Whether you are a freelancer, employee, professional, or a business, it is becoming increasingly important to manage your Twitter reputation. In this article, let us see what is meant by reputation in the world of Twitter, and how you can use free Twitter tools manage and enhance your reputation.
What Is Your Twitter Reputation?
Can your reputation be measured? Yes, there are many services that claim to do that using different methods. You can check your reputation on free Twitter tools like Twitterank, Twitter Grader, Twitterholic, Twinfluence, Twitalyzer, and Klout. There is no single model that defines Twitter reputation, and this guide tries to combine all the different approaches used by such tools and suggested by experts.
Your Twitter reputation is important because:
- It may well be the first impression you make on the social web.
- Everything on Twitter is public (assuming you don’t protect your updates, which is 90% of Twitterers). This means your colleagues, current employer or potential recruiter can always see your Twitter profile and your tweets.
- Reputation will play an increasingly important role in search rankings. Already, third-party Twitter search engines like Topsy and Tweefind incorporate ranking in their search results, and Twitter itself is also on the way to ranking search results.
Convinced? Let’s get started.
1. Your Profile
Use your real name, a (decent) profile picture, a meaningful bio, and a link to your website, blog, or social profile. If you have a custom background on your profile page, people are more likely to follow you back.
2. Follow Authentic People
Don’t engage in any “get hundreds of followers quickly” schemes. Follow people you’re already friends with on other social networks. Then grow your Twitterverse as you get comfortable. Use our previously covered 9 sites and 4 ways to find Twitter friends based on geography and common interests.
I use the free Twitter tool Topify to get informative emails when someone follows me. It shows useful information like level of engagement, percentage of tweets containing links, and recent tweets to help decide whether to follow back.
3. Manage Your Followers and Friends
The days of “higher the number of followers, higher your reputation“ are becoming a thing of the past, thanks to paid services that allow buying followers. Think of your reputation if there were half-naked women showing up as your followers!
Block suspicious accounts, spammers and bots from following you. I have recently started using Tweet Blocker to filter and clean my followers list and it works like a charm. Another service I find indispensable is Twerp Scan, which shows me a list of my contacts along with details of their number of follows, followers, ratio, etc. You can easily sort the list to weed out nasty spammers and indecent folks right within the app.
4. Get ReTweeted
The best way to increase your reach and influence on Twitter is to get retweeted. Statistical studies of retweets have found that links, quotes, trending topics, breaking news, questions, and creative/novel tweets are more likely to get retweeted. Shrink your tweet and reduce its length to around 100-110 characters so that it becomes easier for others to retweet without editing.
5. Mix Your Tweet Types
Do not restrict yourself to tweeting out informative links or indulging in pointless babble. Use a mix of tweets that are status updates, links, retweets, questions, and self-promotions for your blog posts.
6. Spread Your Tweets Over the Day
Services such as Tweet Stats let you see how your tweets are distributed through the day. Don’t send out a large number of tweets in short time spans and then disappear. Distribute your tweeting activity evenly through the day, using planned “Twitter-breaks” from your work. If you are going to be offline for a considerable amount of time, let your followers know.
7. Be Responsive and Engage in Conversation
Reply to others’ tweets using @Replies. Answer all @Replies and Direct Messages sent to you. Let people see that you don’t use Twitter simply to promote your links. Try to answer people’s questions and if you can’t, be a helping hand by retweeting them.
8. Don’t Misuse Hashtags
A UK furniture firm suffered a huge blow to their reputation on Twitter as they sent out marketing messages using #hashtags that were meant for completely unrelated topics. The Twitter community uses #hashtags for tracking specific topics they are interested in, so stick to conventions.
9. Avoid Many Twitter IDs from a Single IP Address
Some experts have proposed that multiple Twitter IDs created from the same IP address should have a lower Twitter rank in searches. This is a counter measure against spammers and bots who abuse Twitter accounts. If for whatever reason, you need to create a large number of legitimate Twitter accounts, don’t do it from the same computer.
10. Use DMs with Discretion
If I get automated DMs after I follow someone, I unfollow them. The same with people who play mafia-style Twitter games and send me invites to play via DMs.
Do not send Direct Messages to people you’ve recently started being friends with on Twitter. Most people consider DMs to be private messages that they share only with good friends. Use @Replies wherever possible, unless you want to discuss a sensitive issue that warrants a DM.
11 Use Recommendations
Recommendations are a great way to discover and be discovered. The most popular method on Twitter is the #FollowFriday hash tag. Like everything else in social media, the more you give, the more you get, so if you like this method, use it to give recommendations to others.
A better recommendation engine is Mr. Tweet, which is getting popular. It gives me decent recommendations since I joined, along with useful statistics.
12. Monitor Your Brand
If you own a brand name, create a search to monitor for all mentions of your brand. Most popular Twitter clients let you create saved searches, some like Seesmic Web even let you sync your saved searches with those on Twitter’s website.
Will these techniques help you enhance your Twitter reputation? Have any other suggestions? Do let us know in the comments!
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