In the coming weeks, we are turning our focus toward a particular industry of our client portfolio. Home builders are growing communities and families across the country, and face exciting opportunities as the housing market recovers. New home buyers are utilizing more sources of information in their search for a new address and neighborhood. Can you afford to miss an opportunity of influence in the buying process? Social media is an excellent channel for both brands and consumers to have open dialogue on their aspirations and decisions. Namely, Twitter is a conversation-driven channel where you can actively seek out new customers, engage prospects and serve your satisfied homeowners. However, when you look at large established brands on Twitter with thousands of followers, it’s easy to wonder, “How do you get there?”
Learn with us as we walk through the first steps in becoming a loved Twitter brand.
Week 1: Sign up, find your friends, family and clients
An old proverb credited to Lao-Tzu says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This saying holds true in social media, to begin a journey of engagement, first sign up! As a home builder company, make sure to use an email address that you will always have access to, even if the employee managing your social media departs. Choose a strong password that won’t be easily guessed or cracked, your company’s reputation will eventually ride on it.
Once you have signed up and confirmed your account, hit the ground running! Find a clean photo of your company logo to use for an avatar and fill out your profile information as able. It’s time to build the foundation of your network. Similar to an entrepreneur, look for your friends, family, partners and peers that are on Twitter. It’s a great way to find regular conversation, followers and guidance on tweeting.
For example, when I joined Twitter in early 2009, I looked to my Twitter-savvy cousin and uncle for tips, tricks and people to follow. I eventually branched out to coworkers, infinity and beyond! (To be covered in the next step.) The nice thing about friends and family is that you can ask them to promote you and help you out when you’re new. Make sure that you engage in personable, meaningful conversation with these folks, they can be key to giving you a running start.
Week 2: Follow specific industry players and news outlets
Whenever people or brands try Twitter for the first time, there are a couple of major drop-off points where users stall out or give up. The end of Week 1 is one of those common junctures. It’s easy to ask, “Is this all there is to do on Twitter?” as many folks hesitate to branch out, or don’t know where to look. The next steps after friends and family are crucial to your growth as a home builder brand on Twitter.
Much like marketing for home builders, relevance is crucial to success. After you exhaust the list of family and friends, use local businesses and industry leaders as your next point of contact. For example, a Houston home builder might follow the Greater Houston Association of Home Builders, Houston Partnership, Houston Chamber of Commerce, real estate associations and other local business outlets.
Another approach is to use your existing business connections and contact them offline, asking for a social introduction or any other assistance they can provide. Connecting with local businesses and industry sources is a great next step to finding potential new home buyers and partners. If you’re working past this stage, well done! You’re close to getting a strong start on social media.
Week 3: Engage!
Like building a home, it is important to finish your foundation. However, once you’ve done that, start building and get structural! Start intentional conversations with those you follow, post timely and interesting information that your followers express interest in. An often overlooked action in social media is that of asking questions. Ask people who to follow, what they’re interested in, and what they would share on Twitter. You’ll never know until you ask.
There is a really simple way to approach engagement and content generation on Twitter. Treat Twitter as real life conversations. If you were meeting friends and business partners, would you constantly yell or push your homes for sale? Hopefully the answer is no.
The best conversation on Twitter reflects that of real life. That is, a mix of personal and professional topics in a polite and helpful manner.
Once you’ve developed a following and a unique voice, take it to the next level! Next time we’ll look at the next level: content strategy and scaling social media. How are your social media efforts going? We’d like to hear from you and any feedback you have for us.