Twitter can be a very effective tool for you, but you have to use it the right way. If you make every post about real estate you may be seen as boring or a spammer, but with too few tweets about real estate your followers may not think of you when looking for a broker.

Your tweets need to show who you are; your personality, interests, and blend your personal with your business life. Unknown to most, Twitter is also a great for real estate SEO purposes because you can include links to your real estate website or blog, driving more traffic there. Here are some useful ways to use Twitter for your real estate business. There are many more, so feel free to add some of your own!

Converse with People About Your Real Estate Business

On occasion, you can tweet positive news about your company and what news is happening. Be careful about doing this too much in that people get tired of self promoting tweets and will tend to delete you. Thus this promotion effect can best be used when interspersed with many of the other ideas that we'll be talking about today such as sharing quotes, giving advice, commenting on the industry and more. The more comments you make the more visible you're.

Just like using Google on the Internet, you can see what people really think about you on Twitter, or if anyone that is following you is saying anything about you. Twitter is where people are. They're freely expressing their opinion. You can use the search feature on twitter to see what people are talking about each topic. You can write your own name and see what people are talking about you. Whether they're talking good stuff, or bad stuff, it's better than those customer evaluation sheets that Macys and JCPenny ask you to do because not everyone does it. So you never get the neutral view out of it. You either read reviews that are super good or super bad. This shows you the general view about yourself, or a product that you're looking for.

Establish a Good Database of Followers

The number one most easy way to get twitter followers is to simply follow others! Seems simple, yet not many people are doing it. All you do is search Twitter for the "gurus" in your niche, and follow the people that are following them. The gurus in your niche should have the bulk of your target market, that's why I say to follow their followers.

Now wait about 2 weeks to give the people you followed a chance to start following you. You should get about 700 followers by the end of the 2 weeks! Now go to: Twitter Karma (which can be found at dossy.org/twitter/karma) and un-follow everyone who's NOT following you. And repeat the step above to get more followers. A caution here. If you go to Twitter Karma using Internet Explorer, you'll get a message saying that there are known concerns and/or conflicts with this browser. I've found Mozilla's FireFox (FireFox.com) to work very well with this program.

Include a link to Twitter in your forum or email signature. Just think of Twitter as a website. The same way you can get traffic to your website, you can do the same for Twitter. So make sure to post your Twitter link in your signature on forums! Include a link to Twitter in all emails you send out to your list. At the end of the email, just say "Follow me on Twitter" with your link. Make this a hyperlink to your Twitter homepage.

Tweeting on a personal level is fun and for many that's as far as it goes - but if you're interested in growing your Twitter influence you need to provide your followers (and potential followers) with value. It's the same principle as growing a blog - if you help enhance people's lives in some way they're more likely to want to track with you and read more of what you have to say. As a result your conversations should 'matter' on some level. Sure you can throw in personal tweets and have some fun with it - but unless you're providing something useful to people (information, entertainment, news, education etc) they probably won't follow you for long.

I've the majority of new twitter followers add me and find me during business hours. Tweeting during these times increases the chances of someone finding you and adding you as someone to follow. However I can also say that there are quite a few 'adds' that come online after hours as well. In addition, I've also used programs such as Tweet Adder (TweetAdder.com) to increase my followers. This is a program that can dramatically increase your followers, but you have to stay focused on your specialty. Then later delete those who don't follow you back as we discussed in Twitter Karma.

Use Twitpic To Share Photos Of Your New Listings.

Twitpic is a website that allows users to easily post pictures to the Twitter microblogging and social media service. You can easily locate it at TwitPic.com. If you're a member of Twitter, then you're already a member of Twitpic. You can post photos from your smartphone or the site itself.

Twitpic is often used by agents to upload and distribute pictures in near real-time of new properties for sale and as an event is taking place. Twitpic could be used independently of Twitter, in a way similar to Flickr. However several characteristics make this site a companion for Twitter.

Again, Twitpic usernames and passwords are the same as the ones in Twitter. Comments to photographs are sent as a reply tweet. Twitpic URLs are already short, making it unnecessary to use URL shortening.

Remember, The Quality Of Your Followers Is Better Than The Quantity

While having a large quantity of followers can be valuable, don't make the mistake of overlooking the quality of those who follow you. The addition of just a few good quality people can cause large numbers of others to follow you.

It's not necessary to always be the content originator. Pointing to good content works too (and Twitter is the perfect platform for this). As I mentioned earlier, "retweeting" someone else's post can be an excellent way of getting good quality material posted to your site.

On the Internet, as in life, people get major good will and brownie points for being helpful. So, even if you're from time to time just the bird dog or pointer, people will remember you for helping them find useful information they need.

Group Your Posts and Others Using the Hashtag

Even if you're new to Twitter and read a few posts, you've probably recognized the hash symbol ("#") attached to many posts. That's what Twitter users call a "hashtag," and at any given time at least one of them can usually be found among the trending topics on Twitter. But what exactly is a hashtag?

Hashtags are basically a simple way to catalog and connect tweets about a specific topic. They make it easier for users to find additional tweets on a particular subject, while filtering out the incidental tweets that may just coincidentally contain the same keyword. Hashtags are also often used by various Boards, Associations, Large real estate offices and event organizers as a method of keeping all tweets about the event in a single stream, and they've even been used to coordinate updates during emergencies. In fact, hashtags were first popularized during the 2007 San Diego wildfire, when the tag #sandiegofires was used to identify tweets about the natural disaster.

Because hashtags tend to spread so quickly and because Twitter users often search hashtags for content from people they'ren't following, using hashtags can be a great way to extend your reach on Twitter and connect with your current audience in a more meaningful way. There are a wide variety of already established hashtags -- and new ones being created daily -- that you can join. You need to be careful, however, that your use of hashtags is consistent with both your brand and the tag itself.

Proper etiquette dictates that you should only use hashtags if your tweet is actually relevant to the tag's associated topics.

So which tags should you participate in? That depends wholly on your business and your purpose for using Twitter. For example, it's probably a bad idea to participate in the #FSBOsRus hashtag (which does not exist currently) if you own a real estate office and use your Twitter account to assist in listing properties. But if you do a large volume in short sales, you'll more than likely want to join in the #shortsale or #SHORTSALES hashtags (of which both exist), in which people tweet about their interest in or questions about short sales.

Use sites like Twubs (that would be Twubs.com), a hashtag directory, to locate and identify hashtags that make sense for your business. Also, pay attention to tags being used by your followers and search for them on Twitter to see what sort of tweets are associated with those tags. If it makes sense for your business to jump on board, compose tweets that are on topic and compatible with that hashtag.

While you certainly shouldn't use hashtags to describe all of your tweets, they can be very helpful for your real estate company as a way to track social media campaigns that help establish a sense of community and build your company's brand among your core customers. The first step in creating a hashtag is deciding on the tag word itself. Pick something memorable, easy to spell, and perhaps more importantly, as short as possible. Remember that Twitter gives just 140 characters per tweet, so no one wants half of it to be taken up by an unwieldy hashtag.

Once you've figured out the tag itself, the next step is simple: start using it and promoting it. Make sure your tweets using the hashtag are worthwhile and add something of value to the conversation. Promote your tag or the social media campaign that uses the tag via other social media channels, such as your blog or email newsletter. Tweet out calls to action explaining your new tag at regular intervals (but don't overdo it!). For example, let's say you'd like more information on short sales. Your explanatory tweet might be something like, "What's the best thing you've learned selling 'short sales? Tweet and share your thoughts using #shortsales!