Social media is finally coming of age as a viable channel for real estate marketing. Today, there are several sites with tens or hundreds of millions of users, each with their own unique personality and niche. Twitter, for instance, is great for interacting with consumers directly. Twitter users are three times more likely to follow brands and companies than Facebook users, and these interactions lead to transactions. In fact, 36 percent of marketers say they’ve generated a customer via Twitter.
Still, finding leads and customers isn’t a given: you need to know how to make your Twitter presence work for you. Here are six essentials for driving engagement on Twitter for real estate.
Tweet Frequently and Consistently
Of all the social networks out there, Twitter content has the shortest lifespan. According to one study, the average half-life of a tweet (i.e., the time it takes to earn half of its retweets) is just eighteen minutes–and the more active your followers are, the quicker your tweets will get buried in their feeds. Knowing this, it’s safe to say that tweeting once a month or once a week isn’t going to do much. To see real results, you need to tweet every day. Multiple tweets a day is even better. Building followers is a long-term process, so you also need to tweet consistently, without missing a week here or there because you got too busy. To help you maintain a steady stream, you can use free services like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule tweets ahead of time and build a backlog.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
— STEPHEN KING
Share Your Content
Whether they’re following comedians or newspapers, people use Twitter to hear from thought leaders of all kinds. That makes Twitter a great place to share your real estate expertise. Whether it’s insight about the real estate market at large or the local areas you serve, you should be using your Twitter feed to show your followers why they should work with you. Don’t limit your expertise to 140 characters, either: create a blog on your website, reviewing local businesses and attractions and offering your opinions on all things local. Then, use your tweets to drive followers to your writing.
… But Don’t Overdo It
While it’s important to promote your brand on Twitter, you should also be focused on sharing knowledge and adding value for your followers. Your personal life and observations may be interesting to you, but won’t do anything for your followers. They want to hear about real estate. At the same time, it’s important to show consumers that you’re not just interested in racking up another sale. That means freely sharing content from other experts and sites, as well as anything else you think your followers will enjoy. Remember, it’s not about you: it’s about your audience.
“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
— DONALD TRUMP
Engage and Mention
Using Twitter for real estate isn’t just about tweeting: it’s about retweeting, mentioning, interacting with other users and brands. By engaging local businesses and influencers, you’ll expose yourself to a wider audience and possibly earn free publicity from those willing to return the favor. For instance, if you eat at a popular local restaurant and enjoy it, let them know by tweeting a mini review and mentioning the restaurant using the @ symbol followed by their Twitter handle. This will make your tweet visible not only to the restaurant, but also to their followers. For less public interactions, you can also send a private message by clicking on the envelope icon at the top right corner of your Twitter feed.
Use the Search Function
Twitter’s built-in search function isn’t just for looking up other users: you can also use it to find conversations that you can contribute to. Make a list of popular search terms related to your business. (If you’ve already done keyword research for your website, this should be a breeze.) Search these terms in Twitter’s search bar and see what comes up. By searching “homes in Cleveland,” for instance, you may find someone asking about the area you serve, giving you the option to answer their questions or offer advice. Use hashtags like #homes and #Cleveland to further refine and target these searches. Finally, you should incorporate hashtags into your own tweets to make them more searchable, helping you get found by people who want what you’re selling.
“These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.”
— BRIAN CLARK
With Twitter’s list function, you can refine your strategy and content to reach and engage specific groups. Categorize different types of users into lists by clicking on the settings wheel at the top of the Twitter feed and selecting “Lists.” From there, you can create lists based on a variety of different categories: Prospects, Clients, Local Restaurants, Competitors, etc. This will help you tune out the noise of your feed and keep track of different kinds of followers. You can also increase your visibility by making a list public, allowing other Twitter users to follow it and notifying users you’ve added to it.
Have your own Twitter tips for real estate marketers? Share your expertise in the comments!