Twitter Strategies For Realtors: Twitter Grader’s City Networks

Twitter Grader

Courtesy of Twittergrader.com

ComputerShopper.com published this deansguide article 5-13-09

Twitter Grader is one of the new tools that helps Realtors, entrpreneurs and companies measure their social media presence on the social network, micro-blogging sensation, Twitter.com. Twittergrader.com  is just one in dozens of open source measurement tools available to Twitter users.  What stands out about this new tool is it’s special feature: CityGrader.

What is CityGrader?

City Grader is a listing of the top 10 Cities, calculated by number of Twitter users, with dedicated Twitter users. These users are consumers, companies, entrepreneurs, and public utilities. The list of participants is endless.

Top 10 Cities

1. London
2. Los Angeles
3. Chicago
4. New York
5. San Francisco
6. Toronto, Canada
7. Seattle
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Austin

Twitter Strategies: City Networks

Here are some tips on how to utilize the information provided for each city network of twitter users:

  • Networking: mine city lists within your niche. Example: Los Angeles #12  prominent Twitterer is Jeff Turner Founder of Realestateshows.com
  • Jeff Turner Twitter Grader
  • Leads: mine city lists for prominent entrepreneurs, small businesses, or firms that could use your services. Build a list from these leads for each city and trade with partners who are located in those markets
  • Research: Compile a list of the most prominent consumers, competitors, and possible networking partners in each city and research the information they “tweet” on their markets. Gain a direct understanding of each city’s conditions by reading about the experiences of those professionals in each city network

Twitter Strategies and Tips for Beginning “Twitterers”

twitter-logo-search

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article 3-24-09

Post Tribune published this deansguide article 3-24-09


Twitter is a sensational social network tool for entrepreneurs, job seekers, and companies. Twitter is being used as a research resource, marketing tool, measurement source, messaging utility, networking facilitator, and broadcasting system. The following are some tips and basic strategies:

Strategies:

  1. Identify: Choose how you want to use Twitter: research, marketing, networking, creating audience, customer service and so on.
  2. Following: Avoid following hundreds of people or companies immediately as this tactic gives the impression you are spamming people with sales propaganda

Tips:

  1. Who: Identify people in the industry, business, niche, or company you wish to follow
  2. Keywords: Make a list of keywords that will help you find the conversations you wish to follow. Example: “San Jose jobs”; “Company names”;“Your job and Company name”; “Industry organizations, groups, or associations”
  3. Search: Input in your keywords or names into the internal search engine to tap into the conversations you wish to follow
  4. RSS Subscription: When you find a conversation that is important, use the RSS feed to subscribe to that conversation and set up in either your email or a Google Reader
  5. Auto-Follow Service: Perform your due diligence before following someone. Do not sign up for an auto-follow service
  6. Vary Message: For every 10 “Tweets” you write make sure 7 give “outside” value and 3 are about your products, services, or events
  7. Signal to Noise: Within your 7 value messages leave links to your resources
  8. Tiny Url: Utilize this super valuable site to shrink the size of your links so they fit within Twitter’s 140 character limit
  9. RT: “RT” stands for Re-Tweet. This is a form of recognition and the best strategy for networking. When you want to recognize someone’s Tweet content you simply place RT and then copy their Tweet. This provides your network with the valuable information and opens up a line of communication with that person
  10. @: This is another form of recognition. If you @person or company you can ask them a question as well as publicly recognize them for their writing

Banks’ Twitter Strategy: Lack of Strategy Hurting Brand

wachovia-bank-twitter

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3-06-09

We’re here primarily to listen, to learn, to engage with the Twitter community and, occasionally, to share information about our company and services.”–Wachovia Bank

The Wachovia bank bio on Twitter explains their strategy in using Twitter. Unfortunately  they seem to be stuck in the same misunderstanding that many companies have wandered into blindly: they are missing their greatest opportunity to connect.

Wachovia’s Misunderstood Strategy:

According to Wachovia they are on Twitter to:

  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Engage with the Twitter community
  • Occasionally share information on their company and services

Wachovia’s Bio: Problematic

Listening, learning and engaging are exactly what works on Twitter. The first problem in this bio is the fact that you should never make the statement that you (company) “occasionally share information on our company and services.” The idea is to occasionally share company information and services  without stating that is your intention.

Step#1: One of the strategies that best suits businesses on Twitter is to be a go-to source of information by varying the content to include more “outside” information than sales pitches for your own products or services. The “Hard Sell” is dead and gone.

Mixed Signals: Challenge #1

Wachovia wants to “engage with the Twitter community” yet they only follow 204 out of a possible 1,793 people that follow them.

Step #2: If you want to engage your audience, possible customers, or networking partners on Twitter then you must acknowledge their existence and importance by following all 1,793 of your followers.

