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Confessions of a RE Twitterhead

There have been several interesting conversations going on in my small corner of the blogiverse lately. One was a comment to a Bloodhound post I wrote eons ago. Someone wanted to know if blogging really works for lead generation. Well sure it…Wait. What?

I forget how small the RE.net world is. It’s tiny. I thought everyone knew that blogging works, when in reality only bloggers know that blogging works and probably most people still don’t know what a blog is. It’s hard for me to keep that in mind, and frankly I find myself living in two seperate worlds- the Web 2.0 world and the other world. My conversations and connections in the 2.0 world move quickly, almost instantly. It’s as if, Shazam! You now have made a connection to someone you didn’t know ten minutes ago. Now that person is going to connect you to this person and Shazam! Another person and fifteen minutes have passed.

When was the last Inman Connect? Late July? Much of the discussion was how amazing it was that people could connect quickly through blogging. You all know this is true because you are here on the Bloodhound Blog, in the RE.net world. The truth is that in my nonRE.net world, people don’t know this and I can’t explain it to them, and I’m not sure they care, and that’s the tricky part for me. How do I gracefully move between the two worlds?

Another interesting conversation took place on Daniel Rothamel’s Agent Genius post about Social Media. The comment stream is from bloggers who are wondering if Twitter works in terms of usefulness. It’s so interesting to me because I’m having that same conversation here about blogging and my reaction is the same: Well, of course Twitter can…Wait. What? The fact is that no RE Twitterhead has yet to get a lead from Twitter, but why couldn’t it happen?

If like-minded people move toward each other, and find each other, which I know to be true- after all, we are all busy, we have to pick and choose who we spend time with, how much time do you make for people you don’t like? Wouldn’t it be nice to find like-minded people quickly? To connect in that Shazam way?

I talked to some fellow RE Twitterers yesterday and spilled the beans about my experience on Twitter, so I thought I would share it here as well. I started to Twitter about a month ago. I don’t use the instant updates so I don’t get constant chatter in my phone. Twitter is there when I choose to tweet, and not there when I don’t. I’m not a slave to Twitter, but like I said before, it appeals to me. It’s not unlike being at a party with multiple conversations going on and you are free to jump in and add to a conversation or not. It’s mingling on a large scale, but it’s fast, really fast.

When I started Twittering I followed RE.net folks that I knew well, Maureen McCabe being one, as well as a few I didn’t know at the time, but wanted to see what they were doing with Twitter: Steve Groves, and Andy Kaufman, in particular, but mostly I followed well known geeks or news services. But hey, I gotta eat, and I’m not as dumb as I look. What I really wanted to find were Daytonians. I starting putting key search terms into my tweets, “the weather in Dayton Ohio is cold” or “Open House in Dayton Ohio” and a corresponding blog post url.

Well knock me over with a feather. A Twitterhead in Dayton was tracking tweets with the words Dayton Ohio and picked up my tweets and began following me with a “Hey I’m in Dayton too, isn’t that cool?” Uh. Well. I’ll get back with you on that. If you are a woman, this is sounding tres creepy , isn’t it? But as I started reading this guy’s tweets I realized that he was simply a Twittering geek, connecting to another Twitterhead in the same city. Shazam. He had been tweeting for awhile so he was connected to other local Twitterheads. Now in Twitterland, it’s perfectly acceptable to start following someone for no reason at all, and it’s flattering I suppose to have someone follow you. You can see who someone else is following and you can click over to see if they are interesting and if you are like-minded, you follow them. No big deal. Or you read a tweet by someone you are following, in reply to someone you don’t know, and that conversation looks interesting. So you click the link to see what @whoever is all about, and you follow them, they follow you, and now you are connected to more people in Shazam speed.

At this point, if you are thinking that Twitter sounds like weirdo MySpace freaks, think again.  Think about what it really is, or could be- it’s viral marketing. Not convinced? I don’t blame you, but consider this: Within two weeks of being followed by one Dayton Twitterhead, I was sitting down to lunch with 4 Dayton Twitterheads. Now that’s some serious Shazam!

