Are important. People go to great lengths to look good for their first appearance. They make sure their homepage looks spectacular, sometimes even overdoing it with annoying flash intros. But they fail to recognize how most people find their website. A blue text on white background on a little website known as Google. What’s more is that it’s nearly impossible to control the text that pops up there.
If someone is searching for your company specifically, they will probably get your Meta description tag or the first few lines of text on the page. That can be controlled. But chances are, if they’re searching for your company’s name, they already know what you do. If they just search for a service, they can get all sorts of results. And what pops up under your name is dependent upon what a bunch of PHD’s in Math decide will.
Back in the pioneering days of the internet, having a website makes you cutting edge. Now, not having a website makes it looks like you’re hiding something. Perhaps the same thing could be said about Twitter and Facebook today.
People are quick to jump onboard with new technologies for a variety of reasons: It’s another advertising channel. It’s free so why not? It’s a better way to connect with our fans.
Companies rarely think that these become new places for a first impression to be made. If you’re just updating these things every other month, then your first impression might be that you jump on bandwagons but quickly fall off. If you just lets your accounts lie fallow it might just give people a great way to vent about problems. A “look before you leap” mantra might serve a lot of people well.