By: Tori Valentine, account manager
Online reputation management is one area that PR pros thrive at. Today, we are all about social media and we know how to use it and how your company should be using it. But what about our own personal social media accounts? We’re humans – we’re into sports, politics, going out, complaining, etc. But, what if you’re a little too into something?
Sometimes you tweet without thinking. The next day, you look back and cringe. You find yourself asking: Why did I tweet that? Why did I think that was a good idea? You want to delete it but it has received favorites and retweets. People like it, but does that make it okay to keep online?
It’s easy for individuals in the communications field to step back and assess the online brand and reputation of others. However, it might be time to for us to step back and look at ourselves.
With this in mind, here are some tips to keep ‘tweets from last night’ from coming back to haunt you:
Protect your tweets
Hide ‘em. Twitter offers the option for users to have their tweets protected so only the people the user approves will be able to view their tweets. However, sometimes opting to protect your tweets might lead others to be suspicious of the content you are posting and could think,”If they’re posting things they don’t want everyone to see, maybe they can’t censor themselves enough to post things for my company.”
RTs ≠ endorsements
Many who have opted to display tweets to the public feel the need to display “RTs ≠ endorsements” in their user profiles. I can see how this works for them, but it’s still not as secure in the reputation management department. Be careful, people will create a certain image of you based on your RTs no matter what you disclaim in your profile.
Create another, anonymous account to vent from
If your job stinks and you want to tweet about all the ridiculous things you’re made to do and witness all day, don’t tweet about it on your personal account that has your picture, name, title, website and location on it. Create another, anonymous account to tweet from. I’ve seen accounts like these and they really develop a loyal following of users who want to “see what happens next.” Of course, you will need to be as vague as possible or it would be easy enough for someone to piece together your tweets and find out who you are.
This is for those who just want a fresh start and have some time on their hands. Go back through the tweets you’ve posted and delete all the “questionable” ones. This way if a potential client or employer decides to check on your Twitter activity, you’ll be covered.
Just think before you tweet
This is just a piece of general online reputation management advice. You’re snarky and your followers think you’re funny. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have as many loyal followers as you do. You’re definitely clever, but will it offend the wrong person? If you’re worried about how you come across to your colleagues and your peers within your certain industry, think before you tweet. If the tweet isn’t time-sensitive, save it as a draft and come back to it later, then if it’s still funny, tweet it out.
Of course, you don’t have to censor yourself to the point of looking like a robot every time you tweet something generic. Express your personality. It’s why we have social media and why people like Katt Williams have more than 2 million followers.
Online reputation management is an important PR function. Utilize it! But do it right.