There’s always something to howl about

No One On The Corner Has Swagger Like Us: A Game Plan For Twitter, and Comments on the RE.NET.

Twitter is mostly useless.  Mostly.  For Realtors, it quickly descends into an online echo chamber of people telling one another how great they are, and how they’d never cold call…and oddly, how much their business is down, and how many people screwed them out of something.  What a drag.  Realtors, PLEASE.  Support each other, don’t spread the misery.

Twitter is mostly useless.  Most Realtors are also mostly  useless, so A would follow  B.  Now, I’ve been on the record saying twitter is mostly useless.  I do it anyway.  This will get mumbling idiots crying, “HypoTwit” as if it was the worst sin I can commit.  Whatever, I’m here to win.  Think whatcho like.  I intend to continue, and I intend to sift through the useless BS and make the most out of Twitter.  I intend to make $25,000 on Twitter in the next 65 days.    Any Realtor could, so could any mortgage broker, or any of us revolting ‘vendors.’

The plan is untested and I know it will work.  Watch:

1.) Add people in my area/field.   For a Realtor® it’ll be people in the area.   A chorus of other Realtors® thinking they are cool does nothing for their AMEX bill, and creates a false sense of efficacy.  Cut through that.

2. Have an auto responder. is.  I’m genuinely interested in people, so I invite them to send me their best blog post.  I’m going to something better soon, but you get the gist.  (follow me, I’m @genuinechris).

3.  Hat tip to the mighty Brian Brady.  Pick up the phone.  I get 6-9 adds a day.  About 3 are Internet marketing douchebags that offer no value.  About 4-6 are worthwhile people in various stages of Social media development and proficiency.   These are the people I’m going to call. Hi, thanks for adding me on Twitter, is there anything–anything–I can do for you right now?  Think of me when you….

4. Add EVERYONE into Heap.  Connect on LinkedIn/FaceBook (and MySpace, while it still lasts).  Fill in the puzzle, try to get ’em everywhere else, and get some type of  newsletter out.  Call ’em on a regular (six months) basis.  Connect people with others that stand out, help whenever I can.  My $$ will follow, and easily.  And, I’ve gotten a new batch of folks to call, to help, and to work with.

ANYONE, Realtor®, Mortgage Guy, Vendor, whatever can use this strategy.  It WILL work, and the phone call will get you noticed, retweeted.  Oh, sure, some people might be taken aback.  Some folks might reject me.  But it won’t happen that often, and people will feel way more connected to me.  And if I get 20-25 real people a day?  Fine, great.  I can write down how I can help in HEAP.

Once you have a big pile, rate the people A-D:

a- people you have done business with or respect.
b- people that you haven’t done business with, but would like to.
c- people that you know little about/can’t recall.
d- people you avoid like the plague (anyone who lies to me, even a little, goes on this list).

Create an appropriate follow up plan.

If you average 1 valid add a business day, and call that add each time, you’ll have ~255 new contacts per year.  And if you get a deal for every 50 contacts…

…that’s how to use Twitter.

I’ll post my 2 month results at the end of March.  And if you add @genuinechris, you can expect a call.


20 Comments so far

  1. Jay Thompson January 26th, 2009 11:14 am

    Personally, I despise auto-responders. Sort of takes the “social” out of social media/networking. But that’s probably because the vast majority use them in a piss poor way — “Thanks for following me, now subscribe to my blog!”

    Done well (and I like your idea) auto-responders can work (whether we’re talking auto-twitter responders, auto-email, auto-whatever).

    The single best thing I’ve done with Twitter is use it to meet local people PERSONALLY. You know, good old-fashioned face to face, belly to belly, let’s shake hands kind of meeting. If you look hard enough, there are “Tweet ups” (in person meet ups of tweeters) available everywhere. And if there aren’t any where you are, start one!

    My “sphere of influence” has grown exponentially since I began to use twitter to meet people in person. Meeting face-to-face really puts the “social” back in social media/networking.

    There are those that like to bash Twitter, and that’s OK. The vast majority of it is crap. But it can also be a very powerful marketing / branding tool if one is willing to think a little outside the box and step out from behind the keyboard.

  2. Chris Johnson January 26th, 2009 11:20 am

    Singing from the same hymnbook, my friend….

  3. Bridget Magnus January 26th, 2009 11:31 am


    Somebody has finally been able to answer my big Twitter question: What do I do with it and how can I use it to make money?

    As somebody who has been blogging for years (and yes, I’ve completed transactions with people who called me based on my site), I was at a loss to figure out why I needed Twitter. I guess within the next few days I’ll actually get an account….

  4. Chris Johnson January 26th, 2009 11:35 am

    Make sure you add @genuinechris so you see my money/mouth.

  5. Tom Vanderwell January 26th, 2009 12:30 pm

    so what about those of us who already follow you? Are you going to call us too?

    Just harassing you. It actually makes a lot of sense. Thanks for being genuine, Chris.


  6. Joe January 26th, 2009 1:20 pm

    Twitter’s value is in the Tweetups, in my opinion. My wife and I are into the SEO thing and tend to do fairly well with online leads, however, my wife’s (I’m just a servant around here) business is coming through referral. She was #1 in her office (small office, 15-20 agents) and looking back, only 25% of her business was generated online. Enter Twitter and tweetups.

