Information moves at lightning speed these days. In the world of social media, Twitter has become a unique outlet for people to discover and join in on the global conversation ... in real time. Blame it on mere curiosity or the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect, but Twitter users are always looking for what's new and interesting. As a professional, you can use that to your advantage by joining in on the action and engaging with followers in a way that builds trust and makes them crave more of what you have to offer.
That is the question. Compared to Facebook or Instagram, Twitter may be one of the least used social channels in the U.S. But that doesn't mean it's useless. Quite the contrary: Nearly a quarter of the population uses Twitter, and almost half of its users visit the site daily. Those highly engaged users are particularly happy to interact with the small businesses they follow.
Your Twitter profile should be an accurate depiction of your personal brand, consisting of the following elements:
This is your permanent username and identifier on Twitter (@name). It cannot be changed, so pick a good one.
Your name: Appears above your Twitter handle and can be changed at any time.
Profile pic: This can be a photo of you or your logo. Keep in mind, this will appear on every tweet you post.
Bio: In 160 characters, summarize your business and what followers can expect from you. Include your location and a link to your website.
Header image: This large image spans the width of your profile and should showcase what makes you unique. Ideas include a branded graphic of your tagline; an image of your local skyline, landmark, or the area(s) you service; or even a photo of your team.
PRO TIP: Remember to change your header image from time to time to keep your page looking fresh and interesting.
Pinned tweet: As the name suggests, this is a static tweet that gets "pinned" to the top of your profile. Your pinned tweet is a great place to generate traffic or leads by including a direct link to a landing page or blog.
The content you tweet depends on your audience and goals. This could include a mix of neighborhood facts, local news, market insights, homebuying tips, seasonal and holiday updates, listings, or open houses. Just be sure to:
Maintain a consistent brand voice
Tweet content that's compelling, valuable, and relevant
Follow a regular posting schedule
Because information moves so fast on Twitter, your followers may not always see what you tweet the first time. It's ok to retweet the same content a few times — even on the same day or week — to ensure it reaches your followers.
Taking things a step further, a smart way to optimize your Twitter strategy is to create evergreen content — that is, information that's not time-bound. For instance, you can post a blog article about curb appeal in the fall, then post it again six months later, switching out the image and tweaking the wording to make it applicable for spring.
Keep in mind, evergreen content isn't always the right approach — for the very same reason it sometimes is. Trending topics typically have a short life-span, but they also present an opportunity for super-high engagement with Twitter users. Be flexible and keep an eye on trending topics so you can jump in on the conversation when opportunity strikes.
There are numerous tactics you can use to get the most out of your Twitter account, but there's not enough space to list them all in this article. Here are some basic tips to get you started:
Generate leads with advanced search.
With the advanced search feature, you can search keywords, hashtags, phrases, and people to see what's being tweeted about in your local area. Create an advanced search to find relevant tweets, then interact with those users to offer a solution and start building a relationship.
For example, if you're looking for prospective buyers who just started house hunting, you can enter "house hunting" in the advanced search, specify your location, and search within an exact date range to find applicable leads.
Use lists to stay in-the-know.
Lists — located in the navigation bar of your Twitter profile — let you keep an eye on specific people or topics without following those accounts. Why is this useful? Perhaps you want to monitor a competitor's activity, but without them knowing. A private list allows you to do that. Another benefit is that lists help you avoid an uneven "Follow Ratio." If you're following 500 accounts but only have 50 followers, it may cast the impression that you're not worth following. While there's no perfect ratio, it's better to keep these numbers close or to have more "followers" than "following".
You can have separate lists for clients, partners, competitors, influencers, news outlets, retweeters, etc.
Improve the customer experience with Direct Messages (DMs).
Not every conversation is appropriate for your Twitter feed. Perhaps you’ve chatted with someone over several tweets and need more than 280 characters to carry out the discussion. Or maybe a client has a question — or a complaint — that needs to be addressed privately. DMs allow you to engage with your customers privately when needed.
PRO TIP: Twitter lets you embed a "Send a private message" link in a tweet, which makes it easy to invite the user to take the conversation private.
Ask for retweets.
Retweets are integral to expanding your reach and gaining more followers. If you're asking directly, only ask people with whom you have a relationship. Otherwise, you can add "Please retweet" or "Please RT" as a general request at the end of a tweet.
Twitter is a powerful tool for building your brand, establishing an online presence, and growing your business. Fascinate your followers with compelling content while showing them the unique ways you can meet their needs, and you’ll develop a loyal following and stronger customer base.
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