Our last blog post was on Tip & Tools to use to market your real estate business, click here to read the full article. This time we are going to go over how to use a few of those tools in conjunction with each other to promote your real estate & short sale business. For this blog post we are going to go over Twitter and how to gain followers, or potential clients. Twitter is one of those tools you look at and wonder to yourself “how can this be useful?” Well this is how; Twitter is a great way to do a quick “HEY! I want your attention, come check this out”. If you can get people to click on the Twitter post then you take them to a blog post, your sites homepage or give them the informational news they are looking for. If you can get them to your site, keeping them there and turning them into clients is another obstacle.
So you have signed up for a Twitter account, you started following a few people and you have made a few posts trying to get people to stop by your website and check things out. You end up going a few days without making another appearance on Twitter because let’s face it life gets busy and it’s hard to stop by Twitter and update what you have been up to. Why not use a few of the tools in our last blog post (click here to read it) and FEED Twitter news updates from the web on any specific subject you choose.
The purpose of this automated Twitter posting is not to flood your Twitter account with news updates but to interact with your current followers and attract more to your Twitter account. To gain Twitter followers, people need to see your name and profile picture posting frequently. This easy to setup, automated postings syndication will allow your account to post even when you’re not in front of the computer, thus putting your name on and picture out there for people to find and follow.
Before getting started sign into your Twitter account so any authorization that is going to happen is easy to setup.
Sign into your Gmail account, if you do not have one you can set one up here. Signing up for this is easy and it’s FREE. Click here to sign up.
With your browser window open, start a new tab, the 1st tab should be your Twitter account and the 2nd tab is your Gmail account. Go ahead and get a new tab and go to http://www.google.com/alerts. Here is where we are going to search the Internet for related stories to post on Twitter. On the left hand side of Google Alerts you should see 5 fields you can adjust. NOTE this is only a PREVIEW of the news story, we will explain how to turn them into RSS feeds a little later.
- Search Terms – type in the KEYWORD(s) you would like Google to search internet for. (real estate US, short sale US, New Mexico Real Estate, New Jersey Short Sale, etc) Are a few examples, you will have to fine tune these keywords to make sure they are related news stories you would like to post to your Twitter Account. Right below the “Search Terms” field is a preview the results. Click that to see the news related news stories Google has found.
- Type – this is telling Google where to search on the internet, would you like Google to search Everything or just news, blogs, videos or discussion forums.
- How Often – You will want to choose “As it Happens”, this will allow us to use an RSS feed to post to Twitter later on.
- Email Length – This will just show how many news stories.
Now that we have gone over the basic understanding of what Google Alerts are, we are now going to set up the RSS feeds to start pulling in the data. On the right hand side of the Google Alerts page there is link “You can also sign in to manage your alerts”, click that link to get started setting up RSS Feeds. If you are NOT signed into your Gmail Account do so now then click the link again.
- Once you have clicked the link to manage your alerts you can now create a NEW Alert (right hand side of the page).
- Fill in your keyword(s), choose where you want Google to search, choose “As it Happens, pick how many stories you would like to display in the Google Reader, Choose FEED and then create the alert. Create as many alerts as you would like, you can always go back and edit and delete the alerts later.
Make sure you are still logged into your Gmail account, open a new tab and go to http://www.google.com/reader, here is where you can see the news stories that your Google Alerts are pulling from. On the left hand side of the page you will see SUBSCRIPTIONS, (look down the page a little bit) under there are should see the keyword(s) that are in your Google Alerts. Click on one and you should see the news stories from the search of that keyword on the right hand side. You will have to give Google some time to populate the news stories, about an hour for it to start pulling stories.
We will come back to Google Reader here soon, keep that page open.
We now need to FEED our twitter account but we need to use a third party program. We listed 2 programs that do this very well, TwitterFeed and HootSuite. We know that there are more program like these that are out there on the net but these two seem to do a really great job and are easy to setup. Both programs you will need to sign up for a FREE account.
TwitterFeed – is strictly for RSS feeds and attaching those feeds to your social networks.
HootSuite – is a program that does RSS and allows you to manage your social networks in one place.
Setting up TwitterFeed to post to your Twitter account – once you have signed up its pretty straight forward what to do next but here are our step by step instructions:
- You will want to create a New Feed. Name it whatever you would like, we name it the same as our Google Alert, so it makes it easy to track where the information is coming from.
- RSS Feed URL – This is where we need to go back to Google Reader – click back to that tab, you should still have that window open if not make sure your still logged into your Gmail account and go to http://www.google.com/reader. When you’re in the Google Reader page, up in the top right corner you will see “Settings” click that and navigate to “Reader Setting” and click.
- Second Tab “SUBSCRIPTIONS” you should see ALL of you Google Alerts, select which alert you would like TwitterFeed to post. Select and copy the URL under the title of the alert, the url string should look something like this (http://www.google.com/reader/public/atom/user/03239483159775287666/state/com.google/alerts/2383260231316867321)
- Head back over to TwitterFeed and paste that url into the RSS Feed Url and click TEST rss feed. If the test fails make sure there are no spaces at the end of the url or the beginning.
- Once the test rss feed passes successfully, click the Advanced Settings text below. From here customize how often you would like the feed to post to twitter and how many stories. The Post Prefix and Post Suffix are for those search terms on Twitter (#realestate #shortsale #proptrackr), you get the idea. Click the Continue to Step 2.
- Active Services – Here is where you get to choose what social networks you would like to post to Twitter, Facebook and a few others. For now we will just explain Twitter, clicking on the Twitter text will bring up the Authenticate Page allowing you to attach TwitterFeed to your Twitter account. Go through the few steps to tie them together and you should be brought right back to the Active Service page in TwitterFeed. Once that is completed click the Create Service and you’re done!
Now TwitterFeed will be posting to your Twitter account at whatever intervals you setup in step 2 (Advanced Setting) of your TwitterFeed Account.
HootSuite follows the same basic steps as Twitter feed, except a few things are a little different. If you choose to use HootSuite as your RSS Feeder then you just need to navigate to the setting by click the OWL in the top left corner of your browser. Then click Setting and then over to RSS/Atom and create a new feed.
AND you’re done! You are now posting 24/7 and people will see your name and your posts. This auto posting method is to gain more followers and to get people familiar with your brand. Be sure to REMEMBER to post your recent blog posts or discussion question to help drive traffic to your site.
Thanks for reading this How To instructional Auto Twitter postings. Check back soon as we will continue to explain how to use social marketing to drive traffic to your site.