I’m never satisfied with what is. My mind is always looking for what if. One of the Twitter-ers I follow is called Lunch 2.0, and this is why I spend time outside the RE.net and inside the Web 2.0: Lunch 2.0 describes itself as: “A social phenomenon referring to a migration of web 2.0 company employees to other offices around Silicon Valley, sharing lunch and conversation.” That’s what I was doing with the local Twitterheads. Now my mind is moving on this. How can I apply this to RE? I could host my own lunch 2.0 where I bought lunch (pizza, yum) and pitch my business. Would that be successful? I think it could be if done correctly. You are connecting with like-minded individuals, and you are giving them something for their time. Will I try it? Not in the near future, but someday sure why not. Actually, I’m hoping someone else will try it first and let me know how it goes.

I really enjoy Twitter, and I’m trying to find a way to make it work for me. It’s connecting me with like-minded people here in Dayton, it’s a very real and fun way for me to move gracefully between the Web 2.0 world and the real world, and it’s four people sitting down belly to belly within 2 weeks of connecting online…You can debate whether or not it can work if you would like. And while you are doing that, I’ll be tweeting.

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  • 33 comments

    33 Comments so far

    1. Lane Bailey November 29th, 2007 1:14 pm

      Hi Teri… they haven’t put those three houses on the market yet…

      I have done a couple of posts over on A/R about Twitter, and it seems like you might have just answered my question. It can be used for actual business.

      It has been seeming to me that Twitter was just basically a “stalker wannabe” newsfeed.

      Cool….

    2. Vicki Brannock November 29th, 2007 1:55 pm

      Teri,
      I have many of the same experiences you are describing when trying to explain blogging and only once have I attempted to define Twitter for people who are really struggling to understand how 2.0 fits into their work. The lines between work and your “other life” are being blurred at lightning speed. My connections on Twitter are becoming just as invaluable as are those from my blog and my Church and my charity work etc. etc. People see who I am and what I do and they connect. Maybe I will see you on twitter!

    3. Teri Lussier November 29th, 2007 2:01 pm

      Hey Lane! Twitter is like anything else, it’s not the Twitter, it’s how you work it that makes the difference. I work it to connect with people, and I guess it’s paying off. And I keep saying this, but I think it’s important to remember- I’m in Dayton. If I was in Silicon Valley I’d be all over that place.

      Vicki- I’m glad I’m not the only RE Twitterhead who is seeing the value in Twitter. It’s one more relationship bldg tool, and like you said, it’s becoming “invaluable”.

    4. [...] As  Teri Lussier points out today at BHB, there is a different paradigm for ‘online’ agents and ‘offline’ agents, and you need to have different conversations with both. [...]

    5. Brian Brady November 29th, 2007 3:12 pm

      “Within two weeks of being followed by one Dayton Twitterhead, I was sitting down to lunch with 4 Dayton Twitterheads.”

      Game. Set Match.

      Victory- Lussier.

    6. Teri L November 29th, 2007 6:33 pm

      Brian, you are the master of the Soc Net. I don’t think I’m stretching things to say you’ve paved the way here for me. Thanks.

      Okay Vicki, I tried to find you on Twitter, you are going by an alias? Tweet me @TeriLussier. Like minds and all…

    7. Vicki Brannock November 29th, 2007 6:54 pm

      Hey Teri,
      I am following you now. You can find me on twitter @vickibrannock. See you there!

    8. Phil Hoover November 29th, 2007 8:10 pm

      You are seriously crazy, Terri.
      I like that in a friend! :)
      tweet tweet

    9. Teri L November 29th, 2007 8:14 pm

      Phil, I prefer “differently minded” thank you very much. ;-)

    10. Jeanne Breault November 29th, 2007 9:23 pm

      Holy Twitter! I better get on the stick, um…tweet?! I’m into Web 2.0 and online social/business networking, but have had trouble getting my arms around twitter…I better check it out again!

    11. Andy Kaufman November 30th, 2007 12:09 am

      Hi Teri-

      Thanks for the mention. Once again, I have to say that I’m stoked that the RE.net is adopting twitter as a tool in their overall social media marketing strategy.

      One thing that I particularly love is that I can get to know the members of my network/community 140 characters at a time. I know that we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit through our back and forth riffs on Twitter and each additional interaction strengthens the bonds and makes our respective networks/communities stronger and vibrant.

