More than half of businesses on Twitter use the platform to grow their brands. Some of the biggest brokerages and businesses in real estate have followings that exceed well over 100,000. Twitter growth doesn't happen overnight, but takes a strategic approach.
The National Association of Realtors® (), for example, has over 247,000 followers on Twitter. Building a following like that takes time, especially if you’re a solo real estate agent or a smaller team. So, when you’re starting out, some of the best advice one can give is to stay patient and keep it simple.
As you start building your following on Twitter, there are a few strategies to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you want to tweet roughly 10 times per day. Then, you want to implement a follow-unfollow strategy.
Businesses that want to build their following on Twitter should be tweeting as much as possible, but spending as little time doing so. That sounds a bit challenging, because drafting an engaging tweet can take time, and you’re supposed to put out roughly 10 per day.
TweetDeck is a scheduling platform that’s placed nicely in Twitter’s toolbox. Using the platform, you can schedule tweets to post around the clock from your desktop, while also keeping track of your timeline, mentions and notifications.
Lenders and agents who never seem to catch a break, this tool keeps your account running, while you're off tending to other parts of your business.
There are other services to automate your social media accounts, some that also offer mobile apps -- like HootSuite or Buffer -- but TweetDeck might be the most friendly to use as you’re getting used to Twitter’s interface.
Using TweetDeck allows you draft your tweets, equip them with photos and videos, and dock them for scheduling. After that, it’s all hands off. So, really, the heavy lifting comes in when you’re deciding what to publish.
Your Content Matters
For professionals in the real estate and mortgage industries, you want to share content on your timeline that’s going to be engaging and useful to your audience. For lenders and agents, content could vary from new listings or real estate news to home buying insight.
Once you’re ready to start docking tweets, pair your posts with custom images and videos to encourage engagement, and schedule your posts throughout the day. That way, you’re attempting to reach as many people as possible.
You should create about 15 to 20 original pieces of content, and then recycle them.
You don’t always have to create fresh content, as long as the content you have is relevant and helpful to your audience. It is beneficial to spin it differently when you reuse the content. Try to avoid typing out the same thing over and over, because it can come off as spam, which others can spot a mile away.
You can also retweet or quote somebody else’s tweet, but keep in mind that the content should be consistent with what you, as a lender or an agent, want to share with your following.
By sharing others’ content, it helps you branch out, share different perspectives, and perhaps most importantly, engage with others on Twitter. This works well when paired with hashtags.
Use Hashtags Wisely
Trending Topics show up in a separate section on Twitter. These topics are usually hashtags that have become popular, because it has been used with an event, a holiday, or another situation that has Twitter users tweeting. When hundreds, or even thousands of people use the specific hashtag, it trends.
In Twitter, search the hashtag #realestate or #mortgage to see how others are using it.
If you decide to use the hashtag, you join in on the conversation. And then, when people click on the topic in the trending section, they’re directed to all of the tweets that include the hashtag.
This helps you reach a broader audience and gives you a chance to talk with your followers, who will sometimes come and go as fast as the Trending Topics do.
The Follow-Unfollow part is a way to find others on Twitter who might be interested in your content, so that you can follow them. You should try following around 20 users daily to help prevent Twitter from flagging your account as spam and blocking you.
The idea is there is a percentage that will follow you back, which is good, because that positively impacts your goal by increasing your following. But, then there are some that don’t follow back. This could be because they aren't active on Twitter or they just simply aren’t interested.
Here’s where the “unfollow” part comes into play.
While you’re following about 20 users per day, you also want to unfollow about 20 users per day. There are two parts to this.
First, you want to clean up your following, weeding out inactive accounts. Second, you want to increase your following as much as possible. One way that helps is to appear as influential by having a greater followers-to-following ratio and to get people talking about you in a positive way.
But, when your account starts to grow, this can be challenging to maintain, but there are tools to help. ManageFlitter and Crowdfire are free tools that allow you to track who follows and unfollows you, among other features.
The overarching idea behind the Follow-Unfollow strategy is to connect with people who want to engage with content you offer. This process is made up of searching for others by the criteria you choose, whether it’s based on a hashtag or a geographical area, and following them.
As you’re putting these strategies in motion, remember that building a big following doesn’t happen overnight. Choose the steps that work with your schedule, objectives and audience, and stay consistent. When you’re able to add more steps, do so.