Nov
13
2012

Top 5 Twitter Mistakes You May Not Know You’re Making

Twitter has always been a complex platform to master. Whether it’s the lingo (tweets, RT, hashtags) or the culture, there are lots of unwritten rules about how to use Twitter. Today I’m going to outline a few Twitter faux pas that Real Estate Agents can make without even knowing they’re doing it.

1. Having A Private Account

This is one of the more puzzling choices I’ve found that new users of Twitter make. Making your account private only serves to shield you from connecting and properly leveraging the service to your advantage. When someone is looking to follow you on Twitter, it definitely sends the wrong impression when they click to follow and see that their request is now pending indefinitely, waiting for a busy real estate agent to get around to approving their follow. Many times I’ve seen descriptions implying that they’re looking to connect with new clients, yet they’ve essentially put a moat around their Twitter account. Only people who have been approved can see private tweets, so it makes acquiring new followers much more challenging too, as nobody can see what you talk about to get a gauge of what kind of user you are.

2. Not Personalizing Your Avatar

When using Twitter you need to decide how you’re presenting yourself. If you’re an agent that is trying to connect with consumers on a personal level, then hiding behind a company logo or other graphic probably isn’t the best approach. Even worse is starting to use Twitter with the dreaded default egg icon and not actually uploading a photo. In the real estate business a lot of the time your face is your calling card. Uploading a photo of yourself is the best way to connect with users and not come across as just another faceless Twitter account. Recent changes to Twitter allow you to upload a cover photo, as well as the traditional background which enables you to brand your profile with your company logo, so the opportunities to brand your profile are there.

3. Sending Direct Messages Without Following Back

One of the more frustrating things you can do with Twitter is send a direct message to someone who has followed you, but you haven’t followed them back. You’re looking to connect with that person, yet they have no way of actually responding back to your direct message without you taking the time to follow them back. If the response is important, then the user has to ask you publicly to follow them back, which is always awkward as nobody likes begging for follows.

4. Using TrueTwit Validation

TrueTwit validation is one of the more irritating Twitter services people can sign up for. While the idea of validating your followers by making them input a captcha sounds like a great idea, in practicality it’s more of a slap to the face of seasoned users. It tells your followers right away that you are too lazy to actually go through and see who this new follower is. I believe there are few, if any, web users that like inputting spam captchas. So even before you might have tried connecting with your new follower you’ve made them jump through hoops they dislike just for the privilege of following you. I’ve heard of many experienced Twitter users simply clicking unfollow for accounts than to go through the validation process. While spambot follows were a major issue in the past, Twitter has taken large steps in the last year to try and eradicate these types of accounts, so they are much less of a concern now than they once were.

5. Automated Direct Messages

This is probably one of the more prevalent things that Real Estate Twitter users do. Sending automated direct messages can be done right, but typically aren’t. When someone presses the follow button it doesn’t mean that you’ve now got the green light to SELL SELL SELL. Twitter is about building connections and relationships. If you must use automated direct messages, keep it simple. Thank them for following and maybe point them to a page where they can learn more about what you do. Now that they follow you, you’ll have an opportunity to connect and potentially sell down the road, but doing it right away often turns people off and may cause them to unfollow you before you’ve even had a chance to sell.

James has been working since 2010 as a web designer for Lone Wolf. He has been blogging for almost as long as there has been blogging. James is part of the organizing committee for the upcoming Ignite Popup event coming to Cambridge in 2014.

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  • http://twitter.com/cinn48 Candice Lepage

    True, true, true! I have never clicked the link on the TrueTwit Validation, honestly I didn’t even know what it did. I just went about my business ignoring that person.

    • http://www.slideaway.ca/ jamEs harris

      TrueTwit really is quite prevalent among business account users, drives me crazy. Thanks for commenting Candice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heatheranguslee Heather Angus-Lee

    As a prolific Twitter maven myself, for business, I agree wholeheartedly with everything James writes here!!!