Over the past four weeks we’ve talked about why you need a Facebook, but we are going to change directions a bit this week.
Today we are going to talk about what you need to know to begin effectively using Twitter as a real estate agent.
There are two reasons.
First – Not every one of your clients, or your potential prospects, use the same social media platforms. Some may love Facebook, while some may hate it. It is important to be one more than one platform, that way you ca connect with clients, or potential clients, on the network that they prefer.
Does this mean that you need to be on every social network?
In fact, I would recommend that you NOT be on every social network.
I would recommend that you try to think like your current and potential clients, your target market, and ask yourself which platforms best connect with them.
Those platforms, and only those platforms, are the ones that you want to focus on.
For many real estate agents being active on one to three social media networks is more than enough.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a profile on other networks, but you should only focus your marketing time, energy, and money on the networks that you determine can connect with your potential clients.
I would recommend that every real estate agent has Facebook as part of their marketing plan, which is why I focused on it first. But you also need to be on at least one or two of the other social networks as well.
Second – Twitter is my favorite platform. Which means that after talking about Facebook, Twitter is the next most exciting platform for me to teach on.
Let’s Take A Look At Twitter
Twitter has some similarities with Facebook, but there are still many differences on Twitter that you need to be aware of.
Lets begin with the basics.
- Tweet: A post on Twitter is called a tweet. It can have a maximum of 140 characters.
- Profile Types: There is not a difference between a personal profile and a business profile on Twitter like there is on Facebook.
- Number of Profiles: You can have numerous profiles if you would like. Some people like to use one profile for personal content, and one profile for business content, but it is up to you.
- Being Followed & Following: People that want to see your tweets can “follow” you. Followers can follow you without you following them back. Likewise, you can follow people without them following you back.
- Username: Your username always begins with the @ symbol. It shows up at the top of your profile under your profile picture. It must be unique.
There are only a handful of image sizes you need to be aware of on Twitter.
Currently the only three that you need to know are: profile picture, header photo, and the in-stream photo.
Your profile picture must be a 1:1 ratio, with the recommended size being 400 x 400 pixels. If you want to use a larger image you can, Twitter can scale the image down to fit.
You Twitter header photo is a lot like your Facebook cover photo. It must be a minimum of 1,500 x 500 pixels. If you want to make it larger you can, just be sure to maintain the 3:1 aspect ratio.
Any image that you share on Twitter will show up in your stream, or timeline. These images currently appear as a 2:1 aspect ratio, specifically 440 x 220 pixels on the web version of Twitter. Recent changes are making this image ratio less important as the Twitter app is being to show images in any proportion.
What are the Different Post Types on Twitter
There are just three basic post types on Twitter.
Type #1: Text Posts
A text post is the most basic, and the original, type of tweet. It can be up to 140 characters long and would contain all text.
Do you have a favorite social media platfrom? Your potential clients may… are you active on it?
— Real Estate Platform (@theREplatform) September 2, 2015
It may also contain a link. If a post contains a link that has a Twitter card activated, it will show up looking like this.
Type #2: Image Posts
Just like with Facebook, Twitter supports image posts. An image post is exactly what it sounds like, a post containing an image. Just like with Facebook, a Twitter image post can also include text – up to 140 characters – and a link. Due to the nature of the timeline on Twitter, image posts stand out even more than they do on Facebook. Here is an example of an image post.
Type #3: Video Posts
Twitter has added the ability to post native video. This can only be done from the mobile app currently.
Just like with image post you can also include text and a link – up to 140 characters.
A video post will show up looking a lot like an image post, however the video will autoplay as you pass by it on your timeline.
Starting today, you can pin a Tweet to your profile from iOS and Android. Go ahead, make a statement. ? pic.twitter.com/iK31aIsK6U
— Twitter (@twitter) August 27, 2015
How to Us Twitter as a Real Estate Agent
Twitter is very basic. You have a limited number of options of ways to interact on the platform:
- Post your own tweet
- Tweet at another Twitter user
- Retweet someone else’s tweet
- Send one of your followers a direct message
Post Your Own Tweet
When you post your own tweet you can use any one of the three post types mentioned above.
As I mentioned before the only limitations are that it is under 140 characters total.
The character count is for all text in the post, including links and hashtags. While hashtags are a great resource on Twitter, using more than two in a tweet can use up too much space. Try to find the most relevant hashtags for your tweet if you are going to sue them.
Since links count in the total character count of your tweet, using a link shortening tool like bit.ly comes in very handy. There are others out there, however I personally use and love bit.ly. Not only does it shorten your links, it also gives you analytics about the links you shorten, which can be extremely useful.
Posting your own tweet will be the most common way that you use Twitter,
Ways to use this post type:
- Ask questions
- Post quotes
- Give tips (home buying & selling, local community, etc.)’
- Share content from your blog
- Share a saved home search
- Share relevant content from others that you believe will interest your audience
Tweet at another Twitter user
This is the first of two options for connecting directly with another Twitter user.
This is one of the things that really sets Twitter apart from other networks.
On Facebook if I want to connect with someone I am not currently friends with, I must first become friends with them before I am allowed to post on their wall. An exception to this would be pages that allow the public to post.
On Twitter, I can send a tweet to anyone in the world. By beginning my tweet with @username (replace this with the correct username for the person you want to contact) I will be able to connect with anyone in the world. On Twitter this is called a mention.
When you mention someone on Twitter, it only shows up to them, you, and anyone who follows both of you.
This tweet can also be seen on your Twitter timeline.
When someone mentions you on Twitter, it will show up on their timeline, but not on yours. You will be able to see the mention in the mentions section, which can be found by clicking on the “notifications” tab located on the menu at the top of the page.
Ways to use this post type:
- Connect with other agents or other real estate professionals (inspectors, lenders, etc.)
- Connect with local businesses
- Connect with people who interact with your content
Retweet Someone Else’s Tweet
Retweeting is Twitters form of sharing. It allows you to share someone else’s tweet to your timeline and followers.
There are currently 2 ways to sharing something someone else has posted.
First – You can retweet it, which will place that tweet on your timeline and show how originally tweeted it.
Second – You can quote a tweet which will put it on your timeline and show the original tweet, but also show the text that you have added as your quote.
Retweeting others can be a great way to connect with them since they are notified that you have shared their content.
Ways to use this post type:
- Share something that local home owners may find interesting
- Partnering with another business to share their content
Send One of Your Followers a Direct Message
The second option for connecting with another Twitter user is to send them a direct message.
This is the equivalent of an email or a instant message contained within Twitter.
There are a couple of things that make a direct message different than a tweet:
- Only you and the other user can see the message. It shows up in the messages section of your account, and it is private.
- You are not limited to the 140 character limit that tweets are limited to. There is no limit on direct messages.
- You can only send a direct message to someone who follows you.
Ways to use this post type:
- Talk one on one with a potential client who has followed you
- Get feedback from a follower
So there you have it.
Those are all the basics that you need to know to begin using Twitter as a real estate agent.
Next week I will go more in depth into Twitter and show you some ways to grow your following, and use Twitter advertising to drive traffic to your website from Twitter.