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TWITTER


So you are on twitter, what next?

It’s funny how things work sometimes…. Ashton Kutcher and Oprah get Twitter accounts and the world turns upside down while the masses stampede to be part of the action (or at least fake it and make believe they are).

Then I read this:

Most Twitter Users Bored After a Month

DUH!!  They expect it to be some magical formula for instant success – Heck……if mainstream media and broadcast giants are doing it, and even celebs like Shaq and Britney Spears are tweeting, then it HAS to be good!

Some of us have been on Twitter for over 2 years and are sitting back laughing at the perceived notion from the masses and the most common question is:

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“what do I do?”

DOs

  • add to the conversation, you can interrupt and make intelligent contributions
  • “@” people to let them know you are listening
  • reply – it’s the way people know you are there, alive and human
  • engage and be yourself
  • retweet
  • share (interesting articles, links, photos)

DON’Ts

  • don’t just tweet away without engaging others (you can join conversations and “@” people to acknowledge you are a live human being that is trying to make a connection)
  • don’t just post links as if you were a resource guide without ever trying to talk to people
  • retweet away, but make sure you look at what you are retweeting
  • don’t just send automated responses to everyone that follows (a lot will unfollow you, especially the veteran users)
  • if you ask for a favor, pay it back!
  • don’t just follow people for the hell of it (do you have something in common, can you benefit each other?) – think Quality before Quantity!
  • don’t just broadcast – you will have a quick death (you are not Oprah or NBC)

TIPS

You don’t have to be in front of the computer to Tweet – there are so many applications for your iPhones and crackberries (tweetie for iPhone, twitterlator, twitterberry…..).  You don’t have to use their web app either (twirl, tweetdeck, tweetie for mac, etc)  – and you don’t have to sit there 24-7 servicing your tweets.  But you do have to be consistent (as with everything related to social media, serious business and responsibility).  Don’t create an account and visit it once a week expecting magic to occur.
**WARNING** if you are not a celebrity don’t just tweet away thinking people are listening, there is a huge chance that you will be talking to yourself -especially if you have used automated systems to get thousands of followers.  If you don’t get any replies, then there’s a good chance no one is listening!

Early adopters HATE automated “thank for following” DM’s (Direct messages) and will unfollow you.  They also hate – “thanks for following… take a look at my site and tell me what you think”.

The concept of social media is people wanting to do business with people and not businesses and they expect to hear a voice behind the company – if you are a robot and are not real, you may as well skip twitter,  may as well stick with traditional media where businesses talk at the consumer, not with them.  Don’t know how many times you have heard this, but please ENGAGE!!!  (and expect to hear this again and again when it comes to new media)…..and for the record, I’m @ines …..just sayin’

Some Interesting articles:

Death of Twitter – Coach Deb
YEO – Why Twitter Follower Counts Mean Nothing

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Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Jason Sandquist

    May 4, 2009 at 9:25 am

    funny how so many agents follow you at the beginning and only to never here a tweet from them again, before I give a follow back I make sure they are active in conversation and if not, not to sound mean but good luck on a follow back.

    two months later I use one of those fancy 3rd party apps to clean out the ‘bored’ ones.

    it’s not for everyone.

    @JasonSandquist

  2. Mack

    May 4, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Ines~Thanks for sharing your insight into the wonderful world of Twitter with those of us that are not as well versed! I continue to learn from you, TBoard, ResPres and so many others.

  3. Benn Rosales

    May 4, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I’ve quit Twitter a million times as it really boiled down to discipline and time management in the early days so I tend to allow folks to remain and try to reach out to vanished folks as much as possible, especially if they’re local- it’s what friends do, right?

    Ines, your encouraging folks is solid, thanks for remembering the noobs.

    Benn
    @bennrosales
    @agentgenius

  4. Jason Sandquist

    May 4, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I never really understood it as well when I first started and according to when did you join twitter, I joined back in August of 07. It wasn’t until last year at this time where it really grasped and started to fully understand it I guess. I was off and on during that time period.

