Welcome to Twitter, a social networking/microblogging service that allows users to send short, 140-character “tweets” to their followers.
If you’ve already decided you don’t give a “twit” about “tweeting,” you may want to reconsider. Twitter is now used by one in five online adults, which translates to more than 230 million active users globally, and has become popular across a variety of industries, including residential and commercial real estate.
While a lot of people use Twitter for personal reasons – e.g., getting or sharing news, posting photos, and so on – many also use it professionally to network with other people in their industry and generate new business leads. This is often done using a separate account that reflects the image and messaging of their company, which makes it easy to tailor content to different audiences. If you’re a broker, for example, you could set up a professional account for new listings and industry news that would not be of interest to friends and family who follow your personal account.
For examples of what Taylor Johnson tweets, visit our Twitter page here. You’ll see we use Twitter to share not only TJ TALK, but also news and insights we hear when attending industry events, such as the Lincoln Park Builders Forum, where we used the #LPBforum hashtag.
Each tweet is limited to 140 characters, roughly the length of a text message. A lot of people will include shortened URLs and/or hashtags – for example, #realestate or #chicagore – which are searchable keywords that pull tweets about a particular topic together into one feed.
You can also include other people’s Twitter handles, or usernames, in your tweets. (Ours is @TaylorJohnsonPR.) This will notify them that you’ve mentioned them in a tweet to your followers. It also increases the likelihood that they will retweet you, which means they share your tweet with their followers. (Hence the term “social media.”)
Here’s an example of a Taylor Johnson tweet showing how we retweet content from someone else:
When using Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms professionally, most people agree it’s best to follow the rule of thirds. That means 1/3 of your content should be posts about you and your business, 1/3 should be posts about your industry and 1/3 should be direct interactions with other users. Here are some examples of content for each category:
- You and your business: These posts could include a blog you’ve written, an award you’ve won or any other corporate news you’d like to share with your followers – for example, a new hire or volunteer work. Social media networks like Twitter and Facebook are photo-friendly, so don’t forget to include any relevant images when posting.
- Your industry: One reason to use social media professionally is to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s therefore important to share interesting news articles, infographics, market statistics and other information that would be of interest to the people you’re trying to reach. This is a great way to show them you’re well-informed and truly have your finger on the pulse of the market.
- Direct interactions: Whether it’s retweeting other people’s content, asking or answering questions, or engaging in a conversation with your peers, think of this as an opportunity to show off your personality and let others in your industry know that you’re interested in what they have to say. Chances are they’ll return the favor at some point down the road.
When using Twitter, you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with tweets, but you also want to make sure you’re heard. There’s no magic number for how many times you should tweet per day, but research has shown that engagement tends to decrease after three to five tweets. This can be more frequent if you’re participating in a discussion (using relevant hashtags!) during a conference or breaking news event.
You’ll also want to pay attention to what time of day you tweet. Think of times when you’re most likely to check your own social media accounts – for example, during your morning and afternoon commutes, over lunch, or before going to bed. If you’re on social media at those times, chances are your peers are as well, making it a great time to post your content.
If you’d like to learn more about how Twitter could help grow your real estate business, email Emily Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.