April 04, 2012

Twitter for Property Management Part 2

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In Twitter for Property Management Part 1, we looked at how Twitter can help property managers reach potential renters and provide customer service. Now that you have an account set up, let’s look at how to find people to follow, what to post, and how to integrate Twitter across your marketing channels.

Following on Twitter

When you first start out on Twitter and haven’t yet followed anyone, it’s like standing in an empty room with no one to talk to.

Who should you follow on Twitter? Try these for starters: Your own property managers, employees and business associates, many of whom will follow you back in return. Then, look to professional associations, industry media, apartment listing services and local businesses.

Following competitors will help you to understand how they are using Twitter and learn about their business developments. Look to see who your competitors follow, and follow them too if you feel they would add value to your Twitter feed.

If someone follows you, then follow back if they appear to be a genuine person (not an automated spam account) or company of interest.

There are plenty of online tools to help you find people on Twitter to follow:

1.) Start with Twitter’s own search to find specific users by name.

2.) Try using FollowerWonk.com to search for people who might include an interest or profession in their bio, like property managers, along with a their location.

3.) Look for Twitter lists to seek out users that others have already assembled and categorized. You can follow the list or the individuals on the list. Listorious is a great resource for this type of search.

4.) A simple Google search for  “your town/neighbourhood” + “twitter” will turn up a slew of people to follow. You may wish to refine the search with additional keywords.

Your experience on Twitter will only be as good as the people you follow. But, beware: only follow a small group of people per day or Twitter may suspect you are a spammer and freeze your account. In addition, Twitter limits you to following 2,000 accounts until you following/follower ratio evens out. Incremental growth is strongly advised!

Posting to Twitter

Twitter restricts all posts to 140 characters or less, forcing users to be succinct. But that’s no reason not to have fun! People like to follow those who show a human side, are personable and friendly. Think of Twitter more as a business cocktail party and less as an advertising channel and you’ll be off on the right foot.

To find prospects and leads, use search.twitter.com’s advanced search function to find conversations by for keywords and location. On the results page, click on the “view all tweets” link to see all the people who have mentioned your keywords recently. You should always monitor the name of your company as well as the name of your apartment building.

Once you’ve identified potential renters, respond to them politely with a link to a property listing that might fit their needs. Check back on Twitter in case they respond to you with a comment or question, but don’t contact them with additional properties unless they’ve contacted you directly that they’re interested or you’ll be seen as a spammer. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to click Follow on that person’s profile.

If you plan to use Twitter to augment customer service on your properties use a mobile application like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or Seesmic on your phone for 24/7 notifications.

Listen to the conversations happening in your own feed and interact with them. Post links to interesting articles, ask questions, answer other people’s questions, congratulate someone on good news or thank them for sharing a link. Be polite, be human, build your confidence and skills as you go, and your Twitter following will grow with you.

Integrating Twitter

As you post to Twitter, you may decide to actively drive people to other networks on the web to grow your presence there. You can ask your followers to Like your Facebook page, review a property on Yelp, visit your YouTube channel for apartment tours, follow you on Pinterest or Google +, or bookmark your profile on a property listings site.

Of course, if you have a blog, you’ll want to Tweet links to your posts. But don’t stop there. Ensure that your blog includes links for people to follow you on Twitter. As well, include a social sharing button like Share This on your blog posts to encourage people to post your content around the web. You can also download buttons and widgets directly from Twitter.

Save some time by cross-posting from Twitter to Facebook or LinkedIn. But do this selectively: You don’t want @ replies on Twitter showing up out of context and redundant on other networks. Using Selective Tweets for Facebook will only cross-posts tweets that include fb# in them. Likewise, LinkedIn has direct li# integration.

Promote your Twitter account in email signatures, business cards, email marketing, advertising, property listings profiles, letterhead and even your rental office window. The more places you include the link, the more opportunities you give people to connect with you directly, helping to build your profile and your fill your properties.


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Tasha Morton

Tenant Receivables Analyst, MetCap Living Management Inc.

Describe your experience in a few words

Great team work in getting the product to meet our unique business needs.

What do you like the most about the software?

The Sales and Support team are excellent. The dashboards give our team an quick look at performance. Tenant’s feedback is very positive.