Twitter almost doesn’t need an introduction.
And since it’s a very well-known social media platform you might have wondered as a real estate agent whether it is good or rather good enough for your industry.
When it comes to generating leads, it is good enough, as long as you focus on Twitter’s paid ads platform. There, you can bank on a cost per sale of $422.
The situation is quite different when you want to use it to generate leads by first building an organic reach with many followers.
In this article, I will first discuss what Twitter is, its current statistics, and then I’ll be doing some marketing math to compare using the organic Twitter follower route with the paid ads one.
What it is and What the Twitter Statistics are Saying
Twitter is basically a blogging platform that allows you to post so-called “tweets” the limit of 280 characters. This is also called “microblogging”.
Additional to text-based posts (tweets) you can also use pictures and videos.
If Twitter users have interesting and engaging content to offer, other users can follow them.
Once you follow other users, you will see what they posted on your ‘timeline’. So, the principle is similar to Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
You follow someone and you see on your timeline more or less what they post (Facebook is not that consistent in this regard since organic reach has been dropping over the last years).
If you like a tweet that you see on your timeline, you can repost – or, in Twitter language, “retweet” it.
Now, let’s take a look at Twitter Statistics as the first step to answer the question if Twitter is good for real estate.
- There are a total of more than 1.3 Billion Twitter accounts (source) and 152 million active daily users on Twitter (source).
- When it comes to discovery, Twitter is the number one platform to help users find out what’s new (source).
- There are 56% male and 44% female users on twitter in the U.S. (source).
- 38% of the Twitter users are between 18 and 29 years old (source), and 26% are between 20 and 49 years old (source).
- US Twitter users have a college degree in 42% of the cases (source).
- Twitter users spend 26% more time viewing ads compared to other platforms (source).
- The site referral traffic from Twitter has grown by 6% over the years (source).
- If you use hashtags in your tweets, you get 100% more engagement (source).
- If you read my article about videos in real estate, you won’t be surprised that tweets with videos get 10x more engagement (source).
- If you use images in your tweets, you can get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets (source).
- If you also use video in Twitter ads, they will be 50% cheaper in costs per engagement (source).
- Way more than half of the Twitter users (80%) access Twitter from their mobile phones (source) and even more so (93%) watch videos posted on Twitter from these devices.
- The average cost per click for Twitter ADs is $0.38 (source) and the average conversion rate is reportedly 0.9% (source).
- Paid ads from Twitter convert twice as many visitors as organic tweets (source). Based on the number above, this would mean a conversion rate of 0.45% for organic tweets.
- The average click through rate (CTR) on Twitter is 1.64% and, unfortunately, the more followers you have, the lower is your click through rate (source).
- If you have between 50 and 1000 followers, you can get a CTR of 6.16%; between 1,000 and 5,000 followers, it is 1.45%; between 5,000 and 10,000, it is 0.55%; and for more than 10,000 it is 0.45% (source).
- The ideal posting frequency on Twitter is 5 times per day (source).
- Paying for followers with a Twitter follower campaign costs between $2.50 and $4 per follower (source).
- Based on user reporting, it can take one year to get from 0 to 2000 followers (source). If we take saturation into consideration, to get to 10,000 followers, it may take even longer than 5 years.
Let’s Do Some Marketing Math to Find Out about Twitter’s Worth for Real Estate Agents
With the above information, we now have a good basis to further determine Twitter’s worth for real estate marketing.
This is the basic data we use in the estimation calculation:
- Average cost per click for Twitter Ads: $0.38
- Average conversion rate (leads) for Twitter Ads: 0.9%
- Average conversion rate (leads) for Organic Tweets: 0.45%
- Average overall click through rate (CTR): 1.64%
- Click through rate for 50-1,000 followers: 6.16%
- Click through rate for 1,000-5,000 followers: 1.45%
- Click through rate for 5,000-10,000 followers: 0.55%
- Click through rate for more than 10,000 followers: 0.45%
- The average cost per follower with twitter follower campaigns: $3.25
- Optimistically, you can gain 2000 followers per year posting 5 times per day and engaging otherwise.
