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Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

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Archive for May, 2009

Who owns your Twitter account?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

So here is a legal conundrum.  You’ve been active on a number of social media websites, such as Twitter, FaceBook or Digg.  You have amassed a number of friends and followers and built a certain amount of credibility.  You leave your job – take a better position elsewhere, move to another city, get laid off or fired – doesn’t matter the reason.

Who owns your Twitter account?  Your FaceBook account?  Etc.

I thought it was a very straightforward question, too.  If it’s in your name, it’s yours.  If it’s in the company’s name, it’s the company’s.  Period. Or maybe not period.  Maybe question mark.

A legal viewpoint has been sought and diligently reported on by Glenn Gabe.  The comments, which are not to be taken as legal advice, came from lawyer Mike Pisauro.  He covered five scenarios, which I’ll list here but you can go to the original post to read the details.

  1. Grandfathered Twitter Accounts
  2. Twitter Account Already Established, But Employee Has Agreed That Twitter Will Be Part Of His Job
  3. Twitter Accounts Set Up While An Employee Is Working At A Company
  4. The Employee Is The Official Social Media Marketer For The Company
  5. The Employee Is The Official Social Media Marketer And Has Set Up The Account As Part Of The Marketing Effort

For what it’s worth, I think a key point is missing.  In whose name is the account set up?  Let’s take a scenario where Mary Wilkins is hired to do communications for ACME . and she is told that she needs to tweet nice things about the company, but to set it up in her name, not in the company’s name.  There are a number of reasons ACME might want her to tweet in her own name, rather than the company’s.

  • They might be trying to avoid liability for what an employee might publicly say.
  • They might want her comments to have an air of objectivity.
  • They might not want to be held to anything she tweets.
  • Thjey might want people to connect with a real human being, not an impersonal company.

All these reasons have one common element – they all imply that the company does not want to be associated with the account.  They all are purposeful actions to refuse ownership of the account.  I have a very hard time believing, legal genius that I am not, that any court would be able to ignore that fact if the real owner — the employee – articulated that argument well.

On the other hand, if the account was set up in the company’s name by the employee, overtly being the ACME account, I cannot imagine for a moment that a court would award ownership of the account to the employee.

The only place I see as being murky is if the account is personal in the person’s name and that person is the official spokesperson for the company and promoted as such.  For isnstance if a Twitter account is @MaryWilkins and the ACME logo is used as the background.  Situations 4 and 5 above could fall into that class.

Of course, my legal opinion and a dime will buy you a drink at the public water fountain, so if you are a) hiring someone who will be running social media accounts on your behalf or b) being hired by a company wanting you to run its social media accounts, get the prenuptials down in writing ahead of time.

So now, the real burning legal issue:

Q: Who owns the Twitter account?
A: Twitter.

 


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El Marcadorado updated

Friday, May 15th, 2009

  

We have just made a major update to El Marcadorado for those of you  who have Spanish-language blogs and websites you want publicized.  El Marcadorado is the Spanish-language version of TheBookmarketer …a simple script that you add to your pages to encourage your visitors to social bookmark them.  In fact, we are pretty sure this is the only service of its kind for the Hispanic world.

Acabamos de hacer una actualización mayor a El Marcadorado para los que tienen blogs y sitios web en español. El Marcadorado es una herramienta sencilla que usted añade a sus páginas para favorecer a sus visitantes a marcar sus páginas en sitios “marcadores sociales”. De verdad, estamos bastante seguros que esto es el único servicio de su clase para el mundo latino.

This time we have added / Acabamos de añadir :

We have also removed a number of old social bookmarking websites which have gone the way of Furl and Magnolia in English.

 


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SEO Strategies for Financial Websites

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Here are a few SEO tips specific to financial websites. 

First, understand that people are very sensitive and possessive about their money.  Your website has to ooze credibility if you want to convert traffic to customers.  You probably know this already, but keep it in mind when you hire an SEO consultant.  He or she needs to make sure that SEO changes do not reduce the credibility of the website.

Are you selling services locally or nationally/globally?  If you are selling locally, there is no point fighting for national rankings.  People will search for “bookkeeping southern California” if they need somebody local, and you have a fighting chance to rank for that search term.  But the investment required to compete with all the other sites and outrank them for “bookkeeping” just isn’t worth it.

Design your website around the services you offer.  Don’t place a link in the main navigation menu that says just “services”.  Have a page for accounting, a page for bookkeeping, a page for tax filing, a page for each individual service you offer.  Why?  Two reasons:

  1. A page centered around bookkeeping has a better chance ranking well for “bookkeeping southern California” than a page centered around services.  The focus on one topic makes it clearer to the search engines what the page is about.
  2. People searching for a specific service, such as bookkeeping, should land on a page specifically about what they search for.  You will convert more visitors that way.  And nobody searches for financial services; they search for the specific service they need, whether it be insurance, or accounting, or investment advice, etc.

Make sure you are participating on Tipd.com and PFbuzz.com.  These are great places to get ideas for link-bait viral content.  It’s a great place to submit your own content (search-engine-friendly links) and get the attention of financial bloggers who might be interested in linking to your content.

Most SEO strategies and tactics can be applied across almost any sector, so don’t forget to do all the good things you would for any other website.  What I mention in this post are a few items that are specific to financial websites.

 


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