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Do You Need a Twitter Makeover?

March 28 2012

Okay, I’m the first person to admit that I neglect my Twitter account. I’m far from a glowing example of the “right” way to Tweet. So, when I spot articles and research about effective Twitter practices, I sit up and pay attention. A recent article on HubSpotarticle on HubSpot particularly caught my eye and made me realize that I need to seriously rethink the way I Tweet. I’m going to share some of their do’s and don’ts.

Don’ts:
I’m calling these “dont's” for the sake of convenience. In fact, most social media superstars do ALL of the things I’m about to mention – the difference is that they do them sparingly. So I guess what I’m saying is that the truth is closer to: proceed with caution. In other words, a little of these is fine, but you need to be very aware of not doing too much.

  • Personal conversations. A little back-and-forth between you and your followers is just dandy - IN MODERATION. The key is to avoid overkill. If all of your Tweets are conversational, other followers are going to begin to feel left out and frustrated that conversations irrelevant to them are clogging their Twitter streams. No one wants to read a series of 20 Tweets setting up a lunch meeting. Consider sending a direct message instead or – even better – pick up the phone!
  • Whiny mood updates. Tweeting about having an icky day or feeling frustrated about work or family provides precisely ZERO value to your followers. It’s okay to have a bad day, but think before you Tweet. Consider writing in a journal or venting to a good friend over a glass of wine. Now, if you’re feeling fantastic because you just sold a property AND won a new listing, feel free to shout it to the world. We could all use more positivity.
  • Check-ins. Once again, checking in somewhere isn’t always a no-no. For instance, it may be a good idea to Tweet about your location when you’re: at a conference related to real estate, at one of your listings, at a community hotspot that will highlight you as a “neighborhood expert.” On the other hand, your followers get tired of seeing EVERY TIME you go to the gym or indulge in some chicken nuggets at McDonald's.

Do’s:

Already doing these things? Consider doing them more often. However, moderation is still key and “variety is the spice of life” so mix up the content and messaging of your Tweets.

  • Links to other helpful/relevant content. There’s soooo much stuff on the Internet these days, it’s impossible to keep up. We could spend half our day online, reading industry blogs/news sites/etc. and still only get to see a fraction of the content related to real estate. That’s why I rely on my Facebook and Twitter connections to share the articles I don’t see. Your followers will thank you if you can point them in the direction of other helpful resources they may not have spotted. Here’s an example from Ricardo Bueno (I can always count on him to share actionable, highly relevant real estate technology content):twitter bueno
  • Statistics, infographics, and research. This is along similar lines as my point above, but I wanted to mention statistics, infographics, and research specifically. Being able to provide a short snippet of interesting data, while also linking to the research behind it, can provide a lot of value to your followers. Our example comes to us from Victor Lund:twitter victor
  • Answer questions. This goes for questions directed at you and questions asked in general. Answering a question – if you actually know what you’re talking about – demonstrates that you are responsive and an expert in your field. I’m using an example from Nicole Nicolay for this one; she’s a social media powerhouse (well, powerhouse in general) and a great example for you to follow (on Facebook, as well):

    twitter nicolay

  • Promote events. Do you have an open house coming up? Is your brokerage hosting a party or sponsoring an event? Be sure to spread the word on Twitter. Twitter is also an excellent venue for sharing promotions or other special offers.

These are just a few tips I’ve run across recently. Of course, there are infinitely more out there. My main point is that Twitter requires a well thought-out strategy and that the most effective users will be those that are constantly aware of what they’re posting. Keep your tone upbeat, keep posting content that is useful for your followers, keep “moderation” as your goal, and you’ve gone a long way toward giving yourself a Twitter makeover.