      It’s really cool when you can cross the barrier and make off line connections with our community members. I’ve been to quite a few Tweet Ups and often go out of my way to make an off line connection. What’s really a trip is meeting people at events and them telling me that they follow you on twitter.

      …and finally, one more beautiful thing about Twitter is that it’s so new, so simple, and supposedly has a great API to build off of, that we’ll be finding new ways to extract value from it for quite some time.

      –Andy
      http://twitter.com/andykaufman

    12. Brad Coy November 30th, 2007 12:19 am

      Hey Teri, great follow up!

      >My mind is always looking for what if.

      I love this. I have found some like minded people indeed and it’s been a fun exploration of collective thought with my tweet peeps the last month. The entry barriers to using twitter are minimal. It’s light, smart, and easy to use.

      Having a shared microblog is creative. In a 140 characters or less we are having conversations that are much different then anywhere else because of the immediacy and frankness.

      To the inevitable “does it work” for selling real estate. I think the answer will be no – if your marketing model is one of being presentational. Like blogs, the interest is in the clarity of who you are, not what you’re selling. The likelihood of a transaction eventuating form twitter is inevitable though. I see it in the distant future, the same way a social connection happens at a cocktail party; you meet a friend of a friend, you share some interests, and the next thing you know they like you. After drinks and during polite conversation the inevitable topic of “real estate” come up (because you know it always does) and hey.. what do you know, I sell real estate. It will be as organic. Remember pull not don’t push. I already have developed a distaste for the one-sided twitterfeed push blog posts and non-responsive personally. Am I alone? Heck no, the tech savvy bunch smell pork a mile away.

      Your lead-in has been great Teri. The “Wings of Desire” analogy still sticks in my head. I’ve just been spending a so much time in the evenings staring at the twitter screen it’s starting to remind me of another Wenders film “Until the end of the world”

      I am looking for conversation of twitter, so like Teri asked me a month ago, what will you tweet about?

      -Brad

      And a shout out @andykaufman for the my first “tweet up” last week at a broker’s tour.

    13. Teri Lussier November 30th, 2007 4:51 am

      Jeanne- Everything is not for everyone, however, if you look at it throught different eyes, you might be surprised.

    14. Teri Lussier November 30th, 2007 4:59 am

      Andy- last night as I was falling asleep I thought of a few things I should have added to this post, and I’m glad you brought them up: Twitter is simple and easy. I think if you are hesitant to blog, you could dip your toes in the 2.0 ocean through Twitter.

      The other thing that strikes me is the ongoing conversation. How I got to “Game. Set. Match. Victory” to borrow from Brian, is that I’m carrying on a conversation of sorts, all day long. We greet each other when we wake up. We know how our days are going, we say good night to each other. That’s incredibly powerful.

      And I think you are right- we are just beginning with Twitter, it’s ground floor. That is always fun and cool and puts you ahead of the crowd…

    15. Teri Lussier November 30th, 2007 5:10 am

      Brad- Two gems:

      >To the inevitable “does it work” for selling real estate.I think the answer will be no – if your marketing model is one of being presentational.

      >the tech savvy bunch smell pork a mile away.

      Yes. Nail on the head. It’s a very different way of “selling” but it’s the viral way.

      It’s been great fun getting to know you, and your dad! That’s so awesome that you have your dad tweeting. I love it.

      And you’ve given me a movie to catch. I’ve not seen that one, thanks. ;-)

    16. Eric Blackwell November 30th, 2007 5:32 am

      Teri-

      Great post. I have not used Twitter, but I am ALWAYS on the lookout for social media that houses REAL people and is a bit less about REALTOR to REALTOR conversation. (Here and REW are my fix for that-grin).

      This is a GREAT example of the same kind of attraction that Brian and Greg were mentioning on their post via blogs.

      And you are SPOT on with the concept that this is NOT about selling. It is about building relationships of trust and a TRUE sphere of influence.

      Kudos.

    17. Teri Lussier November 30th, 2007 6:47 am

      Eric-
      Real people are what I find appealing about Twitter as well. I enjoy that it’s all professions- I can see what local code monkeys do all day, a local musician, a local youth minister, a White House correspondent, someone in New England who makes herbal connoctions of some sort. Brad follows someone living in Maine in a tent- a writer I think.

