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"Twitter Tips and Tricks!"

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Sarah Milstein Photo
10/2/09 Interview with Sarah Milstein

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Twitter Overview

  1. Twitter is a messaging service that allows messages of no more than 140 characters (about the length of a sentence); postings can be done from your computer or phone; short messages are easy to read and write.
  2. Postings are like blogging in that they are public on the Web and can help you reach people you do not already know.
Secrets to Twitter’s Success

  1. Twitter caught on in part because of its simplicity—anybody can do it; getting started is not really hard.
  2. Twitter is flexible and can be used for many purposes; it works for personal messages and professional communication.
  3. The site has made the medium of status updates a viable form; another example of this medium is Facebook status updates; Facebook updates are short messages viewable by a Facebook user’s friends.
  4. Status updates are likely to remain part of common, daily communications, much like email and instant messages.
How to Build Followers

  1. People usually read other people’s messages by subscribing as a follower so that they get updated every time that person posts.
  2. If you are on Twitter for a period of time, you may just accumulate followers, but a better way to gain followers is to post information that people really want to read; this information might be funny or interesting individual messages, or it might be links to information of value.
  3. Click around on Twitter to see who is following other people in your sector; when you are on a person’s Twitter page, look on the right side for pictures of the people they are following—click through several levels.
  4. It is helpful to follow people in your field who are thought leaders and with whom you might want to build a relationship; look up your top competitors and join to follow their top followers; often this will result in some of them starting to follow you.
Using Twitter for Professional Information

  1. Post links to relevant information in your field (to blog posts, articles, videos and other web sites); if the link is long, Twitter automatically shortens it to fit (to about a dozen characters).
  2. Follow other people who tend to post links to smart info around the Web; doing this can develop your own custom news feed to stay on top of developments in your field.
  3. Use Google to find real estate people on Twitter by doing a Google search on “real estate, Twitter.”
  4. Directly on Twitter, whether or not you have a Twitter account, go to the Twitter search site ( and search for keyword topics; this search site updates every few seconds; it lists the ten most popular topics at any given moment.
How to Make Messages Appealing

  1. Avoid directly promoting yourself; instead post information that will have value to other people—e.g., post links to events in the local real estate area, stories about real estate in the area or articles that others have written.
  2. If your messages show that you know what is going on, you establish credibility and lay the groundwork for building a relationship.
  3. Twitter is a medium for conversation, not just for broadcasting a message; remain open to exchanging messages with people—engaging other people is as important as sharing information.
More Tips for Agents

  1. On the Twitter Advanced Search page (accessed through, search for messages by region in order to find local people to connect with; you can define how big the region is.
  2. Think in terms of your niche market when you compose messages; the more targeted your messages, the easier it is for you to be found.
  3. Tips make good messages; the tip can be delivered in 140 characters, or if you have longer content, post a link to your own blog.
Helpful Accessory Programs for Postings

  1. If you want to say the same thing on all of the sites, a service such as Ping that delivers your message to a variety of sites can be useful; some service sites are specific to two networks, for example, Twitter and Facebook.
  2. Consider whom you want to reach on each of the sites; many people use Twitter to reach people they know professionally, but they use Facebook to connect with their existing network, including friends and family—the same information may not be appropriate for both groups.
  3. Use care when you distribute information beyond the network you are signed up for.
Public vs. Private Information

  1. It might make sense to have multiple accounts on Twitter, but that can get hard to maintain.
  2. For your professional accounts, be sure that all your messages are “public”; messages might be set to “private” for friends and family; although some personal information might be appropriate for professional viewers, be judicious about what personal information you share.
Mistakes to Avoid on Twitter

  1. Attempts to use Twitter as a broadcast medium usually result in dull messages.
  2. It is easy to miss messages that are addressed to you or refer to you; make an effort to see them and respond—essentially, Twitter is conversational.
  3. Messages relating to you are on the right side of your Twitter account page; links are marked by an @ symbol followed by your own user name.
Contact Information for Sarah Milstein:

(v) 917.837.9693

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Milstein’s business site:
Twitter search site:
Facebook: Ping: