If you’re using social media as part of your real estate lead generation strategy, you’re probably already active on a bunch of different channels. After all, millennial homebuyers love Instagram, Pinterest is awesome for showing off properties, and Facebook is for everyone.
Then there’s Twitter.
Love it, or you hate it, you’d do well not to ignore it. Twitter ranks as one of the leading social networks worldwide with 328 million monthly active users. On average, approximately 6,000 tweets are tweeted out on Twitter every second.
But there’s definitely a right and wrong way to use Twitter for lead gen. If you’re ready to give Twitter a try, lean in. We’re about to tell you everything you need to know to make it worth your while.
Does Twitter need an introduction?
We’ve all heard of Twitter, but with all those @’s and #’s (not to mention the ranty politics and cold-blooded trolling), it can sometimes feel like the least accessible of all the social networks.
But it’s not as daunting as seems. Here’s a quick recap on exactly what Twitter is and who you can meet there.
In a nutshell, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service where users can read and post short messages, a.k.a. tweets. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, but users can also upload photos or short videos.
As with the other major social networks, Tweets can be posted publicly or sent as direct messages to other users. And its users are pretty dedicated. In fact, 81% of millennials check their Twitter accounts on a daily basis.
Source: Sprout Social
Why use Twitter to generate real estate leads?
Millennials make up the vast majority of future homebuyers and sellers, which is a BIG part of the value prop for Realtors on Twitter.
In fact, 37% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18-29, and 25% are between the ages of 30-49. If you’re targeting US-based millennials, there’s a good chance your leads are on Twitter. And due to the nature of this social media platform, they’ll probably be great quality leads to boot.
Despite the fact that Twitter isn’t as widely associated with marketing as other social platforms, roughly 80% of Twitter users have tweeted about a brand. That gives you a huge advantage over other social networks where leads commonly feel “sold” to.
But the way you win on Twitter will look very different from the way you win on Facebook or Instagram. To be clear, when we’re talking about generating leads on Twitter, we’re talking about organic leads — not sponsored posts or ads.
And there are plenty of organic leads to be had. It’s all about how you connect with your audience and your ability to share the kind of high-value, in-depth expertise that wins on Twitter.
Here are some of the benefits you can only find on Twitter
When you take the time to become a master tweeter, you’ll not only achieve greater visibility as a local authority in your market, you’ll also get a serious leg up over competitors who underutilize the platform.
Here’s a sum-up of the awesome benefits of using Twitter:
- It drives more traffic to your website
- Keeps you active and up-to-date on local events and influencers
- It has awesome analytics to help you target leads with better content
- You can easily find and engage with leads by using advanced search and hashtags
Now let’s take a closer look at how to maximize your lead gen activity and avoid the common pitfalls on Twitter.
The do’s of using Twitter for lead gen
As with all social media networks, the features, nuances and unspoken rules for how you engage on Twitter have evolved over the years.
Here are some of the latest best practices used by Twitter pros to help generate leads and sales (without every being sleazy about it).
Create your content calendar
The temptation with Twitter is to dive right in and start firing off the tweets. But just as you would with your other social networks, you need to take the time to develop a set social media calendar and strategy to clarify the kind of content you’ll be tweeting (e.g., personal updates or professional only?). Make sure your Twitter calendar is packed with value-driven content that only you can offer including, facts about the neighbourhoods you work in, specific areas of local expertise, and seasonal updates relevant to your market.
Once you know what to say, tools like Buffer can automate your tweets and take care of the ‘when’ part of the equation.
Monitor Twitter lists
While you can definitely lighten the Twitter workload by using an automated content calendar, the magic of this platform is in its real-time nature. That means you’re going to have to get in there and join the convo. But keep in mind, not all convos are created equal.
Setting up a Twitter List helps you follow thousands of relevant leads and influencers so that you can filter through the noise and see exactly what your most important Twitter connections are up to.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Once you know what to tweet about and who to talk to on Twitter, it’s time to get in there and engage! From liking, commenting and re-tweeting, to hosting regular group chats, there are a ton of different way to get in the game. However you choose to engage with your leads on Twitter, just remember to keep it relevant and value-driven.
Providing your leads with awesome insights and unique value will help you generate valuable feedback on your content, gain new followers, create a sense of community and help foster stronger relationships with your leads.
A classic rule for great Twitter etiquette is to always follow back and/or re-tweet when someone follows or mentions you.
Visual content is king — especially on social media. Tweets with photos, images, and videos get more views. Like, way more.
According to Buffer, Tweets with images bring in up to 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. Bonus points if you can make it entertaining, educational or emotional.
Another big rule of engagement on Twitter is to ask your audience questions.
People love talking about local events and issues — and they love polls. Add a few polls or questions to your Twitter content calendar and you can count on a boost in engagement, quality followers and leads.
Give it a personal spin
It’s been said before, but in the Age of the Internet, it ALWAYS bears repeating: Real estate is a people business.
No matter how many hot social networks hit the internet, people are always going to prefer to interact with a human. (In fact, as the number of social networks increase, your leads will probably value a personal touch even more!)
Show your human side by posting your behind the scenes updates, events and celebrations. Use an easy, familiar style and don’t be afraid to relax and be yourself. After all, the goal is for them to one day meet you in person!
Apply the 80/20 rule
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s another rule that’s worth repeating.
Make sure 80% of what you post is helpful or interesting information — things like how-to articles, business recommendations, local news, home buying tips, etc. Once you’re sure you’ve provided value to your leads and followers, then you can go for the 20% of promotional posts such as, listings, open houses and special offers.
The don’ts of using Twitter for lead gen
Now that you know what works on Twitter, here are a few simple rules to prevent you from accidentally alienating your leads.
- Don’t overwhelm followers with an onslaught of listings and open house info. Keep it timely, consistent, and relevant to the latest news in your community.
- Don’t overuse and abuse hashtags. The right hashtags are great but adding a million unnecessary # symbols to your posts just looks icky.
- Don’t get greedy with your tweets. The great thing about Twitter is that you can post way more frequently than on other social channels. Still, tweeting multiple times back-to-back or trying to squeeze in more than 140 characters just looks a little desperate.
- Don’t be generic. It’s easy to hit re-tweet without taking the time to say something smart about the content. But if no one knows why they should care, there’s no point re-tweeting anyway. Take a second to tell your followers why the content is important.
In the words of Grant Boelter of REALTOR Magazine, “Twitter isn’t just a platform for sharing information, it’s a chance to make your elevator pitch in 140 characters. Ask yourself before tweeting, why would somebody be interested in this?”
As with any marketing and sales activity, don’t just focus on features. Make sure every post — whether it’s home buying tips or a promotional listing tweet — has a clear answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question.
When your followers consistently get awesome answers to that question, you’ll start seeing way more leads in your follower list.