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Social Media in Real Estate – Part 1: Twitter

There are a number of free tools out there that can help you market yourself and your listings through the use of social media. Whether it’s posting an item on Facebook, blogging on Active Rain, uploading a video to ZIPVO (my employer), or posting a tweet on Twitter, these tools can help you get connected and stay connected with your buyers and associates.

If you haven’t heard some or any of the above sites, do not panic. In this series of posts I’m going to teach you how to use each of them to enhance your online presence free and easily.

Today we’re going to cover Twitter – www.twitter.com – a unique site that allows you to let the world and your connections know what’s going on in your life. Twitter allows you to stay connected through 140 characters or less. 140 characters is the maximum amount of characters you can have in a tweet. Much like an AIM away message or Facebook status, a tweet simply updates your followers about what you’re posting.

A follower is similar to a friend on Facebook or associate on LinkedIn. You can search Twitter for people to follow and chances are they will follow you back. You can also tell people to follow you on Twitter to build up your base of followers. The great thing about Twitter is everyone is on the same level. Regardless of how powerful, intelligent, tech savvy, or non-tech savvy, everyone on Twitter has only 140 characters to get a message across. This makes thoughts clearer, and conversations quicker and more to the point.

After you build a good base of followers, you can really start to harness the power of Twitter. Let’s say you have 100 followers. When you get a new listing, blog post, or anything else you want the world to know about, you can simply tweet it and those 100 people will see it. Those 100 people might then tell a person each about a new listing, or tell a friend who is looking for a home, and your tweet instantly becomes viral and reaches hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

I’ve spoken to a number of people about social media and their major reservation is that it’s a lot of work. The truth is, keeping a good social presence does take some work, but the ROI is certainly well worth it. Much like anything else; you get out of social media what you put into it. Just like the gym, you can sign up and say you’re going to go every day. If you do go every day you’ll be in great shape and feel great. In the same respect if you spend some time every day with social media the results will be great. Just sending out a quick tweet is a great way to stay in front of your customers and associates, and it only takes a minute.

Below is a quick and plain English intro about the micro-blogging service Twitter.

Now that you know what Twitter is and how to use it head on over to Twitter.com and create your free account, then follow me, zipvojames, and say hello.

If you’re already using Twitter leave a comment and let everyone know how you’re using it.

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  • “Let’s say you have 100 followers. When you get a new listing, blog post, or anything else you want the world to know about, you can simply tweet it and those 100 people will see it.”

    Playing devil’s advocate here — there’s certainly no guarantee that all 100 of your followers will see your tweet. I’m not sure if twitter measures (or reports) on this, but the number of “active” followers is what really matters. For instance, I follow quite a few of people, but I rarely ever log into twitter. So tweets don’t really reach me.

  • Agree with you Drew. Active followers are crucial for twitter to have any value. I’ve been using it off and on for the past few months, it’s fun, but other than that I don’t see a ton of value in it yet.

  • Sometimes I wonder about the effectiveness of twitter on the real estate sphere. It often seems like Twitter is a bunch of Talking heads, that are hoping that someone will hear what they’re saying… I mean…how interested are people REALLY in hearing reading twits about your listing…?

  • Pingback: Getting Started with Twitter for Business | Real Estate Internet Marketing by Union Street Media()

  • Twitter is a great way to get your message out quickly in a viral manner. If you are active and build a large following. Great tool!

  • I’m having a lot of fun with Twitter – great conversations, and a substantial increase in traffic both to my website, my articles and most importantly to my Squidoo lenses.

    Plus, Twitter is the perfect way to update your Facebook!

    I’d love to get to know other people on Twitter… please feel free to follow me at twitter.com/julietjohnson.

    Great post, thanks. Juliet

  • I’m @riversidehomes and I participate in both a re centric sphere, but also have a SEO centric profile out there… I think that any new person on twitter should know that who you follow makes a huge difference in the quality of your twitter stream.

  • I agree with Brett, I really don’t see any value in Twitter. My partner on the other hand swears by it?

  • Tony,
    Twitter actually provides a number of ways to deliver value from a business perspective. Here’s just one: each “tweet” you write is indexed in search engines like any other blog post. If you’re tweeting information about something in your farm area, it has the potential to show up in an organic search. A prospect just might find and decide to “follow” you for more information. It may not be for you, but it’s worth the time it would take to investigate it further.

