messages, boost your social shares, and increase the likelihood that a relevant audience will find your material. When used inappropriately, however, they can negatively impact your credibility on social media. When choosing your hash tags, follow this checklist:
- Find the strongest hashtags here: www.ritetag.com
- Search recent hash tags and how other people have used them
- Search hashtags on Twitter by entering the hashtag (with or without the #) in the search box at the top of your Twitter account (same search rules apply on Instagram and Facebook
When To Use Hashtags:
When you are tweeting, I suggest you use a maximum of three hastags. When it comes to your Twitter bio, use hashtags sparingly. In other words, avoid filling your entire bio with hashtags. If you do use hashtags in your Facebook posts, the bare minimum is the way to go. After a study I conducted this weekend of our social media accounts over the past 4 years, the most interactions we had were with posts that had two hashtags. When you are using hashtags on Instagram, posts with 10+ hashtags receive the most engagement. Keeping the hashtag count between 10 and 15 is your safest option.
How To Create Your Own Hastag:
When creating a new hashtag for an open house, a real estate give-away, or campaign, follow these simple rules:
- Make it unique
- Make it easy to remember and short
- Make it relevant
How To Follow Hashtag Etiquette:
- Capitalize the first letter of the hashtag
- Use hashtags in live chats and conversation to build trust and approachability
- Don’t use the ‘@’ symbol in a hashtag
- Do not use punctuation
- Don’t use too many hashtags
- Don’t use spaces in hashtags
- Make sure your hashtags aren’t broken
- Make sure your hashtags aren’t too vague
- Make sure your hashtag means what you think it means
So hey, now that you have a few advanced tools under your belt, it is time to apply those tools to your very own Twitter campaigns. The trick is, you can’t talk directly about yourself or your company. In fact, no matter how sexy the real estate industry is, it’s wise not to talk about yourself too directly when launching a Twitter campaign. I have put together two Twitter campaign examples and how you too can directly apply each example to your own Twitter campaign.
Twitter Campaign Example #1: Twitter Scavenger Hunt
Ever considered leaving clues through your tweets for people to go out into the world and actually find something of value? This is a clear invitation for you to start considering. I have seen this work on many occasions and personally watched followers double over night as soon as word spread about the ‘Twitter scavenger hunt’ . Social media is just that – media, by creating a fun and engaging game out of a few simple tweets can completely transform how people feel about your brand.
A great example of this is @streetartdrop. @streetartdrop is an abstract painter in London who has used Twitter to leave clues for followers to find his brightly coloured paintings. Clues can be as simple as coordinates and as complicated as poems. Once the clue is tweeted, it is a mad dash to see who can get to the painting first.
Curious if this may be something you can try out yourself? Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s give it a shot:
Step 1: Decide on the duration and post frequencies of your campaign, say 3 months.
Step 2: Decide what pattern your clues are going to follow (rhymes, street signs, riddles)
Step 3: Decide what you are going to give away
Step 4: Figure out how you are going to get initial traction for your campaign. Ie. You could hire 5 or 6 influential colleagues to start spreading the word about this exciting new scavenger hunt. You could even submit an anonymous tip to the press. Just remember, who ever you hire must have influence within your target market and what ever media publication you choose anonymously submit the clue to must be a publication that would normally publish this sort of ‘interesting event’.
Step 5: Identify what you want your metrics to be. How are you going to measure the success of this campaign? Do you have a landing page? Do you have a hashtag? Do you just want to see an increase in web traffic or do you want to see purchases of your product or service go through the roof?
Twitter Campaign Example #2: Create a Story Line That Is Relevant To Your Area Of Business & Encourage Followers To Choose A Character
Even if your business is not a video gaming company, you can still apply this brilliant Twitter campaign to your own marketing efforts. When Xbox released ‘Guardian’, they made use of a native video to distribute the trailer, promoted trends, interactive GIFs, a custom emoji and native polling formats to include fans in the story. They invited users to pick which main character from the game they would #HuntTheTruth with, and Tweeted trailer content from the perspective of that character – thereby helping to distribute the video assets. Brilliant, no?
Here’s how you can apply the same strategy to your Twitter campaign:
Step 1) Choose what story you are going to create around your brand and how you will entice followers to ‘take the bait’ and engage with your campaign. As a realtor you could run a campaign where followers will help you design a “perfect housewarming”. Followers can help you choose everything from the decorations to the menu. You choose the theme and a few guidelines that will keep followers ‘on topic’ and then after the house warming is settled, you can invite all participants to attend the “perfect housewarming” in a listing you are trying to sell.
Step 2) Create digital collateral around the campaign. The collateral should be interactive and may include: images, video, game, emoji’s, hashtags, landing page, or audio clips.
Step 3) Choose how you will track the conversation around your Twitter campaign: hashtags/landing pages.
Step 4) Make sure you have chosen a ‘message angle’ that your audience can relate to and viscerally react to.
Step 5) Find a way to keep fans engaged after they have already interacted with your messages. Ie. Xbox tweeted trailer content from the perspective of that character – thereby helping to distribute the video assets AND giving the fans who engaged with the campaign a HUGE reason to continue to engage with the campaign. For Xbox, there were a fixed number of characters so only a fixed number of ‘trailer perspectives’ needed to be created, thus automating the process.
Why would you want to do this? What good will it do your business?
Here are the benefits:
1) A buzz is created around the property you are listing
2) Because the campaign is fun, your followers will share your tweets and posts with their friends, thus building your network of influence
3) This campaign doesn’t have to be limited to Twitter, but can spread across all of your social media
4) You will build awareness locally and globally for your services and expertise
5) You will have so many photos and testimonials from this campaign and the final “perfect housewarming” event that you will be able to fill your social media calendar for months and have another juicy event to add to your event page on your website
WARNING: DO NOT try to engage with every person who engages with your campaign, to do so would mean that a successful campaign would render you ‘sleepless in [enter home city here]’. Instead, do what Xbox did and create a campaign with a number of ‘fixed variables’ that you create before hand and have ‘on stand-by’ for when your followers choose one of the, say, 10 possible answers.
Twitter is still in its young years and has been evolving over the last couple of years, going from a brilliant social tool to a media platform enabling brands to reach a greater, target audience in a way that Facebook cannot lend itself to. Brands use it for customer service, brand building and to engage with their customers. We went over just two creative strategies in this post but this post will be continuously updated so keep checking back for more great ways to launch your very own Twitter campaign!
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. Still not convinced that new tactics should be tried? Chances are – you won’t even act on my advice and you will keep trying the same, tired old market strategies that just don’t work. Or maybe, you are different, you are going to heed this advice as though it was a real estate doctrine. Either way – I know you have an opinion so let me have it in the comments below!
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