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Who should real estate agents follow on Twitter?

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I started out with the wrong strategy

When I first started using Twitter I searched for and followed real estate agents all over the country. Most of the list of people I followed were real estate professionals. A very common thing to do and also the total WRONG strategy!

Understand, many of these people have turned into real friends of mine and I wouldn’t un-follow them (well not MOST of them), but as a business strategy it had a HUGE hole in it.

I can’t sell real estate agents a house. Well, I could, but that seems highly unlikely, doesn’t it?

I caught my mistake pretty early on and realized that who I needed to find and connect with were people in my area who might want to buy or sell real estate and would be impressed by a tech savvy real estate agent using emerging social media.

How to find the people I needed to connect with

So now that I knew WHO I was looking for, I needed to figure out HOW to find them. There are several tools out there for searching Twitter, including Twitter’s homepage itself, but for me I have had the best success with four simple tools:

1- Twitter Local: this Adobe Air application runs tweets in real time based on the criteria you supply. I follow area codes and when someone new shows up in the stream I follow them and say hello. AG writer Lani Rosales wrote about several tools for finding locals on Twitter.

2- Local hashtag: in my area we all use the hashtag #westernma. I am sure that your area has at least one hashtag in population, but if it doesn’t then be a self starter and get one going! Follow everyone who tweets with that hashtag.

3- Tweetdeck search: A Twitter application is essential to your sanity if you are going to follow more than 100 people (which you should). There are many out there, but I am a Tweetdeck fan. AG writer Ginger Wilcox wrote a post about Tweetdeck and why she likes it, too. The ability to have columns open for specific search terms, like your town name, is revolutionary to your Twitter experience.

4- Twitter Lists: now I was a bit unsure about lists on Twitter’s home page when they first came out and to be totally honest I still haven’t made any lists. I do, however, follow several other people’s lists. Other people in my area have taken it upon themselves to create lists populated with local businesses and people. I follow these lists and add them as columns in Tweetdeck. I just adore it when I can reap the rewards of someone else’s work!

Following locals, now what?

Ok, so now you are following all these new people in your local area…that is great, but what is next? Well, you will hear this all over the place, but next is ENGAGEMENT.

Engagement is NOT stuffing the fact that you are a real estate agent down each person’s throat and it is NOT send an auto DM (or any DM for that matter) to people that you haven’t even said hello to.

Engagement IS sending them a tweet to say, “Hi, I started following you today and notice we live in the same town” or something equally friendly.

Talk as yourself, not as a real estate agent at least 80% of the time. Be yourself and use your real voice. The 20% of time spent on business tweets should be doled out carefully.

Most importantly, try to take Twitter Face to Face. I wrote about this in the new book “Age of Conversation 3” and in my section of the book I give the following advice:

“It is important to remember that clients and customers are screening you and to keep that front of mind when you are posting on twitter (or anywhere else for that matter). Everyone has a different idea of what their social media “voice” should be. For me, I try to be consistent in my personality online and offline. I love it when I meet people face to face and they tell me that they feel like they already know me from our twitter conversations.”

There are a lot of ways to meet your local twitter friends (tweeps) face to face. I will discuss those ideas in later posts.

This is like getting back to Networking 101 folks and it works. I have closed three sales this year based strictly on taking Twitter face to face. Good luck and happy tweeting!

CC Licensed image courtesy of jez via Flickr.com.

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Ed Kohler

    May 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Interesting post. I think a lot of different strategies can work. Local is a smart choice, but networking with people around the country can also be effective, since that’s a good way to earn referrals from agents sending people to your town.

    Following and being followed by members of your local media can also be effective since you may be in a position to earn more free press if you have something timely and interesting to say to reporters.

    • LesleyLambert

      May 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      Ed, my area isn’t a heavy referral area so I haven’t realized much business from other agents. I have, however made a ton of new friends & been blessed to have many of those new friends become clients!

  2. Tim McDonald

    May 16, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Lesley,
    As I read this, I thought you were talking about my experience as I began on Twitter! Couldn’t agree more with your suggestions. I would however add that being a self starter (especially in areas that may not have huge Twitter use) by creating hashtags is a way to make yourself stand out. I’m very interested to hear about the F2F methods, as I’m sure I can contribute quite a bit there. Again, be a self starter is a huge advantage!
    Ed,
    The media contacts are indeed a great resource, not only to follow and be followed, but to interact with in person.
    I have had a few recommendations from out of state REALTORS for referrals, but never a deal or even contact from the prospect. That being said, I am very glad to have established relationships with so many others from across the country that I’ve learned from (and still do).

  3. Ruthmarie Hicks

    May 16, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have way too many real estate agents from other parts of the country on Twitter and on Facebook. It makes it harder to follow and keep up with a more local crowd. Time to rethink what I am actually doing.

