Guilt by Social Network Associations

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?

To Blog, or not to Blog, that is the question.

To Blog or not to Blog?

Recently I was discussing an interesting topic with a colleague; should every one blog? If you are in the web design or search engine optimization (SEO) industry you know the benefits. Blogs are a great (and cheap) way for companies to easily communicate with customers. Search engines love blogs; it is a major component to many of the SEO campaigns we initiate. Much of the news and information we get these days come from blogs. So the question remains, should every one blog? My answer is NO.

In a frenzy to “stay current”, clients come to me and ask how to start a blog. I generally have a few questions I ask them:

What is the purpose of this blog? The first question is easy. “I read that we can provide information about the business and offer another line of communication with customers.”

What will the content be? The first hesitant answer generally is to the second question. “Well, we can talk about our business and our latest news, I guess.”

Who will be responsible for updating this blog? The third question is the most uncomfortable. “Well, I can put the content up, and my assistant and ummm.”

The reality is sometimes it is better not to blog. If you have the content and resources, it can be a great asset for your business. Many small business, especially these days, just don’t have the time to create content. If like many blogs (including this one:-) you don’t keep it updated, it doesn’t really serve its purpose.

This rant doesn’t even address whether or not a blog fits the company’s business model or if a business is ready for this type of communication with the customers.

I would really welcome feed back on this topic…I could be totally wrong.

my first foray into blogging…

Ok, so I have setup many blogs for clients, but this is MY first foray. Bare with me, at some point there actually might be some good content here. I look to speak about website design and development. Specifically, the aestic and the technical. Search engine optimization, content management, viral or word of mouth marketing and I would REALLY like to discuss the line between having a well designed site for the seach engines and have a well designed site for the visitors.

PS. Thank you wordpress for having spell checker.