Twitter search is one of the coolest features of the now-ubiquitous social media site. We've already discussed how sales agents might discover opportunities using twitter search here.
But we thought it might be good to expand upon that somewhat and offer some more suggestions about how to reach out to users on Twitter who are seeking information from apt. marketers.
A group of apartment marketers, many of whom are members of the Multifamily Insiders Group, hold a chat on Fridays (#AptChat) where they share their ideas. Last Friday, I decided to play with some search terms specific to apartments. The best one I found was the first one that popped into my head "looking for apt." My second favorite search term is "moving to".
While there will be some unrelated results - apt is a real word that doesn't mean apartment" - a majority will be from people who are truly looking to re-locate. They're begging for your help.
Will you help them?
If there is any advice we could impart of value to Twitter users, perhaps this is the most important: treat those seeking your help with respect and dignity.
When and if you respond to a person you've found through a search, introduce yourself and give them quality information. Treat them as if they were a member of your own family. Check out their tweets and their profiles and then respond with something of value.
As businesses we tend to apply terms such as prospect, customer and lead to real human beings (we have been guilty of this ourselves). It is best to abandon those terms for one more apt, relationship. You are trying to build a relationship with a human being. If that person decides to spend his money with your establishment, it will be a reflection on how well you can relate, not how well you can "sell."
Business Relationships are Changing
Remember Lending Tree? Lending tree took what was once a very difficult proposition - shopping for a loan - and made it easier while giving more power to the consumer. Twitter and social media in general can positively effect markets in a similar way.
For instance, if I am seeking something I need, and post it to Twitter, I expect people to respond with pertinent information. It's a public forum and I as the consumer am hoping to reach as many information providers as possible when I ask for help.
It's is the equivalent of posting a "wanted" classified. Personally, I'm "lazy". I don't want to hit the google search and look at customer reviews for everything. Besides, people buy from people. You can't talk to a logo. Brand affiliation will have more to do with personal relationships in the future than mere name recognition if we can trust the trends we're seeing on the social media sites.
We see this in our own interactions with customers here at DriveBuy. Follow up and personalization do more to solidify our own customer relationships than our advertising alone. People do business with us because we build a personal relationship with them in the process of soliciting their businesses.
You need to give it up. Give up the info. Some people are interested in price alone, others location - ie; how close is it to work and others might be persuaded to pay more for amenities such as fitness centers and concierge services. But you won't know that until you give something and indicate that you are actually concerned with their needs first rather than yours.
@aptseeker - hi, saw your tweet, here's some of the floorplans we have available and some pictures. When's your move date? http://tinyurl.pointing-to-real-pics-of-floorplans-and-actual-pictures.com
@aptseeker - hello - we have several locations around town and a few vacancies. Do you have a favorite neighborhood in Anytown? http://tinyurl.pointing-to-list-of-complexes-by-neighborhood
@aptseeker - hi - we just happen to have 3 vacancies on the first floor at this location - http://tinyurl.pointing-to-location-site - a 1br, studio, 2br.
These are few possibilities. The content you provide needs to be relevant and useful. If it isn't, you're wasting your time and theirs. By offering useful content you indicate your level of sincerity. The more sincere you are, the more likely you will build a relationship with that person and do business together in the future.