Social media can be a confusing forest, a landmine of potential problems, or a marketplace for vendors and buyers to get together. Depending on how it’s used, a real estate business can increase their brand awareness and likability through proper use of social media, which can translate into direct sales of property and other transactions.
Intervision Media Group’s Brandon Patrick once again talks to the GREEN blog to offer his advice on social media, this time tackling the subject of Twitter. Patrick’s no stranger to the 140 character dialog, and how it should be used.
GREEN: In your own words, how would you define Twitter? What is it, and what are the differences between this platform and other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn? And who are the users?
Brandon Patrick: I have done lots of soul-searching on Twitter, and have found that although not the biggest network (approximately 67 million), it has a brand following. It is literally a household name: 87% of people in the US know about it, but only 7% actually have a Twitter account. Twitter is very similar to text messaging. It has a huge following in the African American population, with over 25% of African Americans using Twitter. It has been theorized by marketers because the African American population uses mobile web rates at double the rate of non-Hispanic whites in the US. Twitter is awesome for branding, as 42% of users discover brands and engage with companies. Twitter is a huge source for breaking news feeds. You have to really stay on top of Twitter or you get left behind, as stories go fast!
GREEN: What can Twitter do for real estate businesses?
Brandon: Twitter can be huge for real estate, especially now that the company has formed their app Periscope, and attached it to the Twitter platform. You can literally show your Open Houses live, just as on Facebook Live. Periscope also utilizes hearts just like Facebook to show when people like posts. Twitter can also be used for new listings, with hashtags to certain desired areas people are looking for.
GREEN: Twitter limits its characters to posts of 140 words. What are the limitations of the 140 character “tweets?” And how can using Twitter’s limitations benefit the real estate professional?
Brandon: The limitation is actually how the platform was designed…to move fast! You can set up groups inside Twitter for folks looking for certain properties thru messenger. Twitter has recently come out with the category of “Moments”, so there is continuing R&D.
GREEN: How does one sell something via Twitter, particularly something like real estate?
Brandon: EASY! Use the Periscope app to post a live open house, then blast out to Twitter! You can even take the Periscope video and post to Facebook. If you have a listing, you can post a link to its webpage (i.e., your Twitter account page). Twitter does a really good job with links.
GREEN: How does one properly use a hashtag on Twitter? And should hashtags – such as #realestate – be included on everything you do? When is someone over-using hashtags in your estimation?
Brandon: I would never use just #RealEstate or #SingleLevelHome. You need to be specific. I would use #NashvilleHomes or #NashvilleCondos or #NashvilleTnHomes. Incidentally, I just checked, and these hashtags are trending well at the moment! Make your hashtag as to the point as possible. Don’t make a long one that folks would never think of checking.
GREEN: When should someone include images with their tweet? Is that something that should be done as frequently as with Facebook?
Brandon: It is proven that pictures greatly increase engagement. If you have a home you are selling, DEFINITELY include a picture. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
GREEN: Do businesses use Twitter messages to connect with consumers, and sell their property, and other real estate products and services? If so, how is this done?
Brandon: Twitter is actually used for product promotion better than Facebook. Where Facebook is more people to people, Twitter is geared to and about people to companies. Many companies even use Twitter for customer service. They can monitor hashtags and key words, which allows them to respond to dissatisfied customers.
GREEN: How many tweets should one make a week? Is it a daily commitment? And how should tweets be different from Facebook posts. Or should they…?
Brandon: Tweets are just a different form of communication. Some folks like Facebook. Some like Twitter. Some like communication with Pinterest. You get the picture. People like being communicated with differently. Twitter is just a platform to push your message! It is actually addictive once you start using it. Get in there today and make a Periscope live video for Twitter. You will be surprised, because the video isn’t pushed just to your Followers. It goes all around the world!
GREEN: To what Twitter trends should people be paying attention currently? Are Twitter groups, #FollowFridays, or other strategies worth noting?
Brandon: I would be looking for local trends. Hashtag your city, or put in keywords pertaining to real estate in your city. You will be amazed at sub groups going on you never thought about!
GREEN: What else can you share regarding Twitter?
Brandon: The biggest thing I can share about Twitter is just to get in and do it. Throw a few tweets out there. Do a Twitter Periscope. Start following people that have interests you like, or even people in your town. You will find little things you never thought about that give you knowledge. Look for what is currently trending. You can even customize conversations going on in Twitter by customizing Trends! As they say: Just Do It!