In this age of social media where everyone is connected, it’s turned into a bit of a “monkey see, monkey do” type of online society.

If you don’t believe me, go to your Facebook page and post a status update saying, “Who sells Herbalife?” Then, brace yourself for your Facebook notifications to look like a Las Vegas slot machine that just hit a jackpot.

Real estate agents are doing the same thing.

One Realtor will mention how he attained a client from his Instagram post; another agent will begin doing the same thing, and then another, then another.

So in this age of autonomy, how is anyone expected to get business from Twitter when all of their counterparts are doing the same? By educating your users.

Yes, by educating our followers, we’ve had more leads that have closed. Especially within the vast melting pot of the community on Twitter. Although it’s hard to educate people in 140 characters or less, it’s still doable if done correctly.

Remember, people are tweeting their opinions and thoughts typically with the intention of interacting with others. I have yet to meet one person on Twitter who tweets with the intention of sparking conversations that never get finished.

There are also the occasional trolls, people who tweet with the sole intent of being rude, condescending or ostentatiously boastful, but don’t pay attention to them.

Now, I know I’ll probably have a group of readers who think I’m crazy for saying that anyone could get a social media lead on a client who will close on arguably one of the largest purchases of their life. But, it is something that is done on a daily basis.

When I teach our free Social Media 101 classes to brokerages, toward the end of each class, I’ll pull up Twitter on the big screen for the class to see. Then I’ll go to the search bar and type in the hashtag #iHateMoving.

Next, I’ll change some of the location features within the search parameters (it’s much easier than it sounds, I promise) to display tweets that are near the city I am visiting.

I’ll have a timeline full of tweets from individuals nearby who are talking about how they hate moving. I simply explain to the classroom of Realtors that this is an excellent starting point for jumping into the conversation with that Twitter user. Just mention how they could purchase a home if they have a 620 credit score and earn X amount of dollars per year — and you have a conversation.

The classroom then looks like every one of the agents has a lightbulb go off in their head. It’s something that’s so simple, yet so out of the box, that not a lot of agents are doing creative marketing strategies. Then agents begin tinkering with hashtag search phrases such as #iHateRenting, #LandLordProblems, #MovinOnUp, etc.

This little Easter egg is my gift to you for reading this article and is a great way to search for some new leads. But let’s get to the education portion of how our business is landing new SEO clients.

We aimed to send out specific tweets to specific demographics (doctors, attorneys, surgeons, lawyers, dentists, orthodontists, Realtors and roofers). We used hashtags they would use and showcased no-nonsense pricing for our service.

A lot of companies won’t do that because they want you to call to inquire. But don’t you just hate it when all you want to know is how much something costs, yet you have to talk to some pushy salesperson first?

We don’t like that either and used that in our strategy to stand out. We then started tweeting out tips that businesses could use on their own just like we did above with that gem.

By educating our Twitter followers and always giving out great information, our tweets that were being sent out would soon start to be favorited and retweeted by other industry-trusted Twitter users.

Just recently, we were contacted by an attorney in Tampa Bay who saw a tweet that was retweeted by someone on Twitter whom he follows and trusts. Our tweets have become something of value because we don’t just post the same self-boasting content over and over.

We try to educate and engage our followers, which, in turn, makes us more real, an industry authority and a great resource for people with questions or like-minded views.

So when it comes to your Twitter account, try to be engaging and also try to post excellent information. We try to post everything in our secret sauce except for that last ingredient.

So if you, of course, don’t want to give up the secret to your success, help walk others to the door and let them enter it on their own. Because when you help others become successful, that’s when you start to build a valuable business.

Andrew Molz is an expert strategist when it comes to merging social media with real estate. Currently, Molz is the managing partner at Dallas-based startups The Reputation Shop and 12 Rounds SEO; connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email Andrew Molz.

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