Anatomy of a Tweet: A Guide for Real Estate Agents
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
New social media sites seem to pop up daily. There’s always a new platform business pundits say could be the “next big thing” for brands and professionals. But for your real estate marketing, it’s best to stick with the tried-and-true channels that have proven to work — like Twitter. A third of marketers have generated leads from Twitter, while one in five have gotten leads from the site. That’s the kind of data that’s cemented the social network as a staple in marketing strategies for practically every industry.
While there are many benefits Twitter can bring your real estate business, do you understand the ins and outs of tweets? Knowing all of the finer details of these 140-character messages can make you master your marketing on the site even further, and the best way to do just that is to examine the anatomy of a tweet and learn the core definitions associated with the medium.
How a Tweet Is Structured
As you can see, there’s some complexity to tweets. It’s not simply enough to plop in a generic message to buyers and sellers; you have to put together a well-constructed strategy on Twitter to maximize your time and effort there. This includes:
Creating a tweet schedule
Organize what times of day and on which days you’ll tweet. Using software like Hootsuite or Buffer can help you schedule tweets hours, days and even weeks in advance. Just remember to check your tweet schedule daily to ensure your tweets are still pertinent. Also, keep in mind that the lifespan of a tweet is very short, so the more frequently you tweet, the better.
Deciding what to tweet
Sure, you can tweet about what’s on your mind from time to time. But for the most part, you should have a set of tweets ready at least a day in advance. Generating topics based on your audience’s interests — like buying and selling tips or news about market conditions — is a great way to organize your Twitter account. Additionally, you can tweet content you create, like your blog posts, a couple times daily to generate traffic for your real estate website.
Making the copy appealing
As with all of your other content creation, developing attractive, appealing copy in the body of your tweets is necessary to get retweets and link clicks. You can tweet the titles of content you’re tweeting about and add a relevant hashtag. More often than not, though, the body of your tweets should entice curiosity. Pose questions to followers, use interesting quotes from your content, re-word your content’s title, or make fun, relatable comments that preview the content’s focus. Ultimately, make it something folks will want to click on. And make it short and sweet (particularly if you want to include a hashtag or link).
Adding images to your tweets
You don’t have to include them in every tweet (nor should you, since you could annoy your followers by filling their news feeds with them). However, you should know tweets with images get twice the engagement of those without them, so it’s definitely worthwhile to include them in some of yours. If you’re not a Photoshop whiz, no need to worry: You can use stock images to include in your tweets.
Including links to your and others’ content
This means linking back to your blog, landing pages, other social media accounts and any other online marketing collateral you have. You can (and should) also link to external sources on occasion, like an expert real estate blog post you enjoyed or a great resource your audience would find useful. Doing so shows your followers you’re not trying to sell them with every tweet.
Using appropriate hashtags
Where some professionals and brands fail is the use of the hashtag. Some use none at all, which doesn’t help with their Twitter searchability, while others use far too many, which makes their tweets look spammy and their businesses’ unreputable. Use one or two hashtags whenever appropriate for your tweets. Real estate–related hashtags are a good way to go. You can find specific hashtag trends on sites like WhatTheTrend and search hashtags to identify their popularity and similar hashtags on sites like Hashtagify.
Adding an avatar in your header
While many brands go with logos for their avatar, professionals running their own accounts tend to go with photos of themselves (preferably a professional one). If you have a logo design all set to go, you could use it as your background image for your Twitter profile.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
— Albert Einstein
Main Twitter Terms to Know
Aside from knowing that Twitter is a fantastic lead-generating machine, you’d be wise to learn the platform’s more intricate terminology. “Retweet” and “hashtag” are the obvious ones to know, but do you know what a “modified tweet” is, or what the popular hashtag “#FF” means? Now’s the time to get in the know so you can take advantage of Twitter even more and transform yourself into a social media marketing expert.
To send a tweet directly to another user or simply mention them in a tweet so they become involved in a conversation with other users, you need to include their Twitter handle (e.g. @Placester). When starting tweets with this handle, just know that without a period before the user’s handle, only those who follow you and the person you tweeted at will see the tweet. Add the period before the handle and every one of your followers will see the tweet in their Twitter streams.
Stands for “direct message,” which is a private message you can send to someone who follows you and whom you follow back. If you get some followers shortly after tweeting, consider following them back to keep tabs on their activity. After all, they could be in the market to buy or sell.
This means “Follow Friday,” which is used on Fridays (and, well, other days of the week quite often) when users want to inform who they enjoy following to the rest of the Twitterverse. For instance, you could include some users’ handles in tweets with this hashtag to promote them. In return, they may reciprocate the kind gesture, which can serve as a micro-promotion.
This acronym stands for “hat tip.” It’s used as a shorthand attribution for information you learn in someone else’s tweet. When using this, be sure to include the Twitter handle of the person or brand you’re thanking for the info in question.
Shorthand for “in case you missed it.” If your users missed a big news story about the housing or mortgage market, you could tweet about the matter and incorporate this at the beginning of the tweet.
For the times when a tweet you want to retweet is too long or confusing, you can post a “modified tweet” with the main gist of what was said in the initial tweet. Have I used the word tweet often enough yet? No? I’ll keep going then.
When followers and non-followers alike retweet or favorite your content or your mentioned in someone else’s tweet, you’ll be able to find out by investigating the Notifications tab at the top of your screen. An excellent way to get these users to follow you, if they don’t already, is to tweet a quick thanks for retweeting.
A relatively new feature that allows you to keep a single tweet pinned to the top of your timeline. Perhaps an ideal spot to keep that tweet informing your audience about your value prop with a link to your landing page. Or maybe where you showcase that great piece of new content that will drive traffic to your site.
Another advertising avenue on Twitter that gives you the chance to target your tweets to reach a wider Twitter audience. Other than the greater distribution, these are pretty much the same as normal, organic tweets. These will be identified as “Promoted” in users’ timelines, though, so they’ll be aware it’s an ad.
Learn more about Twitter best practices by reading our post Quick Tips for Using Twitter for Business.
What are some of your best tweets? Share your comments below!
Published on June 30, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.