While doing some research, I recently came across a company who said they were specialists in “protecting your online reputation” and “managing your Twitter, Facebook and blog assets”. Then, they pointed the website visitor (in this case, me) to their Facebook page and Twitter account as evidence, I suppose, of the quality of their work.
Here is what waited for me on those pages:
- Bad grammar, typos and misspellings galore: How can a company possibly represent your brand when they can’t even utilize correct grammar and use the spell check? The type of syntax reminded me of what you find in those spammy emails from foreign countries, which made me suspicious if the “posting” was being done off shore.
- A propaganda stream: While one of the blog posts talked about social media being a dialog, there was zero indication that they lived by what they preached. There were few retweets, few replies and a steady stream of nonsense and propaganda. At Mojo, we pride ourselves on tight messaging and relationship-building. Again, they didn’t know what to say on their own stream, how in the world could they represent someone else’s brand?
- Inappropriate comments: Would you want folks to see curse words and, um, racy remarks? Well, whoever was posting to this stream sure did. What if that was your brand? Your B2B dialog with partners, vendors, alliances, customers would be at risk…ugh.
Look, in this economy, we are well aware that the “new normal” isn’t really normal at all. As business people we are looking for ways to maximize revenue, increase profits and decrease expenses. It’s as simple as that. However, you should not cut corners where your brand is concerned. Putting your online reputation, one that is potentially cached forever, into the hands of companies who don’t speak the language well, don’t understand your business and have no proven methodology is just plain craziness.
Before you decide to contract with a provider, take a hard look at what they are doing. Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there like the one I mentioned above. They decided to set up shop to capitalize on social media, not to create a long-term client relationship built on real results.
Be careful and vet them thoroughly:
- What is your methodology?
- Who else have you done work for?
- What were the results?
- Will you show me your own streams and community?
- What testimonials do you have?
- Who is doing the work?
Your reputation is easy to mess up and hard to fix. Just sayin’.