    • LesleyLambert

      May 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Ruthmarie,

      If you use Tweetdeck you can put the local people into a group that you follow more closely than other tweets….I highly recommend this strategy as it is impossible to follow every thing that every person has to tweet!

  4. Fred Romano

    May 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Twitter seems like a total loser for RE. Personally I use it to follow my favorite clebs, musicians, and web designers. I can hardly image any seller or buyer hooking up with an agent on it… Now Facebook is a whole other beast, and IMO seems more viable.

    • LesleyLambert

      May 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

      I have made some of my best local friendships and business connections on Twitter. Won’t work for everyone, especially if you don’t want it to work, but it will work for those willing to invest some F2F time to follow up on the “virtual” friendships. Give it a try, won’t cost you a thing! 🙂

  5. Joe

    May 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    “I can’t sell real estate agents a house. Well, I could, but that seems highly unlikely, doesn’t it?”

    I have made a lot of marketing mistakes, but fortunately I realized developing relationships with other real estate agents, while fun, does not put food on the table. I see this quite a bit on ActiveRain. Too many folks are climbing all over each other to get the other real estate agent’s attention, when it’s the Mom & Dad in your own neighborhood that needs your attention.

    With Twitter and Facebook we keep things fun and community focused. We rarely discuss real estate. Folks respect us for that.

    • LesleyLambert

      May 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      I very early on realized that with AR. I stopped writing agent to agent blog posts there and gave up concern of points and started directing my focus to the consumers.

  6. Susie Blackmon

    May 17, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Great Twitter info Ms. Lesley. Twitter is absolutely my ‘drug’ of choice. Learn more on Twitter than most other sites combined. I use Facebook because I have to, but most of my FB posts come directly from Twitter. My Active Rain posts (which have been scarce lately) are directed to Localism.

  7. Benn Rosales

    May 17, 2010 at 11:23 am

    We’ve seen this movie before ala Google, and micro versus macro still wins the race.

  8. AK Stout

    May 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Another great Twitter application that I love to use to find local people to interact with on Twitter is twellow.com/twellowhood/. It is also a good idea to interact with/get on the radar of corporations who may end up having to relocate their employees to your area.

  9. Stefan Swanepoel

    May 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Leslie
    Great post. Last year in responding to a similar question at a talk I gave I quickly created a list of 200 interesting and influential real estate people to follow on Twitter. The lists are posted here https://tweepml.org/Most-Influential-People-Online-in-Real-Estate/ & https://tweepml.org/100-Part-2-Interesting-Influential-People-in-Real-Estate-on-Twitter/

    • LesleyLambert

      May 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you Stefan….both for putting me on the list and for sharing it here!

  10. Matt Stigliano

    June 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Lesley – I’ve missed a lot at AgentGenius recently and happened across this post. This morning I watched the video about people doing it “right” in using social media in conjunction with business that you were in – read this post…it’s pretty easy to see the connection.

    Lani and I were talking about this one day and I did exactly the same thing, I had a list of Realtors® a mile long and not much else. It helped me immensely, as a was a new agent, and I had an amazing list of people to learn from and get to know, but in the end, it wasn’t going to put food on my table. There came a point where I started focusing on the people around me and I saw almost immediate results. I’ve become a local source as well as gained an amazing source (well several) for local news, insight, and opinion (including the local news who I can always turn to when I need more info about a developing story – such as the “slope failiure” that occurred at a local Centex community – which garnered me a lot of attention for my blog).

    I have a lot of room for improvement still and am going to take some steps in that direction this month by meeting some of them face to face for the first time – I can’t wait.

  11. Jacquie Cliff

    December 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the sources of more people to follow. I am in the Seattle area, and working on following more people, but have hit the wall on finding them. Looking for lists is a great idea, thanks!

  12. Calgary Real Estate

    August 3, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Definitely an informative article for the new ones to have suggestions from many specialists before opting for investments in real estate!!!
    Thanks Lesley!!

    calgaryrealestate.pro

  13. Agent Home Listings

    April 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I’m still not all that excited about Twitter, but I’ll tell you it makes a big difference to my clients. They love that I have a presence on there.

  14. Condo Properties For Sale

    April 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Not convinced Twitter is all that beneficial, Facebook seems to work a lot better for my business. But maybe that’s because I spend more time on it? It probably all comes down to what you spend your time on.

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Social Media

Social media is being used for hiring, and no, we’re not talking just LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media has evolved from being only community-oriented to career-oriented. See how users are getting jobs by being creative.

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social media, like tiktok, is being used for hiring. here are some examples of tiktok resumes.

Gen Z and Millennials are no doubt the heaviest users of social media, and perhaps the internet in general. But it’s no longer just about catching up with friends and family, posting memes, and hailing yourself as hashtag king – they are using it to get jobs in creative ways.

