Once a twit, not always a twit
By twit, I mean the dumb tweets we post on Twitter. Part of the initial work of cleaning up your professional brand includes going back and deleting tweets that a Puritan grandmother living in 1636 would find objectionable. That's pretty drastic, but I don't consider it to be overkill.
I recently did an audit of a client's online presence. I found a photo he posted on Twitter with a group of his friends, all with beer bottles in hand. It looked like a backyard summer barbecue. What's the harm in that? I admit that is pretty tame compared to some things I have found. But do you want to risk not getting an interview based on somebody else's rash judgment of you? Some clients tell me, "Well, if the company is that uptight, I wouldn't want to work there." Yeah, but what if your supervisor is your next drinking buddy, but a clerk in HR who is reviewing resumes is descended from that Puritan grandmother and he decides to not pull out your resume from the stack for consideration? Does that change your answer?
I'm a small business owner who has strong opinions about a lot of topics. But I furiously kept my mouth shut before, during and after our last Presidential campaign. It's not worth it to me to risk losing a potential client because they saw a comment I made that they did not agree with. Or how about all those shares we do? See what I just deleted myself from my own Twitter feed below (and learn how to do it yourself!)
First, go to your Twitter home page. Click on the hyperlinked "Tweets" text in your profile box. You'll come to a list of all your tweets.
The one I decided to delete was not all that controversial, at least to me. The headline was, "Last night in Sweden? Trump's remarks baffle..." This was the story about Trump commenting how Sweden had been targeted by terrorist attacks. I was passing it along as a news story of the day. But it's not worth losing a client over someone misinterpreting my intent. So if you click the down arrow to the right of the tweet itself, you get a drop-down list and you'll choose "Delete Tweet." Do it. You won't regret it.
It's likely that deleting the tweet from Twitter will not remove it from the Internet forever. That's why it's good to work with someone to establish your professional brand and thereafter, use that as a filter to guide every update, post, tweet, photo, share you do on social media. Does it square with your values? Does it align with your brand? If so, click away!