What do people find when they search for you by name? Is it negative? If so, what do you do? What can you do? Depending on the situation, there are a range of tactics that may help. This session explores the issue.
Moderator: Jeffrey K. Rohrs, Vice President, Marketing, ExactTarget
Speakers: Veronica Fielding, President and CEO, Digital Brand Expressions Jordan Glogau, Partner, Internet Reputation Management Simon Heseltine, Director of Search, Serengeti Communications Michael Jensen, Co-Founder, SoloSEO
First up is Veronica Fielding. She talks about proactive reputation management - how to fortify yor brand before there's an issue that arises. She recommends to develop a game plan before there are problems and having something in place if a problem were to arise. It may not prevent the information to trickle to the surface but it can help you address issues and leverage them for the issues that may be causing your brand a problem.
There are 3 essential considerations: - Determine which content sets and chalnels you will use, in what combinations, and how often: SEO, social media, and paid search are part of this mix. - Prepare your messaging and be consistent. Make it channel-appropriate. You don't want to be Digging information that doesn't wor. Weigh your options for Facebook elements. Your myspace page should be different from Facebook because of the different audiences. - Determine how frequently you will check in and talk with your audiences.
Implementing your SEO portion of the plan gives the search engines time to find and index the relevant content on your site and on other sites that link to yours. Having paid search ads gives you realtime placement if a problem arises and quick adjustments make the copy relevant for off-setting negative inforamtion. Leveraging indexable social media adds to the numbero f quicj spidered sites that can be drawn upon to come to your brand's aid. It's also a forum for transparent dialogue with your brand's stakeolder. Use Wikipedia prudently. There may already be an entry for your brand so don't get caught tinkering with the content. Address yur concerns on the article's "Talk" pages.
There are key social media sites to consider: - Your brand's blog - LinkedIn - Twitter - Facebook - MySpace (for consumer, not B2B) - YouTube - Flickr - Rollyo - create your own search engine - ZoomInfo (name may exist, but you should claim it)
B2B strategies: LinkedIn: consider making it for the company as well as for key exectives whose names may be searched in association with the company Facebook also helps
Simon talks next about reputation management and what people look at. Some people don't always look for their name and they don't actually see that there are negative results. If you look at the SERPs for reviews, you may not even see everything -- think about reviews for products. Sometimes you may find things in blogs or forums, the latter which may not even be indexed.
From this, you can learn how people are talking about you and what they are saying. You need to analyze the sentiment and to see whether things are positive or negative. "The biggest disaster since Titanic" - is that positive or negative?
Who are the influencers? You need to find out where the discussions happen so that you can concentrate your resources. If the sentiment on Facebook, for example, is neutral, and the sentiment on MySpace are positive, you may want to contact MySpace fans to speak to your evangelists.
Find out what people are saying and where they are saying it. How do you do it? 1. The ghost of the recent past. Get Google and Yahoo alerts and check your email to find out about specific key phrases. - Twitter is similar - do TweetBeeps, for example. - RSS feeds are your friends. - Digg and other social voting sites are similar. - Sites like zevents - Wikipedia lets you subscribe to RSS - YouTube has RSS Most social sites have RSS 2. The ghost of the actual past - Top end - big brands - TNS Media Intelligence and Nielsen BuzzMetrics - Open SOurce - Nonprofits - The BuzzMonitor
When you look at it, RSS feeds only deliver updates and new information.
Client study with a medical group - - getting about 50-75 notifications per day - historical buzz monitoring recovered over 150,000 listings, so use old data too! Use a tool!
Monitor your buzz - get a baseline with a deep scan into the past and continually monitor to the recent present.
Michael Jensen talks about reputation management for local businesses.
Local is a unique space becasue of ratings and reviews, but beyond that, it's everywhere. It's in the SERPs, social media, there are search engines devoted to the local space (Yahoo), directories (Yelp), and more. There are also mobile apps (GoodRec is an iPhone application). There are also local niche sites (Andy's List for contractors).
Ratings and reviews; a customer's first impression. If you search for a dentist, who are you going to call and who aren't you going to call? Visual elements really do help with regards to choosing the desired local provider.
Art of persuasion: do you read reviews before you go somewhere? He asks the room and almost everyone raises their hand. Reviews can be very persuasive, both positive and negative. Enough positive outweighs the occasional negative. You need to push the right button with potential customers.
Every review helps as a vote of confidence. One negative review can have a huge impact if there are only few reviews.
In the future, features that are not necessarily check-boxed are in the terms and text of a review. Search engines said that they don't really use the text much for ranking factors and such.
For monitoring local, there are few things that are available so manual monitoring is helpful. SoloSEO will be working on tools soon!
Be defensive and proactive in the social space - get constant positive reviews in a lot of local sites. There are 2 main barriers: your customers are not motivated and they aren't technically savvy. You should motivate them with a coupon or free gift and make it easy for them to review - tell them where they can review. Check out leavefeedback.org, a tool that he created.
Local business should have a system for getting reviews. Have coupons or cards on hand, train employees to give out, get information or other information.
Be creative - give away free wifi at a local restaurant and when they access it, redirect them to your review site. Have a kiosk. When you're a restaurant, give them a handheld tablet so they can write the review then and there.
Get "recommended." It boils down to SEO. A link is a recommendation. Use the local chamber of commerce, professional associations, related businesses (realtor + loan officer), local events and sponsorships.
On the offense side, average out poor ratings with positive reviews. Create a system and get those reviews constantly. If you receive a poor snippet, surround that with positive reviews. Respond to critical reviews. Update your business listing to reflect changes and improvement in response to poor reviews.
Last up is Jordan Glogau. He talks about the Internet is the Truth Machine - it's a book from 1996 by Jams Halperin. Some invents the perfect lie detector. Once the machine has been invented, it's impossible to tell a lie. Over a period of time, the technology gets shrunken to the size of a wristband. To some extent, the internet has become the truth machine without having a lie detector.
That's not really accurate but it is part of everyday life. The results are not perfect - it's far from it. The results are fast and maybe too fast. It can effect your business like a heart attack.
OMG - Don't Google our name! - Is it affecting business via sales? - Can the root cause be addressed? - Can it be fixed and will it stay fixed?
The first Immortals is another book by Halperin who says that we live forever. The metaphor is that this is like Google and the rest of the Internet.
Evaluate the problem: is it personal or is it about a business? Is it affecting a person or business? What kind of sites? Who is attacking who and why?
Types of sites that can be problematic: review sites, news sites, government, anti-whatever, Wikipedia, social media
How do you counteract and push this down? - Link building - Counter blog - Controversial: link buys - Wikipedia - build trust with your editor and don't think about it if not!
Active antagonists: what if you have a country club, for example, and you have a disgruntled ex-member? You may have to prepare for the long haul and get your staff involved. You may have to counter all the time.
General tricks and advice: - Use unrelated links to move down bad links - Interlink between blogs - Collect information on links and build a link list on your sites for Google to find - If the quality of the links/blogs is a concern, you shouldn't use the paid blogging services.
Bad for business - if you don't fix your problem it will never go away. - Poor customer service will always plague you if you don't address it.
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