For the sake of being transparent, honest, and forthright, I feel it is necessary, as the Business Director for Inner Architect, to state our Twitter.com strategy on Twitter. Over the course of the last month I have reviewed the Twitter strategies, or lack of strategy depending upon how you utilize Twitter, of the National Association of Realtors and Wachovia bank. Let’s take a look at what we are accomplishing here on Twitter:
Our Twitter.com Innerarchitect account has the following functions:
Research: Find content that matches our business goals, provides fresh perspective, and helps us build our library of value
Follow: The main focus of this account is to find content, research our industry. Consequently we are less active in following. We try to follow people specific to our industry, read, and listen more on this account.
Recognition: We will not follow everyone that follows us as that is not the focus of this account. What we will do is recognize people and companies that inspire us and provide value on a ongoing basis
Activity: We will produce less content (Tweets) on this account because our focus will be to listen to conversations and gather information
If you are a company or individual concerned with ratio of followers to those you follow, then consider deansguide as the place to be on Twitter. On deansguide, I provide value and follow most everyone to build their network numbers.
If you are interested in our company mission, information, and writing consider following or checking in with Innerarchitect. We will focus on companies interested in social media and
A few weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to NAR asking them what their Twitter strategy delivers to their constituency. My point was to highlight the fact that NAR dubs itself “The Voice of Real Estate” yet they did not give Realtors a voice when on the social media site Twitter.com.My original post “National Association of Realtors’ Twitter Strategy” shows the following screen shot of NAR’s Twitter account:
The date of this shot above was February 17, 2009 and it shows that NAR was follow 0 as in zero Realtors on Twitter.
Strategy for NAR:
The best strategy for NAR would be to follow what well known pundits like Guy Kawasaki and companies like Starbucks do with their Twitter strategy: follow everyone. On Twitter the best method to recognize your audience, and that is the main focus or should be for NAR, is to follow them when they follow you. Here is an example provided by Starbucks Coffee:
Starbucks follows all the people and companies that follow them. They engage their audience and provide their audience, consumers, and evangelists the opportunity to directly communicate with them.
3 Benefits For Following Everyone Who Follows You on Twitter:
You can’t receive DM aka direct messages from your audience of Realtors UNLESS you follow them back. Simply put when a Realtor follows you, the ettiquette and strategy of following them back immediately opens the lines of communication. This allows you 3 advantages:
You can receive feedback on your products and services
You can measure your marketing and social media campaigns
You can open a direct dialogue with the audience you claim to serve
Update on the “New Strategy” at NAR
Apparently somebody is listening but not really understanding. Whoever is in charge of the NAR Twitter strategy decided to follow roughly 6% of the Realtors and professionals who follow them. Here is the NAR Twitter page as of March 3, 2009:
A Step in the Right Direction
Although this is a step toward the strategy they should consider, following 42 out of the 743 followers that are your direct audience and constituency seems a tepid effort at best. At least NAR is making progress in the right direction.
The National Association of Realtors is one of the most, if not the most, powerful associations in the real estate industry.The people at NAR are often helpful, very pleasant, and professional in their approach. They take their jobs seriously; and that is why I am puzzled.
The NAR’s mission is to support Realtors, educate the masses, and provide a touch point for an industry that is quickly changing. The biggest change is the utilization of social media tools and blogs, by Realtors and brokerages, for branding, marketing, and lead generation. One of the most prominent of these new tools is the microblogging phenomenon called Twitter.com.
“The Voice for Real Estate”
If the NAR is setting the tone by being “The Voice for Real Estate” and leading by example then what is their Twitter strategy? My point is why don’t the people running the NAR twitter account give a voice to Realtors on Twitter?
Follow Strategy for Twitter
Many major brands or entrepreneurs that utilize Twitter want to initiate conversations with their targeted audience. The strategy most often used supports an open follow process on Twitter. Simply put if you follow Guy Kawasaki he follows you back-each and everyone of you.
The question I would like the NAR to answer: Why don’t you follow any of your constituents who follow you? If the NAR is the “Voice of Real Estate” why not give voice to Realtors, brokers, and affiliate service providers in the industry by following each one of these people back? As of this date, February 15, 2009 the NAR strategy:
Fact:539 Realtors, brokers, industry affiliates follow NAR on Twitter Fact: NAR follows “0″ as in zero as in none as in nobody
The following is a snapshot of the NAR Twitter page:
FoxBusinesspublished this deansguide article on my birthday!
The following is a brief look at a comparison between the NAR site Realtor.com and innovative blogosphere favorite Trulia.com. If I were a Realtor I would take a close look at the graphic below, click through to Trulia Challenge, and consider your options. My opinion is that Trulia is the better deal, the better site, and the far more advanced social media-Web 2.0 entity. But that is just my opinion. Take a look at the comparison and let me know what you think.
Do you remember the Pepsi challenge? Do you remember how they were making those commercials as a method to overturn popular opinion that Coke was the better soft drink? And do you remember when they made the Pepsi Challenge reference in Pulp Fiction? It seems that advertisement had staying power. The question of whether the product, Pepsi, was better than Coke did not seem to change. At the time, Coke continued to rule the soft drink world. Today I received, in my Google Reader, this Trulia message: “Trulia vs Realtor.com: Take the Challenge.”
So you be the judge and take the Pepsi like Trulia challenge. The following is a matrix provided by Trulia. I am not a paid employee of either Trulia or Realtor.com. You be the judge and come back and tell me which service do you prefer?
Consumer confidence often hinges on perception. The perception of competence, expertise, and professionalism are vital to a Realtor. If your consumer targets do not believe you have any of the above you will lose every opportunity to remain in business.
The Real Estate industry, primarily agents, faces an uphill battle everyday to prove that they are technology savvy, progressive, and willing to provide the most up to date information to their clients. The perception remains, even though their are more tech savvy Realtors, that this industry is far behind.
An interview with 2007 NAR President Pat Combs, as featured on therealestatebloggers, does nothing to dispel this perception. Unfortunately it perpetuates it. The trouble begins at the 2:05 mark of the following video when a fax, copy machine, scanner, and typewriter are featured tools and uttered in the same breath as the word technology:
Realtors often fail to understand that in consultative sales of any product or service people-buy-people. Unless you are representing a low-price strategy business model, the actual product you are selling is you.
Question: Would You Buy You?
If you believe that believing in yourself is a choice then you must understand how to begin the process. The first characteristic that shapes our reality is our self confidence. But how do you feel confident when you have never done something that feels difficult or foreign to your experience?
How Do I Build My Confidence?
1. Increase Your Knowledge and Expertise:
Enroll in classes from your state association of Realtors, NAR, adult education curriculum, or hire a specific expert coach to provide strategies
Read trade magazines, blogs, and periodicals related to your location Being an “expert” is defined by Websters as “skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.” Life experience and a willingness to learn will help you become an expert
2. Practice Your Craft:
Repetition and critiquing your performances are the mainstays of any effort to improve. By seriously practicing, being mindful of quality, and relentlessly striving to improve you will become an expert and build your confidence in the process
3. Offer Your Work For Free:
Give free workshops, tutoring, mentoring, or offer your resources to businesses. The key to offering your work for free is the priceless feedback and experience you gain from this activity
4. Find a Mentor:
Lookfor someone who is successful in your niche. Surround yourself with positive people. Allow their positive habits to rub off on you. Make the commitment to expand your base of friends and acquintances