There are about 310 million active monthly users on Twitter, along with roughly 3,800 businesses worldwide that use the platform. That's a lot of opportunity for lenders and agents to grow their businesses and reach more clients.
Twitter is different than other social media platforms. Its best use is the real-time communication and live features the company focuses on.
People from all over the world hop on, tweet something out, and off it goes for potentially millions of people to engage with.
Out of all the businesses on Twitter, roughly 70 percent use the social media platform to build their brand, according to a report by HubSpot and Audiense. Just below that, 65 percent focus on lead generation.
Despite slower growth this past year, Twitter has grown increasingly useful to businesses.
Pros and Cons Of Using Twitter
There are some pros and cons of using Twitter as a business, just like using any other social media platform. Basically, what it comes down to is that the platform isn’t growing as fast as others, like Instagram or Snapchat.
Part of that is because newer users don’t always stick around after setting up their account. But, Twitter plans to push a round of updates to make using the social media platform easier.
On the upside, one of Twitter’s most valuable functions is the real-time engagement, which has been given a new angle after the company bought Periscope, a platform for live video broadcasts.
Twitter’s advertising features have also become more effective over the past few years.
Lenders and agents can build advertising campaigns on Twitter to help reach out to their following. Through these campaigns, they can track results when it comes to building their brand and gaining exposure, which has proven beneficial for businesses and clients.
Twitter reported that 74 percent of its users follow small- and medium-sized businesses for future products and updates, while 69 percent are likely to make a purchase from the businesses they follow.
What that translates into is that, in an ideal world, when you tweet out your listing or market updates, some prospective homebuyers will see that post and close with you.
Setup Your Twitter Account
Twitter’s setup process goes fast.
First, go to www.twitter.com to sign up.
After putting in your base information -- your name, email and password -- you pick a @username.
For lenders and agents, it's going to be helpful to have your @username be the same as your name on Twitter. Your @username is unique to your profile on Twitter, whereas your name can be changed at any time.
By keeping your name and @username the same, or at least similar, it's going to be easier for users to find you. Also, be sure to make it something that is recognizable to you. The goal is to be easy to find.
Some agents add "Realtor" to the end of their name, while some lenders include their #NMLS in the name (not @username).
There are times when a business may change their name to promote products or promotions. This helps broaden your account's reach.
Next, upload a photo, then write a bio.
Your bio is a 160-character description of who you are. You can also include contact information, a link to your website and the location which you serve.
This is the spot for you to differentiate yourself from the swaths of others in your market and explain to your future clients why you are the best. You can edit your bio at any point after setting up your profile.
This spot is a good place for hashtags too. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Twitter account features hashtags like #Realtor and #RealEstate.
When users search these terms, their account shows up in the search results -- which is yet, again, another way to boost your reach on Twitter.
After you’re all set drafting your bio, add your own personal “billboard,” as Twitter puts it. Your header is one of the first images that visitors see when coming to your profile.
“You can feature products, use a graphic with text, or highlight your employees,” Twitter said, giving advice on picking the right header image. “Swap out this image periodically to spotlight promotions, events, or product news.”
Your header is one of the first places visitors look too. Realtors, lenders or brokerages can stamp their logo here, or they can post a current listing to help focus on moving the sale along.
Check with your brokerage or branch to see if there are any specific rules about what your profile needs to list. You may need to include the equal housing opportunity logo somewhere on your profile as well.
When you have your header image placed, Twitter suggests pinning a tweet on your timeline.
A pinned tweet is an important post that stays at the top of your timeline, preventing it from getting lost among your other tweets.
By pinning a tweet, it gives you more space to connect with your followers. You can keep the tweet pinned there for as long as you like.
If you're new to the neighborhood as an agent, this would be a good way to introduce yourself on your timeline.
It's also a nice spot to market your brand and drive traffic to your website by adding links to blog posts and landing pages.
If you have a specific listing you are trying to push, pin that to your profile. Lenders, are you looking to promote a new program for first-time home buyers? Pin that.
After you’re done plugging in images and touching up your newly created profile, go follow others in the real estate and mortgage industries.
Start taking note of what others are doing on Twitter and how they use the platform to market their businesses and brands.
Now is when Twitter gets fun. Get out there and engage with people in your community and start building relationships.