So you’re finally taking the jump and joining Twitter. Good move! An active Twitter account is a valuable addition to any inbound marketing strategy. It’s a great place to discover interesting content that you can share with potential buyers and sellers, and promote your own content as well. But if you’re not big into social networks, Twitter can seem like too big of a beast to take on. It’s fast-moving, speaks its own language, and can seem overwhelming. But don’t be afraid! It’s only as difficult as you make it. So head on over to Twitter, type in your name and e-mail, hit sign up, and take the plunge. Once you do, we’ve got the first 5 tasks you should conquer to kick off your quest for more leads!
1. Choose your Twitter handle
The first handle you should try to select is your first and last name. It will be the easiest for friends or clients to find and remember. But if your name isn’t available, or it’s really long, you can try something like “@EricaTheAgent” or “@EricaSellsFL”. The goal is to create something unique, memorable, and as short as possible. This will be the name people will search to find you, and if you are mentioned in someone else’s Tweets, this will show there as well. Don’t add in any extra numbers or letters if you don’t have to, that will make you more difficult to find.
2. Don’t be an egghead
People will be more likely to engage with you when they know you’re a real person. Upload a profile image to Twitter as soon as possible to avoid the dreaded egg picture that’s the default. Since Twitter images are so small (and often viewed on mobile devices) a close up headshot in good lighting is best. Bonus points for a consistent headshot that matches the one on your Facebook page and website.
Also, be sure and use a recent headshot. While the best picture you’ve ever taken may be from 1992, a client shouldn’t be shocked when they meet you in person. If you don’t have a headshot you love, treat yourself to a professional one! It’s a great investment for your personal brand. You can likely find a local photographer who can shoot them for fairly cheap and make you look your best.
Similar to Facebook, you can add a cover photo to your Twitter profile. If you already have a Facebook page, a good strategy for consistent branding is to use the same cover photo for both networks. This will help connect both pages for someone online. If you have words on your Facebook cover photo, you may have to adjust the image – Twitter cover photos are displayed at 1500×500 pixels, and Facebook cover photos are 851×315. If you don’t already have a cover photo to use, you can check out some real estate themed images we’ve provided as part of our Inbound Marketing Bundle. These images have been re-sized to fit Twitter and Facebook cover photo dimensions.
3. Tell us about yourself
Your 160 character Twitter biography is your introduction to anyone that follows you. A good formula is to mention your occupation, company (if your company has a Twitter page, you can @ tag them here), and a few unique things about yourself. If you specialize in a certain area or type of property, that’s perfect to include here. The more potential clients can learn about you from your bio, the better. And it doesn’t have to be all about work! Get creative. If you love dogs, wine, or your local sports team, include that! You never know what could help you connect with someone. Here are some of my favorite real estate bios on Twitter:
You can also add your location to your Twitter bio, where you can add your city, state, or even the neighborhood you specialize in. This shows up below your Twitter bio. There’s also an option to add a link to your website. This is a super valuable addition to your Twitter page that many people forget about, so be sure and add it! This increases the odds that someone will click back to your site after seeing you on Twitter.
4. Find influential people to follow
If you’re new to Twitter, the best way to learn the tricks of the trade is to follow people that know it best. You can check out our top 5 real estate influencers to follow on Twitter to get started. If you follow any real estate related blogs or websites, check to see if they have a Twitter button on their page and follow them too.
Finding and engaging with local businesses and events can help build your credibility as a local expert on Twitter as well. Search for your favorite local restaurants and shops using Twitter’s search function at the top right of their website or app.
When you follow someone on Twitter, you’ll see a set of suggested people to follow. This is a great way to discover new people that you wouldn’t find within your own network. Don’t be afraid to follow people you don’t know! While social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn are primarily reserved for friends and acquaintances, Twitter is a space where you can feel free to follow anyone you like.
5. Start engaging
Once you’ve got your profile set up and interesting people followed, it’s time to engage in conversations. Twitter is the ideal arena for sharing your own personal content, but it’s also important to keep a balance by sharing other people’s content as well. If you’re only blasting out links to listings and pages on your website, you’re not likely to gain a following. But by sharing relative and interesting content you find from others, engaging in conversations, and sharing your own content, you’ll be on your way to being an influencer! A good rule of thumb for Twitter is the 4-1-1 rule:
1 self-serving tweet (think listing or open house link), you should post..
1 retweet from a person in your field, and share…
4 useful pieces of content written by others.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to be counting every Tweet to make sure you’re retweeting enough, but it’s a good set of guidelines when you’re getting started. The more you Tweet, the more you’ll see what content gets the most favorites and retweets, and you’ll know to share more like that.
Just like real estate, Twitter is all about finding your niche. Sharing content that fits the interests of your target market can slowly increase your following, and ultimately traffic to your website. It’s important to remember that posting on Twitter isn’t going to give you instant results. As part of a complete inbound marketing strategy, it slowly works to build your credibility as a local expert, and develop your pipeline of high quality leads. Keep sharing and engaging, and don’t give up!
If you’re interested in learning more about the best strategies for real estate marketing on each social network, check out our free eBook, The Real Estate Marketer’s Guide to Social Media below!