This was a mouthful.
What can we now do with this basic data?
Let’s first establish a marketing goal as I already discussed in this article about real estate marketing plans.
I will use the same numbers for our hypothetical goal from there:
- Annual profit goal (after corporate taxes of 21%): $150,000
- Annual revenue goal: $189,873
- Monthly revenue goal: $15,822
- Commission per $320,000 median home (3%): $9,600
- Necessary homes to sell per month: ~2
- Assumed lead to sales conversion rate (depends highly on your follow-up/sales skills): 10%
- Necessary buyer leads per month: 20 (2 divided by 10%)
Okay, let’s just focus on the 20 monthly buyer leads and the assumed 10% lead to sales conversion rate, which depends largely on your follow-up and sales skills.
Calculation for the Organic Twitter Route
For the first calculation, we take the content marketing based organic Twitter follower route.
As the average traffic to lead conversion rate for organic tweets is 0.45%, it means you would need 4,444 clicks per month (20 divided by 0.45%) to generate this number of leads.
Now, let’s calculate how many followers you would need that see your tweets and generate 4,444 clicks per month, taking into consideration that the average overall click through rate is 1.64%.
This number would be 270,975 views per month.
I had to double check this number, because I was a bit shocked and please let me know if you found an error in my calculation or have better basic statistics, so this calculation could look a bit better (I want it to look better).
Until then, the number of 270,975 views (followers) means a lot of eyeballs viewing your tweets.
Remember, this was for the average 1.64% click through rate I applied.
Since accounts with more than 10,000 followers only get a CTR of 0.45% the picture looks even worse.
And by looking at these numbers, I would tend to conclude that the organic route actually isn’t feasible.
To get a Twitter account from 0 to 270,975 followers (unless you are already a celebrity or you are already quite advanced because you started getting followers right in the beginning stages of Twitter), it may take you 135 years (270,975 divided by 2000 followers) if you manage to grow it by 2000 real followers (not bots) per year.
This amount of time is likely above your life expectancy and more so above the one of Twitter itself.
Even if you manage to gain 10,000 followers per year it would still take 27 years to get to 270,975.
I have a feeling that you don’t want to wait that long to attain your profit goals.
So this doesn’t look too good, even though I didn’t even factor in the actual costs per acquisition or costs per sale taking into consideration all the hours of content, Twitter engagements, and more that you would have to invest to gain those followers.
It may look better if your lead to customer conversion rate would be much higher, such as maybe 50%.
But even such an outstanding number likely won’t cut it, and using this scenario would a bit too utopic for this calculation.
I prefer to stay as close to reality as possible.
Calculation for the Paid Ads Twitter Route
Let’s check now how the picture paints with the paid ads Twitter route.
To achieve the revenue/profit goal from above, we still need our 20 buyer leads per month.
With paid Twitter ads, you will have a better conversion rate of 0.9% according to the above statistics.
Applying again the 10% lead to sales conversion rate, your traffic to sales conversion rate would be 0.09% (0.9% x 10%).
We also know from above that the average cost per click for Twitter ads is $0.38.
Applying the newly calculated 0.09% traffic to the sales conversion rate, you will need to buy 1,111 clicks per sale.
So, your costs per sale will be $422.
With a commission of $9600 per sale not factoring in other costs, you would end up with a profit.
So, this paid scenario doesn’t look too bad at all, provided you have the necessary capital to spend on Twitter ads.
In comparison to other Ad Platforms such as Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Facebook Ads, only the costs per sale of Google Ads seem to be higher at $957.
In my article about LinkedIn, I already compared the costs per sale of these platforms, but I will provide them to you again below in a table and I am also including the estimated costs per sale for real estate on Twitter:
|Platform||Cost per Sale|
What can be concluded after these calculations?
If you ask me, I wouldn’t bother that much in generating a huge following on Twitter for your real estate business, and rather focus on using the Ads platform to generate leads.
If you use this route, then I would say that Twitter is good enough for your real estate business in terms of generating leads in a profitable way.
