Using Twitter to Build Your Online Reputation

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Using Twitter to Build Your Online Reputation

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: you sign up for your first Twitter account. You post a few tweets, throwing in a hashtag here and there. You follow some friends, co-workers and maybe a famous person or two. Or two hundred.  You soak in the absolute absurdity of the celebrity realm. And then. . . silence. Nothing. You say, “Screw this” and label Twitter complete waste of time.

That was my first experience.  I just didn’t get it! So I pretty much ignored Twitter for 4 years. During that time I heard the stories and testimonials: On any given day, great things were happening as a result of an initial engagement on Twitter. Jobs and internships were won, deals were consummated, long-term relationships were established, businesses were growing, and much more.  Not only had I missed the boat, but I also violated one of the cardinal rules that I preach to my kids – I quit when I didn’t get immediate gratification.

So I gave Twitter a second chance. I vowed patience and a willingness to work. And lo and behold, I started to get results.  I met some phenomenal people, got asked to write a guest blog, and most importantly – I learned a ton – valuable stuff that is helping me today. To say nothing of the fact that I now have a feed has helped me in my own efforts build a strong online reputation. Because I’m active and have grown a decent following, my twitter feed ranks highly in a search for my name.  It gives me   a platform to showcase my creativity, outside interests, etc. It’s a big win for me when people find me on Twitter.

Lesson learned! And with that, let me pass on some of my hands-on education to you: Here are ten tips to get you up, running, and firmly established on Twitter to help you in your efforts to build a strong, online reputation.

  1. Make a strong first impression: as with LinkedIn, your profile image and cover make a big first impression. Everyone’s first task on Twitter should be to get rid of the default “egg,” and then add a quality head shot and cover image that best reflects your personal brand.  If you’re not using a cover image associated with your job/business, get a free one at
  2. Market your handle: now that you’re prepared to make a good first impression, market your online handle wherever possible: E-mail signature, LinkedIn Profile, other social media outlets, personal web site, etc.
  3.  Grow a new, robust network: follow people in your industry that show a propensity to follow back.  Keep a sharp eye out for influencers with large followings that show a tendency towards giving/educating. Avoid adding the self-serving, “me, me, me” crowd that is solely intent on selling themselves, incessantly pushing a personal agenda. Their tweets tend to suck. Along the same lines:
  4. Provide value, curate: always stay in the “givers gain” mindset, and look to help your followers in whatever way you can, without expectation of receiving anything in return. The easiest way to do this is by sharing great content, either by retweet or a simple copy and paste from articles that you come across. Use to shorten links to provide more room for tweets.
  5. Get an education: if you do your job right and follow the right people, the amount of learning you can do on Twitter is truly mind-boggling. You can do wonders for your career, image, self-esteem, etc. Establishing a pattern of sharing your findings does nothing but help your online reputation.
  6. Chase your dream job: Take 5-10 companies that you’d love to work for and use the search function to track down the handles of senior executives in your area of interest. Follow them, and look for opportune moments to . . .
  7. Network, Engage:  being active in social media in is like exercise: the more you do it, the healthier it is, and the better you become at actually doing it. Don’t just sit back and be passive – get out there and engage with people.  Take a chance here and there. Good things will happen!
  8. Use Lists to manage your feed: As you grow the number of people you follow, your feed gets busier, and it’s easy to miss great tweets. Prevent this from happening by using the “List” function to organize your content into groups.  Here’s a link with information on how to do this:
  9. Use hash tags judiciously:  while you definitely increase your exposure by using hash tags, you’re not offering value if the majority of a tweet is filled with them. I would cap the number of hashtags per tweet at two, three max.  You also might consider creating a unique hashtag for your own brand.
  10. Use the “like” function often: it’s a win-win in that you acknowledge    someone for a great tweet, which is always appreciated, AND if you’re too busy to read an article or blog entry that is being shared, you can go back to it at a later point.

Most importantly: Always keep your online reputation top of mind as you tweet. Use decent language, and always treat others with kindness and respect. Here’s a simple litmus test to use before posting any tweet: Ask yourself, “Would my future boss at my dream job approve of this content?” If you even have to think about the answer for a second, don’t publish. I also recommend periodically going through old tweets to make sure that there’s no tweet from your past that may not have aged well, and delete when appropriate.

With that, good luck! And if you decide you want to follow us at Repceptional on Twitter (we just started a feed), we promise to follow you right back!

Does your business need a little assistance with Social Media? Learn more here, or Contact us to set up a free consultation, with no further obligation.

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