I was actually asked a question in the form of a Tweet by Vancouver, WA Mortgage Broker Ed Bisquera. (see image to the right)Ed's Tweet

Rather than offer your usual list of RE.net suspects, my advice on who Twitter newbies should follow is more geared to what “groups” of people newbies should consider following. It’s about having a conversation with your audience. First know who your audience is.

This Isn’t Another “Follow These People” Type of List

Sure, there are tons of awesome real estate thought leaders out there in the Twitterverse to follow. The “Who’s Who” list has already been written. And I’m sure more list will follow. The point of this post is to focus what “groups of people” real estate agents should follow if they have the idea in mind to see their bottom line be impacted by their social media participation. Unless you want to refer out all your clients to other real estate agents, your list should be hyper-local oriented.

10 Groups of People You Should Follow on Twitter

Here are a few ideas who you should consider following on Twitter:

  1. Your current clients. If they are on Twitter, set the expectation that you may engage in “light’ banter and not detailed aspects of their transaction. Be mindful to avoid specific and sensitive financial matters in your Tweets (this applies to Facebook updates too). For sensitive conversations, I would even avoid sending direct message (DM) Tweets too. Stick with email and the phone for those conversations.
  2. Your past clients are terrific people to follow if they are on Twitter. Of course I’m assuming these were satisfied clients. Having Tweet conversations with past clients keeps you “top of mind” for referrals and future transactions from your past clients. Their “word of mouth” endorsement on Twitter of the quality of your services is a powerful tool in your marketing plan.
  3. Potential clients. Another type of hyper-local “Tweople” you follow on Twitter. These are folks you have a goal to meet face to face. The obvious place to meet is at a local Tweetup. So how does one go about finding local people on Twitter who may become a client? Here are a few tools to identify and group local Twitter people: 1) TwitterLocal 2) Place Tweople in groups 3) Find people with Twubble
  4. Local news media personalities and news production people are awesome people to follow. Now is a great time to follow the news media crowd especially while their followers list is small. Having Twitter conversations with these peeps allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise as a local area expert and trusted adviser. It may even get you an interview if you play your cards right.
  5. Your friends and family members. How many times have you heard a friend used another agent when they should have used you to help buy or sell. With Twitter, it’s another way to stay connected to remain top of mind with friends and family.
  6. Local vendor partners. This includes following your mortgage guy or gal, your home inspector, and any other partner you depend on to serve your client’s needs. It’s like using Twitter as your Rolodex.
  7. Marketing, technology and social media thought leaders. These individuals will help you stay in the know and keep you abreast of the latest and greatest in technology, social media and real estate marketing.
  8. Suppliers and Virtual Assistants. The aforementioned group may go hand in hand with suppliers and virtual assistants. I will say there are many real estate agents who definitely fall into the category above as “real estate thought leaders” and are worthy of following. Learning from their example is a must.
  9. Your broker/owner if they are on Twitter. If your broker-in-charge/owner is on Twitter, you should most certainly be following them (you know they will be following you).
  10. Other real estate agents. Notice this is last on the list and for good reason. Unless your business model is completely skewed to relocation referrals, connecting with tons of fellow agents to grow your digital SOI doesn’t  make sense to me. Now, if you use Twitter to chat and have fun with your peers, great. Just understand, it’s probably not going to help grow your business to be following every agent who is on Twitter.

Let’s Get Personal

I’ll make this point personal. I could follow every real estate marketing and SEO expert there is on Twitter, chat away and it will never help grow my business. My audience is real estate agents, brokers and broker/owners. I make no bones about it, I’m there to listen, connect, engage, share high-value information with my audience so I can make friends, have fun and help people. Along with friends and family, it’s who I hang with on Twitter.

So who do you follow on Twitter?