It's Friday! Keyword Tools and Social Media Ownership

It's Friday: The Week in Search 

This week, we're focused on the truth about keyword tools and the ongoing debate regarding social media ownership. 

Keyword Tools: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

We’ve talked a lot about keyword generators and free keyword tools, namely pointing out the disadvantages of basing your keyword selection on broad data that’s not specific to your website. Combined with lack of negative keyword suggestions, inherited disorganization and stagnant data, what’s the point of using them?

Others have started asking themselves that same question. Search Engine Roundtable is encouraging users to share their thoughts on the Google Tool specifically.  As of 9am on Friday morning, the results looked like this: 

Do you Trust Google's Keyword Tool?

I'm not quite sure what "other" could mean, but with only 23% of voters trusting the Google keyword tool, perhaps we're about to see it jump the shark. 

Then ask yourself: Are you damaging your campaigns by relying too much on keyword suggestion tools? Click here to learn about the alternative and what you gain by conducting personal and proprietary keyword discovery.  

Do you Have a SNEA, Social Networking Employee Agreement? Should You?

Another interesting topic this week was well summarized by Search Engine Journal’s Glenn Gabe entitled “Lawyers, Guns, and Twitter - Who Owns Your Twitter Account.”  This was written on the heels of a Business Week survey that showed a disparity between c-level executives and employees on the topic of social media ownership.  While “60% of c-level executives believe they have a right to know how their employees represent themselves and their companies on social networking sites, 53% of employees believe their activities on social networking sites should be of no concern to employers” according to the survey. Combining Gabe’s own experience as a marketing consultant and social media participant with the legal opinion of Mike Pisauro, we have a while to go before this becomes a black and white issue (Grey Hat Tweeting, anyone?).

As you may expect, the proper course of action is related to various factors such as Twitter equity, company expectation and job description.  For the lucky ones out there, the answer can be found in your SNEA.

For the rest of us, it depends on the situation.  Your choices and recommended actions are summarized below. Which one do you fall under? Be careful which one you choose, especially if you’re tweeting on company time!

1) A Grandfathered Twitter Account: You had an existing Twitter account when you joined the company and Tweeting was not listed as a core responsibility

  • Verdict: Twitter account belongs to you

2) A Grandfathered Twitter Account PLUS Job Responsibility:  Same as above with the caveat that employee has agreed to use his or her Twitter account to help promote the company

  • Verdict: Check your SNEA or consider slicing followers depending on when they started following you (if they started to follow you before the job, they’re yours, if it happened after your hire, they’re the companies)

3) Work-Related Twitter Account: Employee sets up a personal Twitter account at request the of company to help promote said company

  • Verdict: Twitter account belongs to company

4) Social Media Marketer Account: The Twitter account was set up upon hire as the Social Media Marketer for the company and doesn’t have its own equity

  • Verdict: Account belongs to the company

5) Social Media Marketer PLUS Existing Account: If your Twitter account existed before you joined the company, but you were hired specifically as the company’s Social Media Marketer, the outcome may be different from option above

  • Verdict: Twitter account belongs to you assuming company didn’t make specific request to buy your Twitter account upon hire

David Leonhardt followed up with a post that said the above scenarios neglect to ask whose name the Twitter account is in, and that may make things even more confusing.

Bottom line, says David, in who owns your Twitter account?  Answer: Twitter does.  

(Read More: Guide to Using Social Media for Marketing)

It's Twitter Time!

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