Still, there are several benefits in using Twitter not for the sole purpose of generating leads.
Therefore, in the next section, I will give you the overall Pros and Cons.
The Pros and Cons of Twitter for Real Estate Agents
- Organic followers can still drive some traffic to your website.
- You can keep yourself well-informed about local events and influencers.
- Twitter Analytics can help you find out the type of content you should focus on.
- You can engage with other users by using the advanced search and hashtags.
- You can use it also as a customer support platform for existing leads, answering certain questions, and building your reputation.
- Sometimes, you can reach out better to industry leaders via Twitter than with other communication methods.
- It’s overall easy to use, and messages are straightforward to post.
- By using Offline Tweet-Ups you can share information with users in a particular area, schedule virtual meetups, or arrange to meet your followers in a certain area.
- It can be time-consuming to be constantly posting, coming up with content and engaging, and even more so, if you want to build a huge organic following.
- You may be perceived as a spammer when posting too much and engaging too little.
- The 280 character limit can be a challenge and impede you to communicate in an effective way.
- Tweets need to be timed well, and posted when most of your target audience is online, otherwise, they can be missed and your work will be almost for nothing.
- It can be easier to get complains online, which in turn can have a negative impact.
- Due to the daily increase of the number of users, it gets less and less likely that your content gets seen.
5 Tips to Use Twitter for Indirect Real Estate Lead Generation (The Organic Route)
If you still see some value in using Twitter in an organic way to generate indirect leads and increase the reputation of your real estate business, here are 5 tips for that:
1) Have a content calendar to plan out your tweets so you can post consistently.
You can use your own content, which is usually based on your overall real estate content marketing strategy (see my article on that here), or you can syndicate relevant content.
2) Use (Twitter) Analytics to see what type of content is the most popular and double down on what works.
3) Use other Analytics tools, such as Brandwatch to find out what people are asking questions about, and create content accordingly
4) Make engaging a regular habit and like, comment on, and retweet other’s posts regularly.
You can also use Twitter chats to engage with others, and ask questions to drive engagement.
5) Take advantage of visuals.
From the statistics above, you now know that, for example, videos get 10x more engagement and pictures get 18% more clicks.
3 Tips to Use Twitter Ads to Directly Generate Real Estate Leads (The Paid Route)
1) Definitely use the Twitter Ads Platform.
As I found out above by doing some marketing math, it is the more economically sound thing to do.
Besides that, according to the statistics, users spend 26% more time viewing ads compared to other platforms.
2) As always, when it comes to paid ads, know your target customers.
It wouldn’t make much sense to use Twitter if you target is made of baby boomers.
However, it makes more sense to use it if you target Millennials or Generation X.
3) Have enough marketing budget to carry out tests over a period of time until you achieve a profitable campaign.
As some marketers say: “It’s not failing, it’s testing.”
I already discussed the importance of testing paid online advertising over several weeks and months (depending on your budget) in my detailed articles about Google AdWords for Real Estate and Facebook Ads here and here.
How Do Other Real Estate Companies and Agents Use Twitter
Ending this article, you might also be curious about how other real estate companies use Twitter, so I collected a list of them below:
- National Association of Home Builders
- Leigh Brown (Realtor)
- Inman News (Real Estate News)
- National Association of Realtors
- Bigger Pockets (Real Estate Investor Resource)
- New York Times Real Estate
- Mortgage Bankers Association
- HouseLogic (Resource for Home Owners)
- Placester (Websites for Real Estate)
- RISMedia (Real Estate News)
- REALTOR Magazine
- Houzz (Home Renovation)
- Keller Williams (Real Estate Broker)
- Urban Land Institute
- Curbed (Interior Design)
- Sean Carpenter (Realtor)
- REtipster (Resource for Real Estate Investors)
- REMAX (Real Estate Broker)
- Coldwellbanker (Real Estate Broker)
- Nobu Hata (Realtor)
- Amy Chorew (Realtor and Real Estate Investor)
- Debbie Drummond (Realtor)