I started tweeting years ago during a provincial election as a way of staying current with politics, and quickly realized the potential it had for business. Over time, I learned some effective ways to use twitter as a way to build my business, as well as a few ineffective ways to use it. Here are three simple things to help you make the most out of Twitter:
1-Expand your network
Twitter makes it easy to connect with locals. Search for tweets about local events. Twitter users often utilize hashtags to identify content that is relevant to a specific area, so they can follow people who use those hashtags. Some Edmonton examples are, #yeg (general events or information about the city), #yegtraffic (timely traffic updates from commuters), #yegcc (information about Edmonton’s City Council and municipal politics). So, whenever you see a tweet with a hashtag in it, click on the hashtag to see who else is using it, then follow some of those users.
In addition to locals, I suggest following REALTORS® from other markets to enhance your referral network. Royal LePage events even has their own hashtag, which makes it very easy to find great people to follow. Search #RLPNSC (Royal LePage National Sales Conference) to see who attended the last one.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to follow back. It feels good when someone follows you back and shows that you’re interested in what they have to say. Look at their last few tweets to see if there’s anything you can reply to. That way, you’re engaging with them right away and they know that you’re not just another bot (trust me, there are lots of Twitter bots out there).
2-Stop trying to sell
This one is counter-intuitive. Forget everything you were told about marketing. The best way to get ignored on Twitter is to use the megaphone approach. Things that make you look like a newspaper ad or billboard do not work in this setting. If all you do is tell people to check out your newest listing or come to your open house, you will have a hard time building a network because nobody cares about that stuff. Rather, consider what you can do to add to the conversation. Think of Twitter as an online water cooler. Chat about things you do, restaurants, local businesses and events, etc. Even if nobody comments on each and every tweet you post, you are still being heard. In a sense, Twitter is like a reality show, and your’e the star. You also happen to be the producer, writer, editor, etc.
“Why did the chicken cross the road?” “To get to the other pride!”
Adding photos to your tweets will make them much more interesting and engaging, and they don’t have to be professional shots. Sometimes, when I’m showing a high rise condo to a buyer, I’ll take a photo of the view and challenge my followers to identify the building I’m in. It’s a simple way to engage people and remind them that I sell properties without hitting them over the head with a message such as “call now for the best service!” or equivalent meaningless call to action. Over time, you will earn the trust of your followers and they will start to contact you when they or their friends want to buy and sell.
I’ve heard a lot of people say to me, “nobody cares what I ate for breakfast!” I have 2 things to say about this: One, you’d be surprised how many people find food shots interesting; two, if you don’t want to post photos of your food, don’t! Find something else that interests you and share it! Be patient with yourself, because it takes time to find your groove and get used to doing something new. I do promise that once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it very rewarding.
Jerry Aulenbach is an Edmonton REALTOR with a particular penchant for social media. He has been an active Twitter user since 2008 which has helped him make many new friends and clients. He and his wife Kelly-Dawn have 5 children (each of whom have their own Twitter accounts). Having grown up in Nova Scotia, Jerry also has a fondness for the East Coast. Jerry is experienced in military relocations, residential, condominium, and acreage sales. Jerry loves to travel and to network with other REALTORS. He also loves food and eating out at great restaurants wherever he goes.