Perception Challenge: Understanding Strategy

Wachovia’s challenge is that they are trying to fit two divergent strategies into one Twitter account. They say they want to listen, learn, and engage with their audience. At the same time, it appears that they are trying to learn, from prominent Twitterers, information that they can leverage in their own social media efforts. This leads to an ineffective campaign.

Danger of Perception:

The danger is that Wachovia’s audience could perceive them as attempting to build “authority” by accumulating a large number of followers while keeping the number of people or companies they follow to a minimum. This ratio of large tribes of people following you (company) to you (company) following a select few is often perceived by people as:

  • The company or individual “must” be important and worthy of following for their brilliant content
  • The company or individual “must” be uncaring in their attempt to be perceived as important and a “player” in the Twitter community

Best Strategy:

Step #3  Wachovia’s Options

  • Keep the original account (we will call it #1) and make it your customer-audience engagement account
  • Account #1 immediately follow everyone of the 1,793 followers
  • Go to Tweetlater.com and set the “auto-follow” so that you automatically follow everyone that follows Wachovia
  • Set up Account #2 your Learn and Listen account. On this account Wachovia ONLY follows those individuals and companies that provide the most relevant information. If you wish to follow your competition, social media strategists, industry pundits, then do so on this account. Don’t worry about anything else except the research of learning and gathering recon information

Conclusion

By creating two accounts you are able to satisfy all your needs, create better perception for your brand, specifically and strategically target sources of information, and appear to care about the very customers who represent the life line to your business in this or any other economy.

National Association of Realtors’ Twitter Strategy

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:

nar-twitter-account2

Realtors Do You Support Promotions that Create Goodwill for Your Business?

Imagine a real estate business model where the customer names their price. Call it a“Pay-what-you-want-house” and you might have an interesting idea. That is the idea behind the new Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen. Check out this promotion merely to see the cool website.

Why Do People Love Promotions?

1. Added Value: is it such a bad idea to create promotions in a such dreary economic times? Even if you can’t give away the store, isn’t there an item or service you can give away? Now more than ever, bartering one of your services in some fashion would be a welcome relief to some people who need help. People want and need added value in anything they buy, more than ever today, whether it is a service or a product.

2. Consumers Remember: more economic pressure, job loss, and belt tightening is in store for 2009. Now more than ever, if you help someone by providing a promotional “prize” or service that gesture is often remembered and past forward via word of mouth. When people give under the toughest circumstances (economy), that is truly the measure of our willingness to help.

http://www.springwise.com/pix/spotlight/bencoolen.jpg

Job Seeker’s Guide to Making the Hiring Manager Happy

Careerbuilder.com ran a survey of 31,000 employers about their use of social media in screening and finding job applicants. The results include:

  • More than 1 in 5 employers use social media sites to screen job applicants
  • 22% of the 31,000 employers said they use social media to find human capital
  • 9% more said they would begin utilizing social media sites in 2009
  • 31% or nearly 10,000 employers will focus on social media as a recruiting and screening tool in 2009

The writing, pardon the pun, is on the wall. If you want to make a hiring manager happy, and help yourself, you will adopt all of the steps outlined below to help you–stand apart from the competition.

Silicon Valley star Guy Kawasaki did not intend for his chapter “The Art of Driving Your Competition Crazy” in Reality Check to be job seeker’s advice; yet the main theme is vital for any job seeker’s success. The chapter outlines 8 steps to drive your competition crazy aimed at helping entrepreneurs and corporations understand how to win at the art of business.The most valuable theme and step is “Focus on the customer.” Guy outlines the irony that entrepreneurs and businesses should not take action against the competition–don’t do anything to them but everything for the customer.

Theme: Make the Hiring Manager Happy

The idea and theme here is to ignore your competition and focus completely on a hiring manager’s happiness. Ignore the millions who are out of work and competing for the same jobs, ignore the pundits who continue to fuel the panic, ignore the negative naysayers who continue to bring your spirit down.

Instead think about what makes hiring managers happy? How about taking the task of reading resumes off their plate. What about saving them time, energy, and focus by removing the screening process that entails resumes and cover letters. Why not remove the gray areas and guess work for a hiring manager by delivering a better more revealing resource than a resume which is simply a job seeker’s listing of their value? How about removing the issue of back checking aka background checks to validate claims on a resume? Why not attempt to reduce their time wasted recruiting and looking for the right candidate for the job when you are available?