  5. Benn Rosales

    May 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    @jasonsandquist I think that’s why the ‘they quit’ polling is flawed, the next study needs to be ‘did they come back’ that would be hella interesting

    (I dropped @ines a vote on this one, thought it was great- h/t)

  6. Karen Goodman

    May 4, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I kept reading about Twitter in the RE blogosphere and was part of the crowd that thought it seemed like a waste of time. Finally, I decided to check it out. I signed up, sent one tweet, got overwhelmed, and didn’t go back. A month later I went to St. Louis’ first BarCamp. It was a small group of about 20 people which was great for someone like me who was overwhelmed by it all.

    I met Todd Jordan/@tojosan and he took charge. He got me set up on Tweetdeck, showed me how to use it, and then encouraged his followers to follow me. I immediately started getting followers, and Todd talked me through all of the newbie issues. Less than 5 months later, I’ve got over 500 followers and when I show up at a Tweetup everyone there seems to know who I am.

    I think your tips are perfect. I’ll just add that if someone helped you get started, then you should pay it forward and help out newbie tweeters by giving them tips and promoting them online.

    So…if anyone wants to say hello to @tojosan…he’s a great guy and I owe him big!

    @karenstl

  7. Erion Shehaj

    May 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    You mean… just having an account on Twitter without any effort from me whatsoever won’t do it? Useless tool 🙂

  8. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    May 4, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Jason – I do the exact same thing – I look at their tweets and see if they are holding a conversation before I decide to follow back (especially lately when everyone and their mother is getting a Twitter)

    I also think it’s important to understand that twitter has developed and changed according to the needs of the users. I don’t think the developers every thought it would be used like it is today. That’s what defines a good platform, IMHO, one that is amorphous and is willing to adapt to its users

    Mack – and please know that we are available if you need our help, it’s part of what makes this medium so incredible.

    Benn – we all have our own ways to be “social” and twitter is in a world of its own – especially when individual tweets can be taken out of context if a conversation is not seen as a whole (that is my favorite part – the out of context tweets create conversations of their own) 😀

    I totally agree that the “did they come back” study is in order – I can remember the first 2 months of my tweets back in March 07 and not coming back for a few months because I found it useless – now it’s a crucial way of communication for me….whether I’m joking, dm’ing, or having serious discussions.

    Karen – @tojosan ROCKS! I think you have a point here, maybe there should be some kind of “walk-through” or “orientation” for new Tweeps.

    Erion – absolutely useless 😉

  9. Todd Jordan

    May 4, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks so much for the mention Karen.

    I wish someone had taken my me along the first days. It was months later before I really got into it full swing. Folks that helped me were @susanreynolds and @conniereece. They were social media and blogging queens.

    It helps to have good stuff to share, and by share I mean engage folks in conversation over. It can be anything. There are audiences for every topic, and always someone to share on them.

    Through Twitter folks, I discovered our local Burners community. I also uncovered a huge knitting community in our area.

    It’s what you make of it for sure. I’m an oldie that hates autoDMs, broadcasters, and those that never @ anyone.

    I’ve written several posts on my blog. But this one is a great start for anyone new to Twitter.

    Good stuff.
    Tojosan

  10. Jason Sandquist

    May 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    @Benn along with ‘did they come back’ report, would also be nice to see what amount of people left facebook, myspace, linkedin or any other socmed site for that matter.

    also what is cool for noobs is the amount of information out there one can gather for beginning on twitter. I don’t think any of this stuff was around when I started, which would have helped me out a great deal. AG is a perfect place to start for people interested in twitter to gather a great deal.

    hmm, I didn’t notice the ratings. nice new feature

  11. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    May 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Todd (@tojosan) – it all boils down to being authentic and not being afraid to show your real self (unless of course you are boring……and even then…..there will be an audience for that) – thanks for sharing and welcoming people.