    Colleen is now generating relationships through these tweetups. She’s meeting local folks she would have never met before if it were not for Twitter. And, some of the relationships are with friends of her past clients (really cool)!

    Anyway, I’ll agree, Twitter can be a waste if it’s allowed to become a glorified chat room and there is no plan of action put into place.

  7. J Boyer Morristown NJ January 26th, 2009 3:34 pm

    I still really don’t get Twitter and from the way I see it used I have had my doubts about it. Will be interested to see your results with it though.

  8. Brian Brady January 26th, 2009 6:02 pm

    Best B2B application I’ve seen on Twitter:

  9. Jessica Horton January 26th, 2009 6:38 pm

    If it works (for you) then it works (for you). I don’t have time for it or anything else like it.

    I’m glad it’s working for you and hope 2009 is twerrific. Teeeheeee 🙂

  10. Joe January 26th, 2009 6:56 pm

    Btw, my wife wrote a short ActiveRain blog entry about social networking and real estate as reported in Newsweek. See here, and note the latest comment (15th comment)!

  11. Jeff Brown January 26th, 2009 7:30 pm

    Hey Chris — My money’s on you and the plan you’ve outlined. You and I view twitter from very different angles. You’re charging through the front door, tossing a flash-bang grenade — taking no prisoners. Given the plan’s objective, that approach makes obvious sense.

    There are a few more strategies that have worked well.

    I’ve recently discerned somewhat of a parallel, chronologically speaking, with blogging. If between purely social conversations you treat twitter like your blog consistently, in roughly 6-10 months measurable results begin to roll in. It does take patience though — but mostly consistency.

    That approach has proven productive in empirically measurable terms. In fact, I estimate conservatively my income directly traceable to twitter will exceed six figures this year. Last year?

    LOW five figures. And twitter was only indirectly causal.

    Time will tell.

  12. Paula Henry January 26th, 2009 11:25 pm

    Chris – I have yet to send you my best blog post; I did notice your response was good, much better than any other I’ve received.

    I really didn’t get Twitter for the longest time. At first, it seemed to be mostly Realtors talking about and to each other. Nothing against Realtors, I am one, but I don’t have time for activities which don’t build upon my business and identity.

    A couple of months ago, I went local. This week I have been invited to be on a panel at a Confluence Hub of Networkers to discuss how Social Media has helped my business. I have three lunches planned with people locally in the next few weeks.

    That is the power of Twitter. I will use your idea to connect more with a phone call and make it even better.

  13. Mark Madsen January 27th, 2009 12:23 am

    Twitter is just a tool that I use simply for the purpose of quickly connecting with people, or just getting on someone’s radar. 140 characters doesn’t really commit me to anything, but it could open the door for a potential relationship.

    I listen to the conversations, look for opportunities, and feel connected to something – somewhere – somebody – at any given moment.

    As far as a business strategy goes, I’m just buying brain cells, maybe for a second, or possibly for future use. Not sure, but I don’t have a well defined marketing agenda over there. Don’t really care about having to justify my time to anyone either. With less than 5 min a day participation, twitter is just one of the many places I drop by.

    For me, twitter is more about sharing than it is marketing or branding. I read stuff online and post links to things that I feel may benefit other people. It just seems like a waste to let something that inspires me drift into silence, so I’m compelled to push ideas back out to others who might help keep them alive.

    @mark_madsen if you’re interested in following my noise as well. I won’t be calling, sorry.

    Great article, Chris. Looking forward to your 65 day report. Your idea about asking for great articles from your followers is an excellent idea.


  14. genuinechris johnson January 27th, 2009 4:31 pm

    @jessica horton, do you have time for display advertising? Open houses? I’m curious. That statment seemed to have testiness or rancor.

  15. Ajit January 28th, 2009 12:03 am

    Very Good Post. It’s helpful advice.

  16. Jessica Horton January 28th, 2009 7:29 pm


    I regret that you found testiness in my statement. That was not my intent at all – I certainly do not wish you any ill will. I don’t even know you…

    Perhaps, you’re being a bit hyper-sensitive. I was playing on the word terrific. No more. No less.

    I don’t have time for twitter. That is my choice. I have close to 4,000 people in my database that I can pick up the phone and call without being a bother. Why would I type little 140 word messages to people that I don’t even know?

    Display advertising? My only advertising is my webiste and brochures that I print. I cut print advertising and everything else out over a year ago. My phone still rings…

    Open houses? I do not do them. I will not do them.

    Any thing else you’re curious about?

  17. Jessica Horton January 28th, 2009 7:37 pm


    My first comment to you was about 133 words…

    Exactly why I don’t twitter. I will keep my Hour of Power and keep dialing up people that I know – just to talk.

  18. Richard C Mongler January 29th, 2009 10:36 pm

    Twitter is kinda useful as a group text messaging system.

  19. Bridget Magnus February 4th, 2009 9:42 pm

    Ok,I did it. You can find me @bmagnus. Thanks, everybody!

  20. Susan February 12th, 2009 9:39 pm

    I like reading your blogs Chris, they are interesting, informative and amusing.

    Twitter seems like a huge IMing ground to me as well…only many times there are people in there that you don’t know. Which…I guess would be where the opportunity could arise to make new friends and contacts. Not sure about its power, but like some said, if it works for you, it works.