Yesterday I made a brief presentation about Social Media Marketing in front of real estate professionals. As it was presented as “introductory” presentation, when I asked how many were using social media marketing, there were few that admitted it.

Almost everyone was interested in using Twitter, and so I presented a list of 6 tips that anyone can use to try out Twitter and feel comfortable in doing so. For alll those realtors, lawyers, and other who work for yourself, this is Micro-Blogging 101; I hope that you find it useful.

1) Use a personal e-mail address for your Twitter account, even if you have to create a new Hotmail or gMail account. If you lose access to your Twitter account after you leave your job, you may never be able to retrieve your password if you use your company email address and leave that company. Make certain that you own your brand.

2) Use your real name for your Twitter account. At a minimum, claim it before someone else does. You will be thankful in the future that you did this now. After all, it’s your brand.

If you have a company name (that you own), you may even consider two accounts to keep one for personal tweets.

You will be asked for more information as you create your Twitter account, but everything can be changed after the fact by going to your “Settings” tab at the top of your Twitter page. Every privacy option or profile customization setting will be here. Be sure to check out:

Complete the “More Info URL” and your branded “One Line Bio.” Be sure to include your keywords (think search engines here) in your bio.

If you do not have a blog or a company website, then use your LinkedIn Profile URL.

If you are unconfortable in adding your city when completing the location information, consider adding a broader geographic area like a state, or county name. Be sure to put something in here.

4) No need to go mobile yet. There is a “Mobile” tab which is to the right of the “Password” and ”Settings” tabs. There is no need to enable Twitter on your cell phone until you are comfortable with that, so avoid the temptation until you’re hooked.

5) Use a professionally branded picture … probably the same one that you use on LinkedIn. Why would you use anything different? Keep it professional here.

6) Just because you can set your background image of your profile using the ”Design” tab, doesn’t mean that you should . Use the default image with a color scheme that you like. If are that 5-10% of the population that know something about creating graphics, then go wild.

Other Do’s and Don’ts

DO

  • Find industry experts, local businesses and local people relevant to your properties
  • Follow them; Listen to them; Learn from them
  • Converse – Re-tweet interesting tweets, reply often, ask and answer questions
  • Add value – Tweet good articles, good ideas and good answers
  • Be transparent and add personality
  • Keep your brand message consistent (use your keywords where possible)
  • Respond to your @mentions or direct messages

DON’T

  • Don’t spam your twitter community with your available units
  • Don’t use twitter as a billboard to tell us about your specials
  • Don’t direct message (DM) people with your specials or offerings. Save that for your opt-in email lists

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