Are you using Twitter correctly?

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Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has gained rapid worldwide popularity. Many times it has been portrayed as the 'SMS of the internet' and hailed as the new/alternative 'Facebook'. Since it is still in its infancy, many people have made enough mistakes to make something from the virtual world become a reality. If you search 'Fired' and 'Twitter' into a search engine, you will find documented cases where people have lost their jobs because they have 'twittered' 140 characters.

Alternatively it could work to your advantage. Last year James Buck and his translator were arrested in Egypt for taking photos of an anti-government protest so on their way to the police station he 'twittered' the message 'Arrested'. A few of his 48 followers contacted the U.S embassy in Cairo and a number of press organisations. He was released the next day. Another example is during the Mumbai attacks of 2008. There were an estimated 80 'tweets' per five seconds. Users sent out vital information such as emergency phone numbers and the location of hospitals that needed blood donations.

Therefore the old proverb of 'A bad workman blames his tools' can apply to the virtual world. Estate Agents can use Twitter to their advantage but there are socialising rules that are seemed to be overlooked. Ideally estate agents should try to avoid: -

Mundane twitters - The most common mistake. People do not want to read that you're eating a sandwich or that you have just sneezed. Easiest thing to do is try to empathise with your customers. They want to know about the latest house or the new enhanced mapping on your property website.

Irregular/overusing twitters - You have to find the right balance of not twittering too much and never twittering. People want to hear what you have to say, just not all the time. Please note that this rule tends to not apply to celebrities because of idolisation.

Angry Twitters - Avoid swearing and abusive language. Blind rage spilling onto Twitter will get you nowhere.

Gossip - Careful who you gossip about. Gossiping about another estate agent could be picked up by anyone. Keep it positive.

One sided conversations - We all know people who talk endlessly about themselves.

Endless self promoting - People are used to a little bit of self promoting but don't overdo it. Engage with people on a personal level and the rewards will be endless.

Auto Direct Messages or Auto Replies - No one likes spam.

For applications on your computer that are twitter based, have a look around You'll be surprised with the different uses and fun you can have! Twitter can be used for more than stating 140 characters. See what it can do for your estate agency.

Don't forget to use to search for terms that are relevant to you. This gives you the ability to see what other estate agents talking about. You can use this feature to see the latest developments in real estate or even local property news. If there is no local news... great! There's a gap in the market to share your own property news.