    Jason, wouldn’t it be nice to have a feature to “tar and feather” those that are using SM incorrectly? instead of unfollowing, you would flag their profile – LOL

  12. Matthew Rathbun

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Ines,

    I had an early account on Twitter before the one that I currently used. I avoided any relevance to my actual name and goofed around with it for awhile. The first group of the first account were knuckle-heads.

    Then I re-engaged with a more personal attempt and to this day my favorite followers are those, like you, who were the first 40 or so. I’ve said it before, I was happiest on twitter before we all had 1000+ followers. You’re list is great, but if you are a knuckle-head IRL, you’re one on Twitter too.

    I have mixed feelings. I think many of us genuinely like people and “studying” people, for those; these guidelines a good reminders. For those who NEED these guidelines, they won’t heed to them and they simply become noise in the background.

  13. Fred Romano

    May 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    twitter is just a waste of time for realtors… you wont get any business “tweeting” to anyone. Let’s get serious now.

  14. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    May 4, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Matthew – I have different groups I follow on Twitter – the architecture group, my Miami tweeps, my re.net friends and vaious – makes it easier to stay on top of the conversation. I think you are right, the ones that need the guidelines will never get to them

    Fred – I closed 3 deals this year from twitter, and not to mention the local recognition from social media users who now think of me as the “go to Realtor”

  15. Matthew Rathbun

    May 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Fred,

    I’m an educator and have gotten many teaching opportunities throught Twitter. I”m also a broker who has given many referrals to people on twitter. My wife, an agent, has gotten referrals and clients through Twitter.

    It’s rarely accurate to make such broad statements.

    I actually use Twitter, as does my wife to meet new people and share resources. The clients are a byproduct of the relationships.

  16. Barry Cunningham

    May 4, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    “I closed 3 deals this year from twitter”

    I am kind of from the Fred way of thinking. I noticed that you’ve made almost 21,000 updates on twitter. If each tweet only took 2 minutes that would mean you have spent nearly 700 hours on updates alone…never mind the reading of others tweets nor dealing with incoming or outgoing DM’s.

    So taking those into account you’d have to say your investment into twitter has easily been in excess of 1,000 hours.

    That is a crazy amount of time to be spending on 3 deals. I understand that it’s nice to speak to people and make friends acros the Country and go to tweet-ups (more time not counted but associated with twitter)…so in a simple ROI equation…how does Twitter make sound financial sense?

    I am working with a real estate agent dear to my heart in Fort Lauderdale who has obtained a contract per week based upon 1 blog post per week that takes 20 minutes.

    The Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Deal Of The Week is merely one post per week and EVERY week has resulted in a contract.

    So let’s look at that…4 weeks at 20 minutes per week. Or 80 minutes and 4 contracts…versus over 1,000 hours and 3 deals to show from it….does that make sense to anyone?

    I respect you Ines and have always held you in high regard…but if the numbers YOU state are true…then you have just given more reason not to be bothered with twitter then anyone ever could.

    1,000 hours+ for 3 deals…yikes! But hey, color me a Capitalist who seeks profit and return from all activities business related.

  17. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    May 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Barry: 20,000 tweets in 2 years – 3 deals this year (don’t know the amount of tweets this year alone). Funny thing is that I get enough ROI scrutiny from my husband (the accountant) who is on top of me like a hawk about the time I spend on SM and what that generates from us. Of course there are the intangibles, like meeting certain “key people” who will think of me when it comes to priceless opportunities.

  18. Barry Cunningham

    May 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Okay…20,000 tweets over two years…let’s break that down…still going to be over 500 hours to generate 3 deals…doesn’t make any more sense even spread over 2 years if that’s the fact.

    Say you like it, call it a hobby, but as a REAL beneficial business tool…not at all.

    Meeting key people may indeed turn out..in the future…but every single future minute spent means even more return must be made in the future.