Most Hiring Managers Dislike:

  • Deluge of resumes create huge time crunch
  • Lost productivity in their own jobs due to resume review process
  • Tasking other people from their jobs to help in the review of resumes
  • Guess work involved in hoping they choose the right candidate
  • Decisions about new hires ultimately reflect upon the hiring manager’s own judgment
  • Lack of information or verifiable proof that job seeker can deliver their listed values in their resume

Make a Hiring Manager Happy:

  • Craft your value message of expertise, accomplishments, and experience
  • Establish your “employment campaign” blog that delivers your value message
  • Research how you can provide value to targeted hiring managers then deliver your value message
  • Write a keyword rich, descriptive, and opportunity message Linkedin profile
  • Utilize Twitter to broadcast and deliver your value message
  • Research your target companies for their participation in Web 2.0 blogging, social media networking, and engage them through these channel

Realtors Do You Understand the 5 Levels of Twitter Acceptance?

One of the best tools for measuring your commitment and understanding of the micro-blogging power Twitter.com comes from social media marketing superstar Rohit Bhargava the inventor of Social Media Optimization. In his article “The 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance” Rohit has brilliantly and accurately outlined the evolution of many Twitter users. The graphic clearly highlights each stage and it acts as a measuring tool to those who have progressed forward in their acceptance.

The 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance:

Imb_5stagesoftwitter_2
Courtesy RohitBhargava.typepad.com

My Acceptance Process for Each Level

1. Denial: One of my first blog posts of the summer of 2007 was to challenge Twitter’s validity as a tool-I instead described it ” Twitter becomes the equivilent of your well meaning but very nosy “Italian Grandmother.”

2. Presence: I simply went through the motions

3. Dumping: I inundated twitter with MY BLOG POSTS only a big no-no on any social networking site

4. Conversing: I reached the conversing stage 6 weeks ago as I really began to understand Twitter’s power 4 months ago. In this stage I knew I was progressing but I also knew something was missing-I was not a go-to objective source of information

5. Microblogging: I am now authentically building relationships 1×1, I am bringing in valuable information to the mix for other twitterers to ponder, and I am far more objective and willing to support the community

Does Twitter Really Help You Build Your Business: Ask Amazon.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-25-08

Twitter.com is fast becoming the go-to source for small and big business marketing. For me, Twitter represents my greatest content resource, broadcasting opportunity, and a fantastic networking opportunity with industry leaders. One of those leaders, Guy Kawasaki, dropped a “tweet”, aka mini message, about the power of Twitter in growing your business.

The following is a comment, on MotleyFool.com, answering the question: “Does Twitter Help You Build Your Business?”:

  • On November 24, 2008, at 3:56 PM, j2xl wrote: I work at Amazon. During a lunch break last March I wrote a simple bot that posts Amazon’s deal of the day to Twitter. Since then I’ve added Lightning Deals throughout the day. The bot now has close to 3,000 bargain-hunting followers and drives all sorts of orders every day. Add it to the list of Twitter success stories. Check it out at http://twitter.com/amazondeals .

Analysis:

Big corporations like Amazon, small firms like Innerarchitect.com, and entrepreneurs like Adam Helweh of Secret Sushi Creative are building their businesses, creating opportunities, and connecting with industry leaders on Twitter. The next time you are looking for a method and strategy to increase your business, make new connections, find opportunities, look for a job, or broadcast news about you–look no further than Twitter.com. It is your “mini PR release-sound bite broadcasting” tool.

Adam Helweh

guykawasaki


Yahoo Advertising Campaign Like Their Search Capabilities: Misguided At Best

Jerry Yang this past spring turned down what may have been the sweetest deal in negotiating a sales price for Yahoo during the Microsoft “take over” bid. In that scenario, as it has played out to date, Yang refused to sell Yahoo believing that the company was worth more than the nearly 50 billion being offered. In this case, Yang made an egregious error and his stockholders are now suffering the consequences with Yahoo stock price plunging to an alarming $12 per share.

Equally stupid, in my opinion, is the marketing campaign being pushed on Northern California radio by the mind trust at Yahoo. It seems in the information rich, human capital intelligent, internet savvy Silicon Valley, Yahoo is clueless to it’s audience. Why?

A Train wreck Marketing Philosophy: “Don’t get lost in all the links”

1. Taking on Google’s algorythim by hinting that Google confuses people by offering to much information in their search queries

2. Assuming the Public is too stupid to understand the basics of great search results offered by Google

3. “Ah Shucks” tone of innocence in attempting to sway the less than informed public

4. Bad Advertising ploy where Yahoo follows the old Madison Ave tactic where producing a very bad ad so enrages the public they talk about the product

5. “Less is More” in this case less is not more it is less information, less value, suspect results

Rule of Thumb

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. If you are going to take on the biggest advertising company in the world, you better have something to say that is worthy of the task. Trying to be Sarah Palin “folksie” only makes Yahoo look stupid and stupid doesn’t play in the Valley