When we offer a webinar on social media, CRE people sign up in droves. We all know social media works – because we follow friends or colleagues or gurus who have substantial followings. They are influential! But does it work for you? Maybe you don't have Twitter figured out. If so, then this blog is for you!
The Internet is constantly telling us how easy and quick social media can be. I can barely sign onto my computer before I’m flashed with offers for ebooks titled “How to Get Three Zillion Facebook Followers in 30 Days.” Be aware that most of these get-rich-quick social media methods probably won’t garner you an audience in your field. You want to build a solid group of CRE or CRE adjacent followers. To do this – you need consistency and a few helpful hints.
1. Brand yourself. Spend a few minutes creating your Twitter profile – particularly your bio. The bio is the description that pops up when a user hovers over your name. It also guides Twitter when suggesting ‘who to follow.’ So, make sure you include keywords that describe your business interests – CRE broker, multi-family legend, investment guru.
2. Follow success. Keeping in mind that you are trying to attract CRE followers, start by following big names and influencers within the CRE Twitter world. (We published a CRE influencers blog here). Duke Long puts out a list each year of the top 100 commercial real estate people on Twitter. These influencers will provide you with great content, but more importantly, you want them to follow you back. A retweet from an influencer will ramp up your Twitter game exponentially.
3. Collect content. If you are just starting out on Twitter, you can collect a base group of followers simply by curating other people’s content. You don’t have to come up with any flashy or clever statements. You don’t have to write your own blog posts. Head over to your favorite CRE blog or news site, find an article you think is worthy of sharing (like this blog post perhaps!), paste the URL into your Twitter dialogue box and voila! – instant content. You need to do this daily. Sharing an article once a week will be a slow build. If you find this doesn’t fit into your schedule, sign up for a service like Buffer or HootSuite to help schedule your posts.
4. Include an image. Be aware that images increase social engagement by 10-25%. A service like Snappa is a great way for non-technical people to quickly create awesome graphics. In fact, Snappa has the ready-made templates for Twitter.
5. Be a friend. Make a friend. If you want people to interact with your tweets, then share a little love the other way. Retweet interesting content. Tag people in relevant posts. Thank people for retweeting your materials. Ask questions that will provoke multiple responses. You'll find that developing loyal Twitter friends is interesting and fruitful.
6. Make your twitter handle accessible. It’s harder than you think to search for someone on Twitter – particularly if that person has a common name. Put your Twitter handle on all of your collateral materials – business cards, emails, marketing materials, and especially your website.
Following these six tips will move you quickly into Twitter fluency. Before long you will be offering up your own content and hashtagging everything that doesn't move. Just stick with it. Social media is more a marathon than a sprint -- careful planning and attention go a long way.
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