Who Controls the Content?

By Kate Morris. Filed in Social Media, Social Wednesday  |  
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Courtsey of Ergonomenon.com

Courtsey of Ergonomenon.com

With the rise in popularity of social media marketing and it’s perfect integration with search engine optimization, marketers are focusing more now on content than ever. What has been said recently though about SEO and Social Media about who controls the content is a bit off though. There is a lot of confusion about what a company can actually influence in the new market.

Someone in social media once said “SEO optimization assumes that you own and control the content” and while they have a point, they followed up with “Companies cannot change social content.” Now in the strictest sense, and what they meant I realize, is that user-generated content isn’t directly controllable. In the new market environment we can’t change what people say about our products and services. We can’t delete tweets, or modify negative reviews. Companies can’t craft reviews with the right keywords and anchor text.

My point is that a good company can influence social media and user-generated content. Companies can control what is said by taking the steps to ensure a phenomenal user experience every time. Does this cost money? Yes. Hiring the right people, keeping them, and spending money in R&D is costly. But then again, so is reputation management. We would venture that there are thousands of companies that would pay to make some of their online comments go away.

Why not make it so they don’t happen?

4 comments to “Who Controls the Content?”

  1. Comment by richardbaxterseo:

    “Companies can control what is said by taking the steps to ensure a phenomenal user experience every time.”

    That’s absolutely right. Thanks to social media, brands are forced to right their wrongs or even better, take the fact that this medium exists into account when they’re designing products, services and their communications to avoid any future problems.

    Easier said than done, but just get it right first time, right?

  2. Comment by Kate Morris:

    You’re totally right, it is easier said than done. :) But is does help when executives have that mind set in the beginning. I figure if we make this point while so many small businesses are starting, we might impact business in the future. Maybe? :)

  3. Comment by Kristy Bolsinger:

    Ohhhh so very true! Some companies forget that they cannot control the messaging any more. I can’t remember exactly where I heard/read this before, but someone said that brands used to write their own stories, but now, it’s the consumers doing the writing.
    Last night I was at an event where one of the panelists mentioned that the only thing a brand can do is guide the discussion. In my mind, guiding the discussion is best done through providing a ‘phenomenal user experience’ as you say :)
    Provide the amazing experience, and consumers will write an amazing story for you!

  4. Comment by Dawn Wentzell:

    Even if a company goofs up and doesn’t provide a good experience, and their customer goes off and tweets or blogs about how horrible that company is, the company can still be in control of the content. That’s when addressing the customer’s needs & engaging with them is most important. If you can turn a bad experience around and make it a wonderful experience, you might have a brand evangelist for life.

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