Mobile phones and Web based communication platforms are increasing their presence and popularity among the lives of hundreds of millions of people globally. People do everything from sharing monotonous and routine details of every day life to alerting people to breaking news or product launches. You’ve probably heard a lot about Twitter, the free micro-blogging social network that’s growing faster than Facebook as we speak. Still, you’re probably wondering what Twitter is and how it actually works.
Have no fear, For Rent Media Solutions (@AptsForRent) has been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately, and has put together a guide to help Twitter newbies get started. Twitter is estimated to have around 5 to 10 million registered users. According to Compete.com, Twitter received more than 14 million unique visitors and more than 8 million page views in March. Oprah Winfrey set up a Twitter account and tweeted live for the first time on her April 17 show. According to Engadget’s Ryan Block, 1.2 million people signed up after she did. Is this a coincidence or is it the “Oprah Effect”? If your company doesn’t have a Twitter account, make it a priority to jump on the bandwagon. Still not convinced? Check out our lingo break down and tips and tricks below.
What is it?
Twitter allows users to send “tweets,” or text-based messages up to 140 characters long answering the simple question of “What are you doing now?” These “tweets” are then displayed on your profile page and delivered to other users who are “following” you (essentially, subscribing to receive your tweets). Also, you can follow (subscribe) to the tweets of anyone you want, from family and friends to Oprah, major Web sites, big brands and more.
Confused yet? It’s ok. Basically, Twitter is like an online cocktail party, a text message or like a Facebook status update, with which you can keep people up-to date with your life.
Who is “Twittering” and why should I use it?
According to PewInternet, 19% of online adults age 18-24 have used Twitter, 10% of 35-44yr olds have used it and 5% of online adults age 45-54 have also tweeted. Twitter is great for posting the ins and out of your life, but Twitter can be a great business tool to gain potential residents, retain residents or to stay abreast industry trends. Can’t attend tradeshows this year? Stay connected with attendees and speakers by using #’s. For example, you can follow the AIM conference going on right now by doing a Twitter search for #aimconf.
MySpace and Facebook use the term “Friends”, but Twitter uses the term “followers”. To follow someone, visit their profile and select the “follow” option. The user will then receive an alert that lets them know you are now following them, and then they can choose to follow you.
Users have the capability to respond to all tweets by addressing the person by using their Twitter user name preceded by the “@” symbol. This will direct a tweet at another person, and causes your twitter to save in their “replies” tab. As a rule- don’t reply back to every tweet.
Sends a person a private message that goes to their device, and saves in their “Direct Messages” tab.
RT is short for retweet. People add RT somewhere in a tweet to indicate that part of their tweet includes something they’re re-posting from another person’s tweet, sometimes with a comment of their own.
If you come across a really good tweet that like, you can save it to your “favorites” tab.
What do you Tweet?
Anything you want really. People often times reminisce about a memorable experience, share a joke, share everyday updates, provide product updates and announcements or even simply say hello. The tweets are just as diverse as the people you connect with. Tweets can be pitchy but not too direct. Mix up your tweets with @replies, general tweets, share photos, and throw in some links every now and then. It is important to also add something of value to your followers like including links to research and helpful articles.
Who do you follow and how do you get followers?
Following a lot of people does help you get more involved with Twitter. That’s the point of Twitter. However, don’t do it all at one time. Follow people in the multifamily housing industry such as @ericacampbell, @ltrosien, @mbrewer, @30lines, @Eric_Urbane, @JohnTMitchell, @kategood, @RentWiki, and @NAAhq. You can also follow celebrities, media companies, social media experts, big brands, residents and potential residents. Gaining a strong follower base can be tricky. Remember to be original, creative, funny, and offer quality tweets.
How often should you Twitter?
Twitter can be addicting. Trust us we know! But personally, we think 10-12 tweets should be the upper limit. There should be a good balance. Some of the people we follow, Twitter way more than that.
Get started today and Follow ForRent.com @AptsForRent!