    I see some of your tweets and yes they are conversation…much of it with other realtors..almost an adult chat room…nothing wrong with that whatsoever. I belong to a network of Madden Football players.

    It’s a ton of fun..I like it..spend countless hours playing…but NO WAY am I thinking about it as a business tool.

    Sorry…no ill intent here..but no way is it measurably worth it ..even using the numbers that YOU stated.

    So in closing understand that I do not denigrate ANYONE for using twitter. I use it, my wife uses it and I love the traffic it spins off…but I don’t think one can think of it as a ROI worthy tool.

  19. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    May 5, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Barry – I didn’t say how many transactions we did in the past, just this year – that’s how things get misinterpreted. I do agree that there’s a lot of time spent, not arguing that – but the advantages are there. I tweet a lot with locals and yes for fun with my RE.net friends. I also use it to communicate instead of txt messages or email. But we are seeing more and more business come as a result of tweeting (including tweets with people from other countries).

    Funny enough, I’ve also made connections with local media who have picked up miamism for interviews and reports – nice exposure if you ask me….and something i have not mentioned – awesome results for our fundraising efforts.

  20. Barry Cunningham

    May 5, 2009 at 6:36 am

    My wife gets media calls all the time. They come from the blog and via responses from press releases. If people contact you via twitter for media then yes I’d say that’s an intangible. As for fundraising…do you mean for charitable endeavors?

    Since we put twitter call to action on the wife’s site, we have seen a lot more foreign buyers but they all say they signed up to follow AFTER visiting the blog and “getting to know her”

    Like you, the wife loves twitter. Spends tons of time on it, is meeting tons of knew people…while I sigh and ask WTF!

    But like you, it’s her prerogative and she enjoys it. I just don’t call it a business tool. I know business comes from it…but it’s more of a by-product than anything else.

    I’d say 90% of the people she follows or follows her aren’t looking for a home in Fort Lauderdale.

    Last night she was on for something like 6 hours before she went to bed…and like most who tweet….little if any was about business.

    Let’s just call it fun and a time hog that may spin off business here or there…but Ines there is no way one can realistically say the time spent on twitter in relation to the direct return derived therefrom is financially feasible.

    Heck if I handed out my business card 20,000 times I am sure I’d get some business. My time is just better spent on tools that derive a more measurable return.

    In closing just one question…do you believe that the hundreds of hours you spend on twitter, if applied to other means of marketing would bring you a higher return?

    If you answer honestly, then you know twitter NOT to be a great business tool. If you don’t then you are not placing enough value on your time.

  21. ines

    May 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Barry – if I was just sitting in front of my computer tweeting then I’d say you are completely right. I’m on my computer working and being productive and a little bird or txt message comes telling me someone “@’d” me and I decide if it’s worth the 30 seconds or not to respond or come back later.

    I wish life was as black and white as you put it and I am so happy my husband and I balance each other out as it’s obvious about you and your wife. I think most people give up on social media because they feel there is not return – and the answer is that it’s not for everyone. Imagine all those video bday wishes I do on Facebook, can I spend my time in something more productive? The answer is a definitely yes, but I choose not to, because I am creating a public perception and fostering relationships that in the long run will be worth more than anything else I can do.

    Funny enough, people thought the same thing about blogging – after having an established blog for over 2 years and having a lot of content and juice, we get about 80% of our business from it and consider it our ‘hub’ for business – but I can tell you it was a lot of work when i started and was not seeing the light of day.

    So should you look at ROI as what your time today will accomplish in the future? The answer is ABSOLUTELY!! My gradeschool friends from Venezuela that I have reconnected through facebook have sent me business – I got a call today from Twitter from a gentleman who trusts me because I’m such a public figure and is connecting me with a European investor. It’s not about my blog anymore, everything is coming together and making sense.

