Twitter is jibberish
In a recent comment, a reader said “I still don’t see the importance of using Twitter for Realtors.” People chimed in about why but the reader said, “I still don’t see it… It make no sense to throw out one liners. When I try read stuff on Twitter, it seems very hard to follow any conversation. Just jibberish… Does anyone else find it hard to follow? It makes more sense to blog on your Facebook page because its much easier to follow.”
This reader is not alone. They know that Twitter is useful for some people but it seems like jibberish because they have no organization system set in place yet, so here is how to use Twitter in an efficient way and to make it worth an agent’s time (and less like jibberish):
1. Learn the basics
Learn the basics before you jump in; here’s a video with some links as to how to get started on Twitter.
2. Sign up
Sign up for a Twitter account with a screen name that describes you (your name) or what you do and make it memorable and concise. Silly is permissible in this culture, just be sure you like what you’re going with because people will call you by your Twitter name rather than your real name (unless they’re the same).
Keep your bio interesting, approachable and relevant. “Realtor specializing in the White Rock Lake area in Dallas, father, dog owner, runner, SPCA volunteer” is much better then “Buy a house from me, I wear a lot of cologne and drive a Porsche.” Use a modified wallpaper so you’re not using the default (here is how) and use a picture of yourself that is not airbrushed or old- people need to recognize you when they meet you in person (oh and a salesy pic of you holding a cell phone is against the laid back culture of Twitter, just use an informal pic of yourself).
3. Get organized
Upload a desktop application (I personally like TweetDeck but here is a list of all of them). This will allow you to visually organize all of the data you will eventually be reading through. It can be overwhelming but by using a desktop application, you will be able to legitimately filter through to get only what you need (more on this soon).
4. Network locally
Start locally. Right now, go pick one of the ways to network locally; I like TwitterLocal even though you have to download another application to your desktop. When you open it, click on the usernames of the last 10 people that Twittered in your city and see if they look like a quality connection (teens can be excluded as can people who clearly don’t interact meaning no “@” symbols in their tweets, etc). Start following people in this way.
5. Solidify the connection
When someone follows you back, direct message them but avoid being salesy- they already know what you do, they probably read your bio before following you. Tell them you’re glad to connect and if their last tweet is about beer or something, connect over that common ground by saying something in your direct message. So for example, “thanks for following me back, I saw your tweet about beer, have you tried local brewery Live Oak yet? so good!” Keep it loose like happy hour.
6. Get more specific
Now you’ve followed a few people and within a day or two you’ll see people following you back. You have a desktop application so you can visually see what is coming in and going out of your twitter sphere. You’re finding people locally so you’re not spending too much time on inapplicable connections. Now you need to start targeting your efforts outside of your location to apply to what you’re doing.
Let’s say you’re using TweetDeck- up top, click the magnifying glass button for a twitter search. If you’re in Dallas, search in quotes “moving to Dallas” and it will set up a column for you that constantly searches that phrase, showing the newest up top in a column that stays there until you X out of it. If someone states they are moving to your city and need help, reach out without spamming them. “Hey @mover, I’ve lived in Dallas for 27 years & sell real estate, I’m happy to help or at least show you where the best fajitas are!” Sometimes they’ll ignore you, other times they won’t.
You can set up your TweetDeck to have columns dedicated to groups, so you can have a column for Dallas people, a column for coworkers or peers or other Realtors, a column for active and past clients, and whatever else. All you do is click the button up top with two people (it forms a group), name it, and select who you want to be in the list from everyone you follow. When you follow people, you are not obligated to read every single thing they say, so setting up groups helps you filter who and what you’re really listening for.
7. Be a community organizer
As a Realtor, your business is local and while you seek out new business on networks like Twitter, you rely on referrals from your new network. Organize a Tweetup! This is so much easier than you might think. Determine a hot happy hour spot, go to TwtVite to create an invitation with a link to the Tweetup and start inviting locals in direct message to come. Here is an example of a Tweetup Benn & I put together a few days ago simply to have a happy hour. Responses aren’t usually this large, but as you get to know more people in your city this number will grow. All we did was say to ourselves, “I wanna have a happy hour, Gingerman is a cool place, let’s go” and within 48 hours had over 70 responses. There is nothing more powerful than the offline connection, this is an easy way to make that happen.
WHY? 93% of social media users expect you to be there
So you now know how to connect locally, organize your time on twitter by streamlining it with searches and groups and how to take these online relationships offline. With 93% of all social media users expecting companies to have a social media presence (see point #2 here), I would speculate that the number of Twitter users specifically expect the same (if not at a higher percentage).
If you want more on how to use Twitter in your real estate practice, simply use the Agent Genius search feature at the top right and search for “Twitter” which will give you hours upon hours of reading if you so choose! Good luck and let us know what questions you have, everyone here loves to help!
Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t
(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.
Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.
Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.
We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).
Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.
Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.
We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.
Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.
The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.
Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)
One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.
- Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
- Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
- Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
- Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
- Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
- Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.
At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.
WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?
(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.
WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.
“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.
WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.
The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”
This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.
Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”
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