twitter for digital reputationSo you’ve discovered your online reputation is less than stellar. Or, perhaps you are a beginner at cultivating your internet persona and you’re looking for a way to begin the process. What do you do next? One of the best and most effective ways to improve your digital reputation is to use the social media site known as Twitter.

As a high-profile social media site that is visible in search engines such as Google, Twitter offers an efficient and easy way to manage how you are viewed by others in the larger online community. In addition, you can keep updated on what people are saying about you by using their search function to track what is being said and by whom.

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

How you conduct yourself online does matter. That means everything from how you communicate with others, what words you use to communicate, the photos you post, and how you respond to touchy interactions with internet trolls and others who cause online chaos. Using Twitter can help you maintain control of your correspondence because the site limits tweets to no more than 140 characters.

This can be a benefit and a drawback. It can be beneficial because it forces you to be succinct in your communication with others and to choose your words carefully. The drawback is that, on occasion, you may not get your point across the right way. Even though you have limited room for tweeting, spell properly and impart useful information.

By sending out regular tweets on a daily basis that are short, yet informative, you can build up your authority quotient. If you find you want to expound on a subject here and there, you can use a service such as Twit Longer for longer missives.

Cultivate a Positive and Beneficial Online Presence

One way to groom your digital reputation and make it sparkle is to become a useful, helpful, and necessary connection for others in your industry or field. On Twitter, you can easily do this by making it a point to share only valuable or newsworthy information that others can utilize or act upon. Give your Twitter audience a steady diet of knowledgeable news to chew on, and watch as your followers skyrocket—along with your digital reputation’s worth. While others are posting photos of what they had for dinner, you should focus on sharing breaking news, recent business developments, or advice on professional topics.

In addition, set yourself up to live tweet updates from events you are attending, such as conferences, workshops, and seminars. The aim is to get on other people’s radar as someone who provides expert on-scene reporting on the latest developments.

Be Discerning

Finally, don’t jump on the bandwagon and follow every single person on Twitter who follows you or who piques your interest. Be selective with your follows and your tweets. If you have impressive industry names on your radar, be sure you’re following accounts that have been verified by Twitter so you know you’re not following an impostor.

Before you try to engage a high-profile person in conversation, get familiar with how they tweet, when they tweet, and what gets their attention. Once you’ve scoped out their habits and are well entrenched in following their ongoing conversation threads and thoughts, tweet them by using the @ symbol next to their twitter handle and offer a thoughtful response to their latest tweets. You may or may not receive an acknowledgment, but if you do, other people who are following them will see this interaction, may check out your Twitter feed, and could follow you in return. This will up your digital reputation, of course.

One final tip: Before tweeting someone, remember to stay professional and on topic.

While it may be daunting to realize you have work to do before your online reputation is sterling once again, improving how you appear to others online is still under your control. Get started today using the above-listed techniques so you can improve your standing in the virtual community sooner rather than later.

Contributor: Bev Sninchak is a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content for both print and online publications. She writes about many subjects, from managing your online reputation to mastering social media strategies. She lives with her husband, kids, and a menagerie of pets in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado.