Twitter 2.0

RMag_At_MidYear1By Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

The popularity of Twitter is undeniable. As the social media application celebrated it’s 5th anniversary in March, the company disclosed that a record one billion tweets are now sent out weekly.   And there is no shortage of real estate professionals using Twitter to sell property.  “I’ve connected and met people through Twitter that I’ve later closed deals for,” says Ginger Wilcox, head of training for Trulia.com.

It’s never too late to set up a handle and start engaging. Here’s what to do:

1. Read. Often users go to Twitter to broadcast messages, but Wilcox says it’s an excellent way to learn what is happening in your community.  She advises new Twitter users to not be as concerned with what they will Tweet, but rather focus on reading what established Tweeters are writing.

2. Follow. Wilcox believes that people become too concerned with how many people are following them.  “The best way to get people interested in you, is to get interested in them.”  She suggests finding key people in the industry and community and following them.  Also remember that relationships take time, even on Twitter.

3. Share.  When you are ready to start Tweeting, Wilcox suggests sharing links of important news items.  She engages her audience by asking questions, introducing others through application, and answering others’ questions.

4. Be human. Wilcox says that in order to have a successful Twitter stream, you need to be authentic. If she’s having a crappy day, she shares it. Being authentic doesn’t mean that you have to be completely transparent, and the reality is most Twitter followers don’t want to know about your every move.

5. Schedule. There are now several Twitter applications such as HootSuite and TweetDeck that allow you to schedule your tweets ahead of time.  In the morning, Wilcox schedules messages with links from important news stories she’s read so she doesn’t overload her followers.  If you want to figure out when your audience is most responsive to your tweets, try Timely.is, which will calculate when your audience is most responsive to your tweets.

6. Set an alarm. If you can’t be on Twitter all day, which is probably most of us, you can use TweetAlarm, which will send you an e-mail if your name or business is mentioned in a tweet.

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