Guilty by Social Marketing or Networking

 Are we responsible for the content of the sites we link to, or the people we follow? I started thinking about this awhile back. I have a friend that is extremely conservative. This person regularly quotes and links to a blog that has some questionable content deeper in the site, specifically the use of many expletives. Now this doesn’t offend me personally and I would never judge someone based on them linking to other sites or even using expletives (goodness knows I have said a few myself), but it got me thinking. With word of mouth and social marketing and networking being so prevalent for business and individuals, how careful must you be who you are associated with? Who your “Friends” are? Who you “Follow”?

Alternately, I think everyone realizes the importance of their own comments and posts and how they not only reflect on you but your business. Do those comments reflect on those you link to?

During these last few days of the elections the political talk increased on the social network and micro-blogging sites like Twitter. Some people make no bones about the side of the aisle they sit, which is great; I have strong political opinions myself. Can expressing your personal political (or any other) opinions as a representative of your business effect your business? If I disagree with the opinions that one posts, am I less likely to do business with them?

I am asking a lot of questions, I know. For me, I don’t take links, blog posts, opinions that are broadcast on Twitter or any other web site personally. I don’t think (unless it was really offensive to me) that I would change my opinion of a business based on comments or posts by an individual. I suspect, however that many might.

What do you think?

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