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by Michael Monteiro
For more than a year now, the marketing world has been abuzz with all things Twitter.
And while Twitter has yet to prove whether or not it will stand the test of time as a viable marketing tool, with more than 70 million registered users, theres no doubt that all property managers should at least be considering exactly how Twitter can help them grow and promote their business.

Why all the buzz over Twitter?Of all the social networking and electronic marketing tools out there, Twitter is the most easily maintained.

Unlike Facebook or MySpace, Twitter doesnt require users to invest large quantities of time into creating profiles or maintaining a web page.
With Twitter its as easy as signing up, creating a profile of no more than 160 characters (keep in mind that creativity counts with this sort of word limitation) and then beginning to broadcast updates (or tweets) of 140 characters or less.
Because of the character confines, Twitter offers a blogging alternative that does not require a lengthy brainstorming or writing process. These short updates are also known as micro-blogging. Essentially, you can think of it as a mini-blog; its as simple as writing a sentence or two update and youre done.

Twitter demographics Businesses are especially drawn to Twitter because of the applications demographics. Unlike other social networking sites that are primarily driven by tweens or young adults, Twitter appeals to older demographics.

According to an April 2009 comScore study, Twitters highest user demographics are in the 45-54 year old age range, with 25-34 year olds filling in the second slot. In fact, Twitters two lowest scoring age contingents are the 18-24 and 12-17 year old age ranges respectively.
With these demographics and the sheer number of users in mind, its safe to assume that a good number of your clients (and potential clients) are utilizing Twitter.

What am I supposed to tweet about anyway? The beauty of Twitter is that it allows you to complete two separate functions, both of which are important to your business. First, you can broadcast general messages. These 140 characters can be used to engage or communicate with your customers, promote your business and achievements, market your company as an information source, and even to advertise vacancies.

For example, start a discussion with customers by tweeting about pertinent breaking industry news or if youve recently purchased a new investment property, let everyone know.

You can also use Twitter to engage in ongoing dialogues and, through this, start building personal relationships with potential clients or renters. By keying in @[insert username] before a message, you can tweet an individual or another company.

How do I get people to read my tweets? Twitter updates will automatically show up on the home feeds for those who have subscribed to follow you on Twitter. While non-subscribers can still see your updates, they will have to proactively seek out your page.

Obviously, the goal is to gather as many followers as possible so that your updates automatically appear on their home feed. So how do you get people to follow you? Simply use other media you are currently utilizing to point people toward your Twitter feed.
Have a website? Be sure to provide web visitors with a link to your Twitter page. You can also actually create a feed on your web page that will allow site visitors to view your Twitter updates while theyre on your site. Also consider including your Twitter address on emails and other material that goes out to tenants, customers, and anyone else who follows you.

Keep in mind, though, its just as easy for people to unfollow you as it is to follow you in the first place. In order to keep peoples interest, keep your tweets as informative and/or entertaining as possible. Also remember that even though you have a 140-word limit you can also include links in your tweets that can direct followers to longer articles, blog posts, web pages, or anywhere else you may want them to go. To ensure that you dont use up all of your precious 140 characters with a long link, utilize websites like, which provide shortened links that lead customers where you want them to go.

Finally, think before you Tweet. News moves fast in cyberspace and, although this can be a very good thing, there are also some potential negatives to bear in mind. Consider this article about a landlord who set off a whole cycle of negative publicity by responding to a negative tweet involving him. When youre only dealing with 140 characters, its particularly important to choose your words carefully.

Tweeting with the best of ˜em For more information on making Twitter work for you, be sure to check out these articles:

How to Use Twitter

Forbes 21 Top Twitter Tips

Check out the Buildium Blog for more property management resources.

Michael Monteiro works for Buildium LLC, maker of online property management software for landlords, professional property managers, condos and homeowner associations (HOAs) and is author of the The Buildium Property Management Blog.

Check out the Buildium Blog for more property management resources. See The Right Way to Handle Subletting.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your real estate investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at joinaaoa.

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