As a follow-up to our popular post, Clean up Your Online Profile, we have created a blog series about cleaning up online profiles. Today we will provide tips for a successful:

Twitter Clean Up

The major social media networks have often been described in this way: Facebook is what you use to keep in touch with friends, LinkedIn is what you use to get a job, and Twitter is what you use to get famous. While that is obviously an exaggeration, there is still reason to believe the audience for your Twitter posts is much larger than you intended. Countless artists and writers have used the site to build a fanbase, and then sold things like paintings and self-published books to devoted followers. The biggest success story took place in 2010, when the popular Twitter feed sh#tmydadsays was developed into the CBS sitcom “Bleep My Dad Says.”

Yet it is also possible for someone using Twitter to become famous for the wrong reasons. Among countless examples, Pittsburg Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall lost a sponsor after a Tweet he made in reaction to news of Osama Bin Laden’s death last year. Here are some tips for cleaning up your Twitter so that it does not harm your online reputation:

  • Make sure your profile picture, bio, and background are professional. Keep in mind that friends, employers, and people you do not know will be shaping their perception on you based on the information you provide. It will not matter how high-quality your Tweets are if these areas make you seem unprofessional.
  • Delete any unprofessional Tweets. This includes, but is not limited to, swearing, lying, drunk Tweets, and the sharing of inappropriate photos, comments or links.
  • Get rid of inactive followers. Adding inactive followers is usually encouraged when you first create your account, but if you have too many of them then it will be unproductive. If someone takes a look at your followers and sees only inactive users, they will doubt your credibility, and question how influential your voice really is. Once you have built a following, go back and remove inactive followers.
  • Carefully consider who you follow. One will usually draw conclusions about your interests based on who you are following. Even if a popular adult website promises to follow you back, do you really want a future employer seeing your name associated with that brand?
  • Avoid Retweeting inappropriate comments. Once again, people will draw conclusions about you based on who and what you re-tweet. You might not hesitate to share an inappropriate joke with your close friends on Facebook, but it is best to avoid sharing something like that on Twitter, or risk offending your audience.

If an unprofessional Tweet attracts enough Retweets, it will be indexed in Google, meaning that it will be one of the first things that people see when they Google your name. For help removing these items from search engine results, or to learn more about how to clean up your Twitter you should take a look at our online privacy products or contact us for other online reputation management services directly at 1-866-MY-REP-911.

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