Today's guest blog looks at how you can manage your reputation on Twitter, with some handy practical tips...
Of all the social media at our disposal, Twitter is one of the most visible as it is simple and operates in real time. There is a very real advantage to it as a tool inasmuch as you can quickly get your message out there and you can always do this in the context of the news of the moment. If someone dies, you can tweet within a minute; if a corporation buys a competitor well within 30 seconds, you can be providing a social commentary.
If you then have a blog, you can tweet the fact that you have published it and cross-link this to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Within minutes, your blog is publicized to a potential audience of millions.
Ah, but there is a definite downside to this!
Your comments, thoughts and observations attract attention and this includes negative attention. The people following you, retweeting your thoughts, adding you to their lists may not be good for your reputation. Whilst you believe that you are providing great content and being a fantastic social commentator, your Twitter reputation is slowly eroded by some of the people you follow or who are following you.
There are some simple steps to manage your Twitter reputation:
Check and re-check who is following you there is an assumption that you follow people with similar interests as your own (and that YOU follow THEM for the same reason). Some people randomly follow you in the hope that you follow them back if they are unsuitable for your brand, block them.
Remember your personal & professional brand think before you tweet! Every tweet sent out there is available for everyone to see (do a search on your Twitter ID and see what comes up).
Be responsive everything you tweet is absorbed and re-tweeted within minutes if something is not received well, then think more about what brand you are trying to create.
Compliment wisely it is good to compliment people via Twitter but make sure that you dont become a kiss-ass!
Check who you follow- you may decide that its pretty cool to follow an edgy comedian or someone with radical opinions but if you create online newspapers that pull tweets from your feed, then YOUR newspaper may now be publishing radical or offensive opinions!
Censor yourself if you are under the influence (alcohol, drugs, anger), then inappropriate tweets will come back to haunt you.
Be private if someone tweets something that truly offends you, then speak to them privately about it arguing through Twitter is of no use. Likewise if they take issue with something you have said speak to them offline (or off-Twitter about it).
Say thank you if someone re-tweets you, or compliments you, be sure to thank them (it shows that you are paying attention to people).
The key thing is this: your tweet will last a lifetime on the internet and what you say as a joke today may be read as offensive in other countries or in five years time. Think before you tweet.
Image from Flickr