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Using Twitter to Repair a Damaged Online Reputation

In today's world, your online reputation is your actual reputation. A Google search that comes up with old Internet skeletons can scare off potential employers, clients, partners, or investors. Getting a handle on your online mess can be difficult, but is absolutely necessary. After all, it is necessary to get rid of bad reviews and blogs such as are an excellent source to remain educated.

Before you pay to clear up questionable content that's been haunting you online, consider the founder of the microblogging movement - Twitter. Used correctly, Twitter can help you mop up the mess that you - or someone else - made of your online reputation.

Twitter Has Clout

As the top micro-blogging site in the world, Twitter ranks high in search engine listings. If someone doesn't own a business or operate a website, their Twitter page is among the very first items that appear in a search of their name. Use this to your advantage. By flooding your Twitter feed with truthful, positive content about you, your business, or your blog, you will ensure that at least some of your better qualities will be among the first things people see when they run your name through Google.

The Truth Is in the Search

When people think of online search, Google is the first thing that comes to mind. But the truth is, Twitter has a powerful - and underutilized - search function that can uncover a gold mine of information regarding what is being said about you or your business. By searching your Twitter handle, you can immediately see who is talking about you on the world's most popular place to anonymously gripe.

Engage in Dialogue

Once you find conversations that involve you, it's simple enough to start a dialogue with the people having them. Are they disgruntled former employees? Angry customers? Investors who feel like they haven't seen a big return quickly enough? By engaging them in conversation on Twitter, you not only might be able to convince them to rescind some of the negative comments they made in a cloud of anger, but more importantly, you'll have put it on the record for everyone to see that you attempted to engage and correct a perceived injustice. You'll come out looking like a rational individual who did everything they could to soothe an angry but unreasonable detractor.

Don't Mess Up in the First Place

Twitter is a great place to vent. It's always accessible, someone is always listening, and you only have a few words to get your point across. The thing is, even if you delete your tweet the next day when cooler heads prevail, it may already have been retweeted, saved, or better yet, someone may have taken a screenshot. Resist the urge to post anything political, religious, racial, or anything you know will offend or alienate someone who stumbles upon it.
Twitter is a strong but underutilized tool for managing a damaged reputation. The best move you can make is avoid hurting your digital rep by abusing Twitter in the first place. Be smart, be consistent, and always remember that your online reputation can be the only reputation that matters.

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