Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If you don't self-promote, are you truly hurt?

I'm sure that any self-proclaimed "SEO expert" will loudly declare that businesses have to engage in conversation. Why should businesses engage in conversation? Because if you don't talk about yourself, someone else will talk about you.

I've previously mentioned (based on a prior post from Will Campbell) that Broguiere's doesn't seem to be suffering, despite its lack of a web presence. And I don't think that Yogurtime is losing out on the mindshare war, despite my observations.

Now one could argue that the conversation could be dominated by the negative people. Take a look at Twittercism's recommendation:

1. Go to Twitter search.
2. Enter your company name, followed by the word ‘sucks’

So I tried it.

OK, Twittercism DID note that this technique works better for an established brand.

But let's say your company DOES suck, and you listen to the SEO experts and engage and communicate. That's good, right? Of course not.

People on twitter HATE outright sales pitches, and there’s no faster way to drain your follower list and give yourself a bad reputation than by trying to use twitter for a hard sell.

But even if you do everything right, and engage and communicate and act bidirectionally and all that stuff, remember one thing. In most cases, even if every one of your employees is engaging and communicating, you still have more customers than employees, so all or your social media engaging and communicating could potentially be drowned out by all of the stuff that everyone else says.

Let's say that Yogurtime (the United States version, not the Hong Kong version) finally decides to set up its own website, and maybe its own Twitter account, and perhaps a blip.fm account for all I know. Even after establishing such a web presence, Yogurtime will be competing with a number of outside entities:


Google Maps




Yellow pages services from AOL, YP Mobile, and everyone else on the planet

Now certainly it helps to have your voice in the mix, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can control the conversation. It's not like a business can affect all of these outside entities and tell them what they can or cannot say.

Not even in Europe.
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