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By now, I’m sure we can all agree that Facebook is an invaluable tool to help establish new business and further promote to your sphere of influence. However, REALTORS® can’t simply use Facebook as their only solution to their social media strategy. Twitter is also a force to be reckoned with, and if you aren’t tweeting, you just may be falling behind.

Twitter is both similar and different from other social media sites. It is a communication platform that allows businesses (you) to connect with their customers (leads).Users can send updates, aka Tweets, which then get blasted to your followers’ pages…and the pages of millions of other Twitter users. Users can ReTweet (RT) posts by other users/followers, fueling the fire for more buzz, more conversation and better advertising. Twitter is a great way to get your content in front of its intended audience, all with help from your fellow readers and followers.

If you’re a Twitter newbie or need a refresher in Twitter basics, here are a few points of interest to keep in mind:

Hashtags help users categorize their postings. By typing the # symbol followed by a phrase or topic you are Tweeting about, you are providing users with the ability to search for that topic and all related messages. Hashtags are great for announcing open houses, new listings or current trends in the real estate industry. If enough people use the same hashtag, the term will appear in Twitter’s “Trending Topics” area, which can then be sorted by Worldwide, United States or any particular state.

Your Twitter “handle” is created at registration and is composed of anything after the @ symbol (for example, @RISMediaUpdates).  This is how you communicate with other users and how they respond back to you. To direct a Tweet to another user, simply tag them by using the @ symbol followed by their handle.

Always remember, shorter is better on Twitter. Each Tweet has a limit of 140 characters. Due to this limitation, shortening sentences by skimping on grammar or spelling is encouraged in order to present information in bite-sized pieces. Do whatever it takes to keep it short and simple!

Plenty of competitive companies and brokerages are already reaching out to the millions of users who scour Twitter every day. Learning how to incorporate Twitter with your other social media happenings can only strengthen your existing marketing strategy and expand your current Web presence. With the right content and posting frequency, Twitter can help you build relationships, promote your listings and sell yourself as both a reliable and knowledgeable source for real estate news.

Join us on Twitter @RISMediaUpdates and be sure to drop us a Tweet – we’d love to see what you’re up to! And don’t forget about RISMedia’s first ever #ReaderRewards contest where one lucky follower will win a $50 American Express gift card! For more information, please visit!