One of the most common social media questions I get asked by estate agents is how can they build their twitter following. It’s no surprise that this is asked as it is a key part of the process to build as large as possible group of relevant followers.
Firstly, don’t be tempted by the offer of getting hundreds of followers overnight – I use the word relevant because it needs to be part of a strategy to be followed by the right people and not just to buy an audience.
I guess the first stage of growing your following is the basics of running a good twitter account. If you follow the basics listed in my top ten twitter tips then you should naturally develop a following over time.
But what if you want to speed up the process? How can you accelerate the growth?
There are a few areas you can focus on to generate a bigger following which if you keep doing religiously you will see results:-
Interact with your existing followers
The whole purpose of social media is to interact and by doing so and having meaningful conversations people will tell others about how great you are (follow Friday), you will appear in twitter streams of people not following you and you will become part of their crowd. When you retweet and add comments you are adding value to the information you pass on and this increases the buy in from the person
Use Klout to find the influencers in your target community
Klout analyses twitter content to identify the top influencers on varying topics, so identify who is likely to be the best person for you to connect with in your field and make sure they digg you.
Use hash tags
One use for #hashtags is a way of highlighting key words to enable those interested in a subject to find you. So for example if you want to attract people in your local town then use the town name as a hash tag in relevant posts.
Follow some lists
The new list capability has led to numerous lists being created for almost every group of person. The general idea that people will follow you back is still the case with a lot of people on twitter, so if you find a list and then follow the individuals in the list you are likely to get some follow backs.
If you create a list then you can be pretty certain that the people in your lists will at least take a look at your profile to see who has deemed them important enough to list – leading to them likely following you back
Use location searches to find local people
Most estate agencies are interested in being followed by others in their geographic location, so by using apps such as tweetmondo you can find others in your location and start interacting with them.
Don’t sell to people
Sorry to put a ‘don’t’ in here, but it is a very important one. Social media is not a broadcast selling tool, so don’t do it! If you tweet sales pitches or listings people will ‘unfollow’ you. There is a much wider debate on tweeting listings, but my view is don’t do this unless you have a very mature account (by this I mean a good interactive following) and only then in moderation.
Make your last tweet of the day something interesting
Most people will review their new followers at the beginning or end of the day and because of changes to the way in which twitter is set up, in the ‘followers’ list you now see the persons last tweet rather than their bio. So if your last tweet of the day is something special, you are more likely to get followed back.
Work forums and networks
Getting followers on twitter involves promoting your presence in other areas such as forums and networks. Make sure your other online profiles tie in with your twitter account, add twitter widgets to blogs etc and when you post comments on any threads ensure you add your twitter handle.
The final and clearly very important area is to promote your twitter handle offline. Business cards, email signatures, company web site, leaflets, mugs etc etc.