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22 January 2009

Have You Figured Out Twitter?

Have You Figured Out Twitter?By all accounts, there are millions of people around the world who have. During Tuesday’s inauguration, the Twitter network was on fire clocking in approximately 6,000 posts per minute. From quick commentaries, observations and shared feelings, people from all walks of life of life where sharing and participating in an event in real time with others, often with people they do not even know.

The power of this medium continues to grow daily as Twitter is one of the fastest growing micro blogging social networking sites on the web. Nevertheless, many users are struggling to discover what its real value is beyond the occasional posting of what they are doing right now. For the most part while Twitter appears to have boundless limits, limits which includes figuring out how to monetize its network, for the majority of the world Twitter is still an untapped, odd environment that seems like a waste of time.

This is surely a sentiment within real estate.

While many agents have signed on and use Twitter to blurt out an occasional post announcing what they are doing right now, the real power behind Twitter will never be realized until you formulate a plan around this medium and decide what it is your really want to accomplish. Simply posting random thoughts to a small group of friends or a tiny sphere of local agents will probably get you few results.

Like any broadcast network, your success with Twitter will be derived from your ability to published things of interest to the widest audience you can amass. This means moving beyond your close friends, your clients and your agent sphere.

At the recent Inman Connect conference in New York , one agent shared how she connected with a wide array of people in her local market via Twitter branching herself and her brand out further than she ever thought possible. And she did it spending only minutes a day and without spending a dime.

Like her you can go to http://www.search.twitter.com/ and type in your market area. You’ll be amazed by what comes up. Just click on the person’s photo and click follow. As you follow them, feel free to respond to their Twitter posts with your own comments that are then seen by others who, if they like what you have to say will begin following you.

As you grow your network, start offering value and creating interest with those people who are following you with smart, personable, intriguing posts of your own. This is how you create your personal brand on Twitter? The stronger your brand the more opportunities you’ll have.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of WineLibrary.com has done a great job building his personal brand. He Tweets interesting and helpful tips on wine, includes great URL’s and doesn’t bore his followers with mundane updates. The result is over 31,000 followers. These followers believe in him and follow him to his product. He recently proved this by Tweeting an offer of free shipping on wine orders prior to the Christmas holidays. The result was 1000’s of dollars in orders from his Twitter followers.

Many businesses have jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon. Zappos.com, JetBlue, Carnival Cruise, The Home Depot, WholeFoods, and Starbucks are considered among the Top 40 Best Twitter Brands.  These companies are using Twitter to extend their brands in a new way. Not just to sell more products or services but to monitor the conversation on their brands and engage with their customers.

I believe Twitter offers great opportunities for real estate agents. But you have to build your following wisely, offer value, be interesting and invest the time in learning the best practices of Twitter.

Wondering what to Twitter about? Think about the most common questions your clients have, market updates, interesting websites and blogs. Consider responding to the Tweets of others; those people you have chosen to follow, whose posts on your page move and inspire you. You will be amazed at how many new conversations you can pick up and create within a simple 10-15 minute session. And how over time, if your comments and posts are versed and interesting, you will find yourself building a network of people, many of whom you do not know who are tapped into you, the way you think, and quite possibly what you do for a living. In this regard, Twitter serves at a great broadcasting tool and one that can well serve your brand building efforts.

Whether you’re a Twitter fan, a confused Twit or Twitless… be mindful that some of the most prominent brands in America are representing themselves on Twitter. From their CEO’s to their marketing and customer service staff. This is real. It’s happening and with all the talk of change and the need to find new ways to market and broadcast yourself and your business– Twitter’s alive and presents one of many interesting options for the real estate agent and broker today.

9 thoughts on “Have You Figured Out Twitter?

  1. Some of my greatest new friends I met first on twitter! But I find twitter to be a great source of inspiration for blog posts, too, by feeding me information on what people are tweeting about and what other agents are blogging about. Also, it’s an excellent ‘breaking news’ channel which often beats the major news outlets in letting me know what’s going on in the world.

    It’s really an amazing network – one which can not be fully appreciated until you give it a try!

  2. Yes. Twitter is an odd bird. One of the features I like is, my tweets can post to my Facebook Status, it serves a dual purpose.

    I enjoy the oddity and diversity of the posts, some are informative, some are funny and some are pointless and that’s the beauty I think.

    Twitter is like a lazy river, you can watch from shore or or wade in, splash around or float along.

    I benefit from twitter as entertainment, education and interaction, plus I use it broadcast and increase traffic to my blog posts at brandcandid.com.

    My three cents. Cheers Wendy.

  3. @Overland Park Real Estate,

    Hi Michael, I agree. The trick is providing Tweets of value not just running commentary of your life. Following the right people can really help with that.

  4. At a CONFR intereactive marketing workshop in Bedford, NH right now. Talking about Twitter. Seeing what new things I can learn here from other speakers. Learning how to promote fundraising for your favorite cause.

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