First up is Rob Key from Converseon and starts by setting the landscape of search and brand reputation. Search engine results represent the first and most visible impressions to people. Google has indeed become a front page of corporate websites. He says often the decentralization of content creation and the wide availably of affordable personal publishing technology have allowed consumers to have a substantial say in your brands reputation. 44% of internet users are content creators according to Pew. CGM content, such as blogs, continues to rapidly gaining visibility with top search engine results. Search has become the connective tissue between information seekers and users. He puts up the Pyramid of reputation conversation.
How reliable is information from consumers? Google itself is says they make no claim to the truth of the documents. The way you are being defined today is in the hands of third parties. He gives the example of Splenda, and how there is corporate information and then consumer information about how Splenda is bad. He shows the iTunes example of people not a fan get a website listing in the top 10 results. Coke has another example when you search for its name. So the implications of reputation aware. A brand is an experience that creates an impressions. So what do you do when you have bad reputations.
Let’s Sue Them!
Some companies have responded with litigation, however the resulting publicity can intensify the perception problem. He says there is a better solution to this. First they map the conversation and create a SERP visibility map. The look at the company name and then take all the misspellings to search for domains. All of that is above the water line. What is next is to go below the water line. Conversation mining technology is emerging. They conducted a sentiment analysis and they found that the top search engine listings kinda mirror the sentiment below the water line or what people are talking about. He then goes into how you can mine various parts of the conversation. Where are the incidents of bad reputation or conversation going on. What is the sentiment? Topic? Tone? Influence? Depth of understanding? What are the existing versus “new” conversations?
He says you will usually find 10% that really link you, 50% percent that don’t really care, and the result don’t like you or are in a grey area. He talks about the search shelf space and how to maximize your visibility in that shelf space. Exploit it as much as you can. Two listings per domain in Google. Will need to get creative.. He recommends about generating optimized enterprise-generated content. Also leverage positive euthusiasts, those people that love your brand or product. Bring them into the brand. Also create social media environments to help build content from your consumers. He gives an example of iPod’s faulty batteries and how consumers created blogs and movies to broadcast their experience.
He finally recommends don’t go to the dark arts. Funny. Good presentation.
Second in this session is Rob Garner. Lots of Rob’s this session. He is from icrossing and mentions how he works on paid search campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. He got interested in this discipline initially.
So what digital brand management manager need to know? Where do you look online? Look at the typical sources. The good side of reputation management. Positive online brand perceptions are positive things. On the bad side, you can have many malicious attacks take on many forms such as copyright and trademark infringement. Negative and slanderous campaigns against the company, its brands. People place trust in search engines. What an define says about your brand has editorial credibility like a newspaper. Even though the opinions of major engines are automated, whether the info is true or not, its present. He next talks about the bounty on brand terms. He says there is an incentive for third parties to capture that brand traffic. He talks about site scraping, typo cranking, and content theft. Typo cranking, where scripts will generate typos of a brand name and see thousands of pages of these obscure names. He next goes into how your get started in reputation management. Ask the right questions and understand the space. He ends to use keyword suggestion tools to help manage your domains. Find those domains in the space that are available, buy domains in the private market.
Nan Dawkins from RedBoots consulting is up third. She is going to talk about blog basics. There are 1 new blog per second. 77% of people think blogs are a good way to get information about a company or product. 33% of journalists say they use blogs to uncover breaking new or scandals. Blogs account for 26% of SE rankings on Fortune 500 company/brand names. Blogs dominate serps on “brand” + [negative keyword]” searchers. Dell Hell example, about how Dell outsourced customer service to India. A influential blogger blogged about it and it spread across the blogosphere. 6 of the top 10 blogs were either not around last year or were not in the top 100. Bloggers create CGM across multiple channels.
She talks about a user Dave and how she stalks him all over the internet. Okay not stalkes, monitors. She used a MSN sandbox tool to track posts in his usergroup. She says that she found bloggers just don’t blog, they are highly engaged in social interaction technology. The user Dave did book reviews, geneology research and other stuff.
She says that journalists use blogs. They research story ideas and uncover breaking news and scandals. So what do I need to do know. First step is to monitor and listen. Monitor what bloggers are saying to stay in front of developing problems. She goes into some monitoring techniques such as “company name” + product reviews, sucks, information, etc.. She also recommends to watch advisory groups such as terms with “Take Action”. Nan also says 50% of negative word of mouth stem from feeling of injustice. Overall good presentation from Nan, great examples and took the time to explain her presentation which is very helpful to the audience.
Andy Beal was up last and has limited time so will probably fly through this fast. I recommend checking out his blog for more information on his presentation and for a free guide to reputation management. Some highlights from his presentation. He says to create custom RSS feeds based on keyword searches. Get an RSS aggregator to read this. Track your competitors and executives. Find out what they are doing.
Good session overall, since this is a reputation session wonder how many speakers will be reviewing my coverage. :-)