Kahlil Greene was a student at Yale University hell-bent on educating others about African American social movements and culture. Known as “The Gen Z Historian” on Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, he got to posting about the lesser-known facts and stories of history, amounting to 1.3 million views very quickly, catching the attention of employers. Now with over 500,000 followers across all major platforms, Greene is heading to work in consulting focusing on public education.

“I think that’s the thing that people don’t realize that social media is everywhere, and it’s congruent with every lifestyle you want,” says Greene.

Another TikToker, Emily Zugay, has over 2 million followers on the platform from hilariously redesigning brand logos. Her personality of shooting down brand choices with such a dry delivery is sure to make you giggle. She’s appeared on Ellen, and many brands changed their logos to her suggestions, including McDonald’s, the NFL, Tinder, Doritos, and Nascar. Just announced, Panera Bread is realizing limited holiday cups by Emily Zugay, taking a stab at Starbucks who typically creates the mad rush for holiday cups. Though she hasn’t publicly spoken about taking on a new role due to her wacky design endeavors, she has been approached for many partnership collaborations and markets herself as a content creator on the platform in order to rack in the dough.

Having the perfect one-page resume and perhaps, an inkling of personalization in the cover letter (which no one enjoys writing and barely anyone reads), is no longer the secret to landing jobs. 92% of companies use social media to hire.

“Creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be scary, hard, or time-consuming. You just have to be yourself. Consistent posts, a few follows and some direct messaging can go a long way to open doors.”

TikTok launched a pilot program of applying to the short-form video powerhouse by well, making a TikTok on the platform. Within 48 hours, 800 videos were submitted with #TikTokResumes in their captions. Expanding from internal hiring to external hiring, the program allowed job seekers to apply with their videos to Chipotle, Target, Shopify, and more.

Want to get in on the action but don’t know where to start? Unfortunately, the TikTok submissions have now closed, but you can always follow these tips to start getting creative for your next career move: Embrace the tools on the platform, do your research about the company you’re applying to, make connections on the platform and within the company, show off achievements as you would in a typical resume, and be yourself!

For more cool resume ideas, check out this article on the most creative techie resumes.

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Reactions to Twitter Blue from real subscribers, p.s. its not worth it

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, gives more control over tweets and custom UI, but subscriber reception has been lukewarm.

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Twitter Blue Sign Up Page

Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that gives users increased control over their tweets and the appearance of their interfaces, launched this summer. Subscriber reception has been lukewarm, foreshadowing some resistance to shifts away from advertising-based revenue models for social media platforms.

The allure of Twitter Blue isn’t immediately apparent; beyond a relatively low price tag and increased exclusivity on a platform that emphasizes individuality, the service doesn’t offer much to alter the Twitter experience. Twitter Blue’s main selling point – the ability to preview and alter tweets before sending them – may not be enough to convince users to shell out the requisite three dollars per month.

Other features include the option to change the theme color and icon appearances. Twitter Blue subscribers can also read some ad-supported news articles without having to view ads courtesy of Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, a company that provides ad-free news browsing.

But even with this variety of small customization options and the promise of more to come, users are skeptical. Android Central’s Shruti Shekar is one such user, beginning her review with, “Right off the bat, this feature isn’t worth the money you’d be spending on it every month.”

Shekar posits that the majority of the features are wasted on long-term users. “I think a lot of my opinions come from a place of using Twitter for so long in a certain way that I’ve gotten used to it, and now I find it challenging to adapt to something that would theoretically make my life easier,” she explains.

One of those adaptations centers on Twitter Blue’s “Undo Tweet” feature – something that belies the notion of proofreading and using common sense before sending thoughts into the nether.

“For me, 95% of the time, I really do pay attention to my tweets before I send them out,” says Shekar.

Twitter Blue checking Tweets before sending.

Shekar does praise Twitter Blue’s “Reader Mode” feature that allows users to view threads as uninterrupted columns but argues that the feature would probably end up being underutilized despite being a cool concept.

The aforementioned color and theme customization was of little interest to Shekar. “I actually found it a bit challenging to get used to the other colors, not because they’re ugly, but again because I am just so used to the classic blue,” she says.

One problem here is that the options to change link and theme colors and put threads in reader mode seem more like accessibility features than premium content. Twitter might do well to make these available to all users, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism about locking quality of life updates behind a subscription paywall.

Shekar’s criticism hits on a crucial point for any social media company looking to emulate Twitter Blue’s subscription model: Even if the subscription price is low, companies have to be prepared to make actual meaningful changes to the user experience if they want satisfied subscribers. That includes building in options that don’t fundamentally alter the basic aspects (or appearance) of the platform.

For more on Twitter Blue, check out their blog post on it here.

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Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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