Twitter for change: The power of Twitter for reputation management

OK, so twitter may be the worst thing that has happened since the invention of the Internet for productivity in the office (beating Facebook walls by a country mile), but it has its uses.

One of these uses is online reputation management. When we are looking at ways of putting across a consistent message for ourselves or our clients in the search engine results for a person or company name, we are looking for pages or websites that consistently have the ability to rank for names even among pretty serious competition. Twitter is an example of just such a service.

The structure of Twitter is well set up to pass its considerable domain weight to profile pages:

- Every tweet is it's own page - Other peoples tweets link to your profile page with your username as anchor text if they are replying to you (syntax = @username) - Every person's profile links to the profiles of people they follow

Therefore if you create a popular account that gets followed by lots of other popular accounts and people reply to you, you will end up with a profile page that has lots of internal links with good anchor text for your profile name. If your profile name is the name you want to end up ranking for, then you are well on your way.

Barack Obama Twitter profile

##Things to remember

- Make your username your real name or company name (whichever you are trying to rank for) - Make sure your profile is public so that it ends up with rich, changing content and so you get links from other strong pages such as the timeline and upcoming

The power of this first occurred to me when I realised that my profile had jumped into the search results for my name, but a tiny amount of digging around shows that it's true for even competitive searches such as Barack Obama.

Barack Obama Twitter search results

##Use social media responsibly

As with all social media marketing, I wouldn't be the white hat I am if I didn't point out that you should respect the rules of the forums you are playing in. In Twitter's case, I think that's probably mainly not spamming people.

But the point here is that this will work much better if you use Twitter 'properly' in the sense of using it for (even irregular) updates about yourself and/or your company. As I mentioned above, the power is used best when you get those keyword-rich internal links which happen when you get plenty of followers and hold conversations with people.

If you want to follow others in the office, the active twits are:

- Me: willcritchlow - Duncan: duncanmorris - Tom: tomcritchlow (Tom's updates are protected, so good luck making it to 'friend' status ;)) - Lucy: langdog - Andy: andyjamesdavies

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About the author
Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow

Will founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press. For the...   read more