Today’s post is from Penelope Labram, the in-house Online Marketing Manager at inMotion Real Estate Media. A digital marketing agency focusing on the commercial real estate sector, they provide everything from online marketing management to graphic design and web development solutions.
Don’t be fooled by the cute bird icon and the network’s popularity with teenagers. For commercial real estate agents, a Twitter account is one of the most powerful B2B marketing tools in your arsenal.
The fact that the network represents a cheap advertising/customer service channel which requires fairly minimal effort means that businesses (read: potential clients) have flocked to Twitter ever since it first opened. The network’s conversational nature also makes it a great place to build trust with customers looking to invest.
To get the most out of Twitter as a professional tool, however, one thing’s for sure: you’ll need a proper plan. I like to use the classic model of the sales funnel as a reference for building a Twitter strategy:
A great first point of contact and way to make potential clients sit up is by (as you may have heard before) engaging in the subject matter that most interests them. Follows, retweets, favorites and mentions are all great ways to build awareness and pique interest. And make sure you punctuate your tweets with the relevant hashtags (#cre, #officespace, #retail…), so that anyone looking for information about these sectors can find you.
You now need to really engage your followers. Your aim in this stage is either to build and develop conversations, or collect email addresses that can be used to send further material of potential interest to support your sales tactics.
A good way to collect email addresses is to create a newsletter full of interesting sector-related email (with a clear unsubscribe button: no spam please!), and let followers know through a direct message that they can sign up by sending you their email address if they’d like to keep informed (“D PotentialClient1 Thanks for following! Send an email address if you’d like to receive our jam-packed monthly Office World newsletter (unsubscribe any time).”).
When building dialogue, it’s easy to get wrapped up in tweeting sector news, so don’t forget that from time to time you should also put up a direct sales pitch that reminds your followers what it is your company actually does all day (“We’ve recently started offering professional property management services. Take a look! http://… #CRE”). Make sure you don’t do this too often (max. one tweet in five, and ideally one in ten), to stay within the unwritten rules of Twitter netiquette.
This is where other parts of your marketing and sales strategy come in. If you’ve managed to get people to sign up for it, a chatty, friendly newsletter that’s packed full of information is a useful asset for building trust and showing off your experience as a company, and can also be used to throw in information about your services from time to time. It also ensures you’ll have contact with each potential client on a regular basis, so you’ll never be far from their thoughts.
This is your main opportunity to display your organization’s professionalism, so don’t stint on outsourcing design or copy-writing services if you don’t have anyone who can carry these out in-house.
Make sure every place you discuss your services – in your tweets, in your newsletter and on your website – has a clear call to action. Think about what possible paths potential clients could follow – from that first tweet to that final contact form on your website – and make sure you guide them along with a strong imperative. For example: “A #retail REIT with an impressive portfolio. Follow us!”.
Loyalty and advocacy
There’s plenty of ways you can use Twitter to keep on your current clients’ good side and even turn them into brand ambassadors.
First of all, sounds obvious but make sure you do follow your clients if they have a Twitter account so you can keep in touch (this is a good bit of business etiquette that people often miss out on). Retweets and favorites never go amiss, and can be great ways to build mutually beneficial long-lasting relationships.
One final tip: you can share your audience and help them publicize their own business by tweeting about projects you’ve assisted them with (“Just helped @ClientX find a great new home for their #logistics business! #officespace”), although you might want to check they’re happy for you to do so first if you’re not sure.