By Toby Welch
When looking to up your social media game, consider using Twitter to make an impact. There are 326 million people on Twitter and more than 500 million tweets are sent every day. That’s almost 6,000 tweets a second! The trick to getting leads on Twitter is to connect with others and offer value to them. Think interactive and conversational.
Providing value on Twitter is something Steve Saretsky knows well. A sales representative with Sutton West Coast Broadway Realty in Vancouver, Saretsky has more than 9,000 Twitter followers and 22,200 tweets.
“Ask yourself what people would find interesting. Put out interesting content with a specific and consistent focus that your audience would find relevant. Twitter should not be used with the mindset of ‘how do I generate business or sales’. Instead, you should have the mindset of ‘how can I bring someone value’ and by doing so, the business will naturally follow,” says Saretsky. “Think of Twitter as the water cooler of social media; it is designed to have relevant and engaging conversations with friends.”
Using Twitter correctly can result in an increase of traffic to your real estate website. To be effective, it is vital that you listen and be engaged. Getting on the platform and spouting only information about yourself and your listings isn’t going to take you very far.
Not only is it vital that you tweet regularly and re-tweet valuable posts, but consider hosting regular group chats and take polls. People love when you ask them questions. To get conversations going, @Tweet people. But don’t push them; tread slowly as if you were starting a conversation in person. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and inject humour into your tweeting. Real estate is ultimately a people business, so show your human side.
John Pasalis, president and broker of record with Realosophy Realty in Toronto, has more than 5,300 followers on Twitter. “I would say that the key thing is saying something that is interesting and relevant – regardless of if it is positive or negative – about the housing market. People want to follow someone whose views are honest and transparent. What you should not do is talk about why it’s always a great time to buy real estate and why you’re the No. 1 Realtor in the city.”
When on the site, it is to your advantage to post newsworthy items. Twitter did a study and found that 71 per cent of people who use Twitter read news on the site. Also, when posting things, use visuals whenever possible because that draws people in more than just words, leading to up to five times more engagement. Even better, use videos in some of your tweets. Twitter did a study on video tweets and found that those tweets attracted 10 times as much engagement as traditional word tweets.
What not to do on Twitter is as important as what to do. If you are going to join the Twitter universe, you need to interact regularly or else don’t waste your time. Don’t just post about yourself. No one wants to see an endless onslaught of listings and open houses.
Hashtags are valuable but don’t go overboard with them. Use two or three per tweet, tops. Avoid creating your own hashtags because they may not be picked up; stick with established ones. Until you have a handle on how Twitter works, consider using the 80/20 principle: make 80 per cent of your posts informative and the other 20 per cent about yourself and what you do.
Deborah Rhodes has almost 20,000 Twitter followers and 55,000 tweets. The sales representative with Royal LePage Peifer Realty in Chatham, Ont. explains her game plan: “Great content is key to being successful on Twitter. I have been sharing helpful blogs on Twitter for over four years. During that time, I have had the opportunity to develop a strong online network of local residents, businesses and Realtors from around the globe. This network has played a significant role in assisting me to build my followers, grow my reach and drive traffic to my website as well as other social platforms.”
None of us have unlimited hours in the day to be on social media, so follow some real estate greats to get the biggest impact for your Twitter time. Here are a few that real estate influencers recommend:
- REM Real Estate Magazine – This isn’t a shameless plug. @REM_Online has almost 29,000 followers and keeps Canadians in the know about all the goings-on across the country regarding real estate news and those in the industry.
- Chris Smith – This co-founder of Curaytor, a digital marketing and sales company, posts regular, entertaining and timely information for agents and his 38,000 followers at @chris_smth.
- Candace Taylor – This reporter for the real estate section of The Wall Street Journal posts information that you may find valuable. Join her nearly 8,000 followers at @CandaceETaylor.
Following real estate powerhouses that provide beneficial content will help grow your Twitter stratosphere.
Glen Tosh, a sales representative and partner with Royal LePage Martin Liberty Realty in Brandon, Man., who has nearly 1,300 Twitter followers, leaves us with some final thoughts: “Social media is becoming or has become a very important piece of real estate marketing. There are many different social media channels to get involved in but you have to work the channel that you enjoy being a part of. If you don’t enjoy using it, it will become a chore and you won’t provide relevant content to your followers. I also believe it can’t be all business all the time. You need to share what’s happening in your personal life as well as share other articles and pieces that you think your followers might enjoy.”
Facebook may be the go-to social media website for most agents and brokers but don’t discount the power of Twitter.