      The RE conversations are interspersed throughout, but only 140 characters. It’s variety and I’m loving that. It broadens things a bit. And even us RE Twitterheads don’t discuss RE all the time. Andy posted updates of the ‘big game’ last night- no RE at all. We all get to see it: “Whaddya know. There’s a real human behind that real estate license.” Good stuff.

    18. Maureen McCabe November 30th, 2007 10:44 am

      Teri my Twitterfriend, thanks for the mention. I remember whn I was so paranoid about being followed on Twitter. I will have to go back and see if it was who I think it was.

      If so there is a happy ending… so far… anyway. No business from it but a number of connections. At some point Twitter got a lot more comfortable for me.

    19. Teri L November 30th, 2007 12:04 pm

      Maureen, I clearly remember mentioning on our faux-Twitter post ;-) that I was not comfortable about having Daytonians follow me. It does feel weird at first.

      Are your connections local, and have you met them in person?

    20. Maureen McCabe November 30th, 2007 1:00 pm

      An invitation to the Columbus Social Media Cafe’s first meeting was as a result of the person who I believe was my first local follower on Twitter. I think that was when I was paranoid about Twitter on ActiveRain.

      You are way ahead of me with local followers. I remember reading about it on the faux-Twitter.

    21. Jeff Turner November 30th, 2007 10:46 pm

      And here I thought you were just on Twitter because you liked talking to ME! :)

    22. Teri L December 1st, 2007 6:57 am

      You have that backwards. :-D

    23. Steven Groves December 1st, 2007 7:11 am

      Teri,

      What a great article approaching the biz value of micro-blogging and the participation is great! BTW, we’re your ears burning yesterday? Andy and Brad talked about you during our podcast on guess what – RE Twitter!

    24. Teri L December 1st, 2007 8:11 am

      Steve-

      You helped opened my eyes to using twitter. I started following you during your prep before AZ PodCamp, and saw how you are really integrating all aspects of 2.0 into a cohesive SocNet plan. You are blazing a trail for the rest of us.

    25. Jeanne Breault December 1st, 2007 10:05 am

      Teri and Steve, I hope you don’t mind if I follow you on Twitter…I’m trying to figure it out!

    26. Teri L December 1st, 2007 10:31 am

      Happy tweeting!

    27. Brad Coy December 1st, 2007 1:10 pm

      Jeanne Breault-

      Turn away why you still can… jus kiddin’
      don’t “try” to hard, just engage. Come along and “follow”

      Teri-
      >Brad follows someone living in Maine in a tent- a writer I think.

      He’s my sherpa, the man clearly knows how to use twitter.
      dig deeper @sheagunther

    28. Jeanne Breault December 1st, 2007 3:45 pm

      OK, Brad, think I’ll follow you, too!

      The “trying” refers to just figuring out how to “work” twitter! I have trouble understanding (read: following) directions!

      Once I get a handle on the techie part, I’ll have a lot of fun with it.

    29. Teri Lussier December 1st, 2007 4:01 pm

      Jeanne,
      Another RE Twitterhead, Cheryl Johnson- she twitters as @cheryljns recently described twitter as “elegant” and there is a lot of truth to that. It’s so simple to use that there is an elegance in it’s simplicity.

      I suppose there is some protocol or twitiquette to it, but the technology is fairly obvious. If you know how to leave a comment on a blog, you have the skills! ;-)

    30. Maureen McCabe December 2nd, 2007 10:15 am

      I don’t read directions and did not on Twitter. Once Teri got active I’ve watched what she was doing and then asked “how do you…?” when I could not still figure out how to address a person. Twitter is so simple it boggles my mind. Maybe reading the directions would have been a good idea.

    31. Teri L December 2nd, 2007 10:29 am

      Maureen, You bring up another great point. If you don’t know how to do something, just ask. Everyone there is learning and sharing, and we all throw our questions out there in a tweet. You will get multiple answers, we all learn from each other.

      This is also what the best known most geeky Twitterheads are doing, so no way should you feel hestitant to ask.

      New uses and apps and discoveries are being added all the time. It’s a learning curve that is shared and pushed by everyone, and it’s very easy, very comfy, very welcoming, very forgiving.

      It’s also very wonky, so don’t worry if you lose tweets or can’t tweet or get stuck. It’s Twitter, it’s not you. Usually. ;-)

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