Twitter – Reputation Management in the Web 2.0 environment.

I’ve been a long time fan of Twitter, mostly to keep up on breaking news and find out what my friends are doing, however, this morning I read a great article which made me realize how powerful of a tool Twitter actually is. James Buck, a UC Berkely student, was arrested in Egypt. Instead of a phone call, Buck used his phone to post a message to his Twitter account: Short and simple, it read, “Arrested.” Within 24 hours, Buck’s Twitter followers had managed to involve UC Berkely, the US Embassy and get him freed. Another young life spared, thanks to modern conveniences of Social Media.

Twitter, ironically enough,isn’t just for busting yourself out of the clink. It can also help you save the life of your business. Twitter is a microblogging platform which allows users to post 140 character ‘tweets’ to hundreds of their closest friends…or whoever chooses to follow them. More and more companies are using Twitter to monitor their online reputation. Using Twitter tools like TweetScan you can set up alerts to email or text you if and when your business name is mentioned on Twitter.

American Airlines suffered a PR nightmare last week when it cancelled over 3000 flights. You can just imagine the amount of negative twitters which were tweeted during the whole debacle. The negative press and online complaints forced American to shift into reputation management mode. They quickly reacted by starting a blog, addressing customer concerns and issues.

By monitoring what people are saying about your business online, you can be pro-active in your reputation management, fending off naysayers as the arise.