Armed with the Twitter for Real Estate Twits ebook from the last article I posted I decided to jump into Twitter and give it a whirl. Take it for a testdrive so to speak.
The first 24 hours has been very enlightening and one thing has become crystal clear. Twitter is fantastic! It is such a simple concept that when done right is so powerful and for our industry it can work amazingly. After the testdrive I decided to take one two home 🙂
When done right?? and can work??
What do I mean by that…?? Using it for the real estate industry still takes work and to leverage it best you need to have great content to post. It is not some magic technology pill you swallow once and you get stacks of traffic for ever more. If you do nothing, thats exactly what you will get.
Some great content could include blog posts if you run a blog, interesting and unusual property for sale (but dont go overboard or it will backfire), special and unusual sales, witty jokes, market commentary, funny signs and anecdotes. If you don’t have a blog you post to then it certainly wont stop you but you will have to find other content to share.
Like most things, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Ideally many of your Twitter posts will connect through to a link on your website or blog or some other resource driving traffic and enquiries to your business.
This is the process I undertook to get up and operating with Twitter. It may not be the best way, but it was my way.
- I Read the Twitter for Real Estate Twits ebook fully to understand the concepts of how it all works.
- I selected a photo to upload and then signed up to Twitter at www.twitter.com with the name @glenn_batten and uploaded the photo.
- I signed up for a URL shortening service at bit.ly Twitter posts can only be 140 characters long and web url’s are quite long so you use these services to get a shorter url that points to your longer url. This leaves more room for your comment.
- I post on two blogs, here and our agency’s blog. Peter uses his own version of WordPress which means he is able to install whatever plugins he wants and since he has already added Twitter integration so it should be just a matter of adding my own twitter name in the right box. I have yet to try it so I hope it will work and this post will be the first test!
- Our agency blog runs on the free hosted version of WordPress at wordpress.com so the plugins are limited so I had to look at a different solution. All blogs have an RSS feed so I signed up for Twitterfeed which will monitor your rss feed and will broadcast any posts you find on your twitter account. It even uses your bit.ly account to automatically shorten and embed the url to your blog post. This automatically posted the last blog article I wrote to my twitter account. within a few hours that one post had generated 6 more visitors, all from Twitter.
- Whilst you can use Twitters website to monitor your Twitter there are programs that do a much better job. To monitor Twitter I first chose PeopleBrowsr but did not like it. Far too complicated and not quite polished enough. Twitter actually tells you what everyone posts with and I noticed Tweetdeck was very popular so I downloaded that and it’s great.
- I chose not to go crazy and follow everybody I came across, a tactic it seems a few people follow. I was more selective in who followed and started following real estate people and sites I knew and that were on Twitter including @peter_ricci, @ozspecialagent (Robert Simeon), @GregVincent, @BusinessTwo, @realestate_au, @homehound and @ZooProperty.
- I added @nik_nik who wrote the ebook and @jburslem who runs the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog
- I then searched for other members in the First National network that I knew that were on Twitter and added a couple.
- I updated my Google Profile (If you dont have one, get one!), Facebook page and profile on this blog to add my Twitter address.
- I then setup an account with Twilert which monitors Twitter for anybody mentioning specific keywords you choose. I am monitoring anybody posting on our business name, url, primary core trading suburbs, our competitors and First National.
- I then created a seperate Twitter account for Nerang First National at @nerangfirstnat. I have chosen to keep our agency and customer specific stuff through that account and my own personal posts, personal connections and general industry related stuff through my own account. Similarly a principal might create an account for their work but a salesperson might want their own twitter account to communicate with their followers.
And there you have it. I still have a few things I want to do and setup but by the end of the first 24 hours on Twitter I was following 16 people and had 13 following me and our agency blog generated more than a dozen new visits just from Twitter. People had picked up on our articles and had forwarded them out to their followers. I certainly could have done more by just following everyone but I would rather be following a quality list of friends, associates and people and businesses I want to hear from.
What will the next week, month and year bring? Who knows, but the future is bright so give Twitter a go and see if it will work for you. I dont know enough about the service just yet to say the programs I selected were the best of breed but they are functional and work well.