Understanding Twitter: The Basics for Realtors

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm

by Carla from Chocolatemoosey.com

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform, or micro-blog, that allows you 140 characters or less for your messages. People can follow along and reply. Of course with every social media system, there is terminology you need to know.

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General Twitter Terminology

  • Tweets: status updates that are 140 characters or less
  • Username: your account name with the @ symbol in front
  • Followers: The people that read your tweets
  • Following: The people whose tweets you are reading
  • Timeline: Home page where your read tweets from those you are following
  • Retweet (RT): Sharing someone else’s tweet
  • Direct Message (DM): a private message sent on Twitter. In order to send/reply to a message, that person must be following you.
  • Hashtag: a keyword or topic marked with # To see the entire Twitter glossary, click here. I’m sorry but I simply cannot cover everything.

twitter-basics-pic-3Tweets, Followers, Following, and Timeline

When you type a sentence or two into a new status, that is called a tweet. If you visit someone’s profile, you’ll see two types of tweets:

  • General Tweets that is public and seen by every one
  • Direct Tweets (replies) that are messages to another user.

Direct tweets will start out with a Twitter username, then the message. For Example, if you want to message LAH on twitter you would put the @lahrealestate the follow up with your message. (@lahrealestate your company is awesome #realestate)

Your followers don’t typically see your direct tweets in their timeline unless they are following both you and the person/business you are tweeting. However, if they visit your profile, they can see these tweets in addition to your general ones.

When a tweet contains your username, it is referred to as a mention. Mentions can be a direct reply or can be a general message (such as someone sharing your link). The difference between your mention and interaction page is interaction lists all ways people have interacted with you, such as new followers, favoriting a tweet, or retweets. Mentions are simply tweets that mention your username.

Hashtags

twitter-basics-pic-4One thing you’ll notice on Twitter is # followed by a word (#RealEstate, #Listings, #JustinBieber). These are called hashtags, which are keywords or phrases that categorizes tweets.

When you click on the hashtag word, you will see a list of tweets containing the same keyword. Hashtags are also used in tweet chats. A tweet chat is when a group of people get together on Twitter at a certain time and talk about a certain topic. For example, every Sunday night at 7 pm, a group of us gather to talk about #SundaySupper. If you go to Tweet Cha and typed in the designated hashtag (in this case #SundaySupper), you can follow along with the tweets. Usually the chat host will ask a question and everyone tweets back with an answer. It’s a great way to tweet with those who share the same interest.

When a hashtag becomes very popular, it will show up in the trending list as a trending topic. This means a whole bunch of users at that moment are using that hashtag.

Twitter Tips for Realtors

1) Provide home buying and selling tips
The key to effectively marketing on social media is to establish your credibility as an expert in your field. This encourages clients to choose you based on your vast knowledge of the industry and the recommendations you have received. Giving home buyers and sellers advice that they can use, builds your reputation and solidifies their trust in you.

2) Connect with people in your industry
Twitter is a great way to keep track of what the top producers in your industry are up to. You should definitely pay attention to the marketing strategies that they are implementing. Mention them in relevant tweets as well so that they know who you are.

3) Answer and ask questions
Twitter is also a great way to connect with potential clients by asking community related questions and responding to questions people are already asking. This shows that you are not just on Twitter to promote your business, but also to help those requiring your specific skill set. Search Twitter for questions being asked about real estate in your territory.

4) Use # hashtags and @ mentions
You can mention another Tweeter in your Tweet, and alert them of this mention by adding @ followed by their twitter handle in your tweet. Mentions (@) are a great way to get the attention of Tweeters you want to notice you. If they follow you the mention (@) will also appear on their public profile giving your Twitter account additional exposure. Make sure that you mention them in Tweets that are relevant to their account and industry. Hashtags (#) are a great way to connect with tweeters who are interested in the topic you have hashtagged. For example if you add the hashtag #newyorkcondos to your tweet, then anyone searching for New York Condos on Twitter will find your tweet.

5) Branding
Always remember that Twitter is just one element of your web marketing strategy. You need to make sure that your Twitter account connects to your website/blog/other social networks (which should act as the central hub for all your social media networks).