    If twitter/facebook and the rest were interfering with my daily work and would prevent me from doing other “prospecting” work – then I would think about it. (maybe)

    It’s about planting the seed (I don’t think you and I would ever agree on this, but I do see me getting along with your wife) 😀 ….and no, it doesn’t hurt that I have fun while doing it.

  22. Benn Rosales

    May 5, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    If just 1 hour a day, 10,500 tweets (by the math here, I simply cut the annual #tweets in half)/ 365 days per year averages to 28.7 tweets x 2 =57.5 minutes per day brings you a volume increase 3 units at (a guess) $300k per unit that’s a volume increase of $900,000 per year on top of strategic real estate marketing that the agent is still using.

    Oh, but wait, Ines said the 3 sales were this year, so that’s a $900k volume increase this quarter at actually less than 60 mins per day- managed wisely, that’s not bad, with these numbers this could be $3.6 million volume increase per year.

    By managed wisely, I mean strategy…

  23. Barry Cunningham

    May 5, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Benn..what kind of math are you using..I think somebody spiked your coffee. We’ve already exhausted ove a third of 2009…much more than a quarter.

    Also..what’s with using the gross numbers. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with so many real estate agents..they use GROSS numbers like that means anything. What matters is dead presidents in the pocket..not gross.

    Using your numbers and assuming (I hate doing so)..but assuming one side of a 3% commission and using your sales price imputation you’d be talking a hypothetical amount of $9,000.00 per deal or $27,000.00.

    Hate to say it but that’s a heckuva a lot of time spent for $27,000.00 bucks! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad..but dude…that’s one short sale deal with about 10 hours to get there.

    Like I said..it’s good for some, but as a business tool, it doesn’t float my boat and working hundreds of hours for what amounts to $27k isn’t something I’d want to go back to doing. Been there, done that..have plenty of t-shirts to show for it.

    But Ines is right about something..she and my wife would probably hit it off. And she likes Mojito’s too!

    Like I said…I nes is one of the good ones and I applaud her and quietly seek to follow that which has made her successful sans smooching with other realtors on twitter. I’ll leave that for the wife.

    You know I have an image to keep up! Can’t go soft now.

  24. Benn Rosales

    May 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    So again, doing your numbers, 21k tweets over 730 days is 57.52 mins per day at 2 mins per tweet.

    We’re still in second quarter and she’s up $27,000 already.

    Why in the world would you evade your own point on how much time she spends on twitter, when she could be typing out the same 20 minute blog post that you reference, while sharing it on Twitter for those in her local market all at the same time, boosting her bottom line by another $27k as you put it.

    I’m agreeing with you man, I’m simply putting into perspective 21k tweets and the added role sm can play.

    I mean, it is okay if I converse on Ag, right? I Didn’t mean to upset you, it’s a conversation, man, not a dog fight.

  25. Matthew Rathbun

    May 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I am sorry… how many dead presidents did I get for commenting on this blog post?

  26. Fred Romano

    May 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    See I told you tweets are just stupid LOL … I love this blog really I do … but twitter + realtors don’t add up. Twitter is so hard to follow, just short spurts of nonsense all the time, no wonder why more people quit twitter every month than join it.

  27. ines

    May 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    No Mojitos for Fred 🙂

  28. Barry Cunningham

    May 5, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Too much time spent on this already…if y’all want to tweet away then fine..have at it..I was merely saying I respect Ines’ decision and it obviously works out for her the way she wants it to.

    For me, my time is worth WAY to much to spend that kind of time. What I am saying is that I can derive much more financial benefit in much shorter of a time. Besides. tweeting like that cuts into my Madden playing!

    I’ll tell my wife…who as I type this is tweeting right now..to follow Ines. She likes it…I’m going to go write an offer

    Benn..chill…not arguing. Like I said..I like Ines!

  29. ines

    May 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Barry – I’ve been in bed with an ugly cold and one of my local Tweeps brought me chicken soup to my house today – there is no ROI in this world that can top that! 😉 (Now I have to have mojitos with your better half)

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