As more social media accounts sync up with each other, it’s getting harder to hide a personal account from your professional life. This is especially a problem for recent grads whose account is littered with tweets from their keg-stand days.
This is a comprehensive plan for a Twitter make-over for those who are looking to turn their accounts forward facing into their industry. After using these tools, you’ll confidently be able to share your handle with clients, future employers, and industry leaders. Let’s begin.
Clean Up Your Act
Reppler scans your social media accounts and offers four different sections to score your reputation. It covers the two main bases of privacy and inappropriate content.
- My Impression grades you on a scale of 0-100 and rates the tone of content on your page. It also creates a word web showing what phrases you use the most often.
- My Networks compares fans and followers over your networks. How many of your Facebook friends are connected with you on Twitter?
- My Inappropriate Content scans your posts and highlights pieces of content that are considered inappropriate. For example, a few months ago I retweeted a post by the parody account @daily_kale that suggested leafy vegetables as an energy boost instead of cocaine. That was flagged as inappropriate.
- My Privacy and Security Risks finds public information that could be dangerous (home town, high school, phone number), it also lets you view your profiles as a stranger would and edit settings.
Persona also scans your social accounts for inappropriate content. It’s different from Reppler because it’s choosier about what qualifies as inappropriate.
Words like revenge, butt, hell, die, and guinea were flagged as inappropriate content that I’ve tweeted in the past few weeks. Despite the fact that ‘die’ was used in a social media related headline, it reported that I was violent. I shared a cute picture of a guinea pig and it flagged me for racism.
The benefit of this service is that it’s fine toothed comb. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, use this tool. I know I’d rather see too many posts taken out of context than only see one bad one with multiple others floating around out there.
One more thing about Persona: It lists out your friends with the most flags. Knowing who is mentioning you in tweets that are considered offensive or violent will help you in the next stage.
These tools save you from having to read through all of your past tweets. They scan them for you. You can also take them on a case by case bases and don’t have to purge all of your content just because you want to seem more professional.
Cut the Deadweight
Your social media profile should be looking good right now. You’ve addressed any red flags in past posts and are ready to move forward as a professional in your industry. Your next step is to clean up the accounts who you follow and maybe even those who follow you.
Untweeps unfollows accounts that haven’t tweeted recently. Someone who you followed back when you first joined Twitter might be inactive now, or you might have been #teamfollowback when you first started and follow a ton of eggs. UnTweeps combs through the accounts you follow and lists accounts that haven’t been active in the past few months so you can unfollow them in bulk.
Using UnTweeps is only step one.
A large part of success on Twitter depends on your ability to listen, and that gets hard when you follow a lot of accounts that have nothing to do with your industry. We recommend doing a Twitter audit: go through the accounts that you follow and put them into lists. Here are a few categories you can consider: industry influencers, industry blogs, industry peers, local tweeps, personal friends, personal tweeps, etc.
The goal is to know exactly who you’re following and why. Putting the accounts you follow into lists makes you justify following someone. In this part, don’t be afraid to unfollow people. If they don’t interest you any more, why would you continue to see their tweets?
Simply Measured has multiple free tests that analyze who follows you. They provide tables and charts for those who want to skim through their results, but they also give you the raw data in an excel spreadsheet to analyze it on your own.
One of the most helpful sections of data is the topics section. It lists keywords in Twitter bios by percent of total matches and use. For example, the top five topics used by people who follow CopyPress are social media, marketing, SEO, blogging, and Internet marketing. These range from 187 matches to 79 matches. This is good for us because it means the people who follow us are related to our industry (as opposed to people who tweet about football, kittens, insurance, and dating.)
How extensively you use this tool is up to you. It can be used to reciprocate people who follow you, clean up any inactive accounts that UnTweeps missed and even make some people unfollow you.
The ball is in your court because it lets you control who follows you if you use that last option. On one hand, you want to seem popular and expose as many people as possible to your tweets. On the other hand, quality is better than quantity, and there’s no point in having 10,000 followers if 9,000 are bots and the other thousand aren’t relevant to your industry.
There is a happy medium to this. Use the system unfollow eggs and inactive accounts that follow you. This way you know that your followers are made up of active accounts that genuinely care about what you have to say.
Surround Yourself with the Right People.
For the first two sections of your makeover, you’re reactively cleaning your account and following. Now it’s time to get proactive by following accounts and influencers in your industry.
A few months ago Melissa Fach wrote a great article about the benefits of using Followerwonk. It’s a tool that the CopyPress curation team uses throughout the day. In short: we highly recommend it.
Start with the Search Twitter bios tab to find users in your industry. Remember the keywords we discovered using Simply Measured? Here is where you put them to good use. You can search for the right people and right blogs to connect with and teach you about the industry.
This tool is just one step in a long Twitter journey. Follow the people who industry people mention and listen to their conversations. Who do they retweet? Who do they give shout-outs too? Learning who’s-who in an industry is one of the first steps towards joining a community.
This is another favorite tool used by our Twitter expert. You can save a keyword and check up on it periodically. If we were to save #ContentMarketing and #NativeAdvertising we could see and follow accounts that used those hashtags recently.
Use this app to start following people in your industry and get them to follow you. When industry peers see that you follow their connections and tweet about relevant topics they’ll start to follow you back. This is how you build a community around you.
Then Start Talking
Your past looks good, you’re listening to relevant industry leaders, and you’re building your network. You just need the content.
Socialmention brings you to the heart of what everyone else is talking about. It shows social media posts, blogs, videos, and pictures. This is where you start to join the conversation. Respond to questions about a topic, retweet witty remarks, share new stories and pictures that you find interesting. This site has both the people to talk to and the content to share.
Tweeting about industry content might be hard at first. You have to remember to talk to new people, keep up with old friends, and share engaging content. After a while it will come naturally to you. Soon you’ll be responding to connections instead of reaching out to strangers and people will be following you organically because they like that you have to say.
Revamping your Twitter account takes work, but the connections you have will be worth it in the long run.