  • I think that one major opportunity that Twitter and other social media sites create is that it helps you (as an Realtor) be more productive. If your on Twitter and 10 of your potential customers are following you, in a very casual / social way can send links of your new listings / videos. This will save you time if you are Tweeting videos by not driving to every listing you send to your clients. Time equals Money 🙂

  • I have read some reviews of people who use Twitter and they love it. Maybe the folks who don’t get much out if it don’t comment. Anyway James, I am now following you on Twitter.

  • Sometimes I wonder about the effectiveness of twitter on the real estate sphere. It often seems like Twitter is a bunch of Talking heads

  • Would you suggest different profiles on Twitter. I am a member of one group on Twitter that is all about real estate marketing and seo. ( that is how I found you) But I am thinking I need another group that is my local contacts. It is another audience.

    Or am I off here with this strategy?

  • Pasadena Homes – thanks for the follow! Looking forward to some great conversations.

  • Dena – if your two profiles are completely different and will have different followers than two profiles may be a good idea. I have my personal profile (ZipvoJames) and the company profile (ZIPVO) although some of the followers do overlap.

  • Mixed emotions about Twitter. For some things it is handy, but I’m not sold that it is as great as some people preach.

  • Twitter will eventually be used for City Portals where people can follow certain users and to get updates on events, businesses, sales, and news in their local area.

    It is going past a simple friend to friend update but rather a complete update service.

  • That video definitely helped me understand twitter. ITs been fun. im soo busy lately though its harder to use.

  • Twitter is a great place to keep track of the latest SEO ideas. It would be wonderful to have the same kind of continuing interest in real estate subjects. My guess is that followers of real estate tweets will be interested followers only during their time of active looking for homes.

  • There’s actually a great Twitter tool for real estate. TweetLister (http://TweetLister.com) is a free service that allows real estate brokers and owners to easily create, post and manage all of their Twitter listings. It’s pretty much Twitter for Real Estate Listing and Vacation Rentals.

  • Yes, i sometimes have a hard time with twitter….theres a lot of spammers on there.

  • BlairS

    I wanted to let you know about TweetLister.com, a fast-growing tool for posting, managing, scheduling and searching real estate listings on Twitter. We just announced our Version 2 release, featuring enhancements that add tremendous value and marketing power for all its users. The service remains a free, fast, simple, user-friendly way to place your real estate listings on Twitter, and enhancements transform the service into a versatile, full-featured, must-have tool for marketing any property.

    The website is located at http://www.tweetlister.com.

    Version 2 features are: Enhanced Listing Details, including more photos, more property features, personalized links to your website, and more; Broker/Owner Profile Information and Dedicated Listings Pages, including a page with your bio and all your listings; Associate Multiple Twitter Accounts with one TweetLister Account, so you can post properties for different regions, or different types of properties, or individual brokers to their own Twitter accounts; New Search Features, so you can now search by City or Neighborhood, State, Country, Keyword and Minimum and Maximum Price; and the ability to Add Listings in Bulk, a custom service.

    I hope you will take a look at the site and consider mentioning it on your blog!

  • Anonymous

    I wanted to let you know about TweetLister.com, a fast-growing tool for posting, managing, scheduling and searching real estate listings on Twitter. We just announced our Version 2 release, featuring enhancements that add tremendous value and marketing power for all its users. The service remains a free, fast, simple, user-friendly way to place your real estate listings on Twitter, and enhancements transform the service into a versatile, full-featured, must-have tool for marketing any property.

    The website is located at http://www.tweetlister.com.

    Version 2 features are: Enhanced Listing Details, including more photos, more property features, personalized links to your website, and more; Broker/Owner Profile Information and Dedicated Listings Pages, including a page with your bio and all your listings; Associate Multiple Twitter Accounts with one TweetLister Account, so you can post properties for different regions, or different types of properties, or individual brokers to their own Twitter accounts; New Search Features, so you can now search by City or Neighborhood, State, Country, Keyword and Minimum and Maximum Price; and the ability to Add Listings in Bulk, a custom service.

    I hope you will take a look at the site and consider mentioning it on your blog!

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