Instead of covering Keyword Optimization, I decided to cover Reputation Monitoring and Mangaement, which follows.
Reputation Monitoring and Management Location: Salon A
If you are not talking with your customer base your customer base will be talking about you. This session will look at ways to monitor, manage, and influence your reputation within the blogosphere and press.
Moderator: Todd Friesen Speakers: Geoff Livingston, CEO, Author of "Now is Gone", Livingston Communications Cameron Olthuis, CEO, Factive Media Andy Beal, Internet Marketing Consultant, Marketing Pilgrim LLC Ted Murphy, Founder / CEO, IZEA
Todd announces the session. He says that this session overlaps with lunch and people are still trickling in. Ted Murphy isn't even here yet.
Cameron Olthuis is first. He talks about reputation management and why you should do it: stop the negative, spread the good, and improve your products and services. Give people tools to run with the buzz and keep it going. Pay attention to the constructive criticism and feedback and use that to better your product.
Monitor: - brand names - product names - URLs - Competitors - ex. Goodyear tires on how they treated the union. Other tire companies came out with rebuttals saying "we don't do that kind of stuff." - Forward facing figures - ex. Chris Winfield (who is sitting next to me) was interviewed in Search Marketing Magazine and attended an interview of a key Goldman Sachs person. Chris Googled the guy's name and all the results on the top #10 were pretty negative. - Industry - major breakthroughs, opportunities to take advantage of
Where should you monitor? - Search engines (Google, etc.) - if people are going to see negative things about you and not about your competitors, chances are they are not going to go with you. - Google news - Blogs - catch things as they happen - Social media sites
Your Google Top #10 - Comcast has a negative YouTube video of them in the top #10 about the Comcast technician who was on hold with Comcast and ended up waiting so long that he fell asleep on the customer's couch. Maybe you should think twice about that since that's an obviously negative customer service review.
What can you do: - rank positive results from trusted domains - try to resolve issues. Reach out to bloggers and ask them to correct the post. - be honest and genuine. If treat them negatively, you will be called out. - be proactive. Catch things as they happen instantly. If Comcast could've caught that video immediately and worked with the customer, it wouldn't be ranked so well with over 1 million views.
Social Media Profiles - MySpace - YouTube - Google Universal search now puts these in the SERPs. Throw links at good videos to keep bad links out. - Flickr - has a lot of authority. - Delicious - Digg
Takeaways - monitor the right things - watch what people are saying - monitor the right places - putting out the fires early - help spread the positive - take control of the Google top 10 - social media profiles have huge authority
Next up is Andy Beal who has written a wonderful book that will be coming out soon on Reputation Management. You should buy it. I think I will. The book is called Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online (out February 08).
He's going to give you some practical tools for monitoring your business (that are mostly free!)
For the record, Andy is from England and now lives in North Carolina and his accent is somewhere over the mid-Atlantic trying to find out what direction to go.
What should you track? Products, company, competitors, recalls, scandals, industry, keywords, patents, executives, etc.
Industry tracking: - moreover.com/categories/category_list_rss.html - say you really want to keep track of what's going on in your industry. Moreover allows you to follow everything in the industry such as trends and developments. - mainstream news (news.google.com) - news buzz (Digg). labs.digg.com/diggspy - blog posts (Technorati). If you cover Google News and Technorati, you get about 90% of what's out there. - blog posts (blogsearch.google.com) - blog comments (co.mments.com) - blog conversations (blogpulse.com/conversation) - blog trends (blogpulse.com/trends) - bookmarks (del.icio.us/popular) - photos (Flickr) - videos (video.google.com) - tags (keotag.com) - forum posts (boardtracker.com) - changing information (wikipedia, profile pages) - customer reviews (epinions.com) - new product opportunities (amazon.com/tag/iphone) - search queries (google.com/trends) - email updates (google.com/alerts) - the untrackable (copernic.com - $50 for a onetime fee and you can track any changes to a page)
Next up is Geoff Livingston who wrote a book called Now is Gone.
He polls the audience and asks how many people work for small companies and large companies. There's a mix of both in the audience.
Message Control is Gone: the reality is that social media has destroyed the ability for organizations to control messages. Price recently had a big whoop where he tried to change the message (tinyurl.com/2g4dwz). He's trying to shut down sites that are not promoting him well. Instead, it united fan sites against his message. Old companies are finding themselves at a loss about how to handle themselves in these situations. People really need to show who they are and what they're about. Negative comments are going to happen particularly if you're in a consumer business. Old techniques are losing strength. Searches yield all results. This is a new era of WOMM. Dell knows that they have 23% negative comments and now they're happy about it.
Remember this? George Allen introduces Macaca - he wanted to be president in 2009. As a result of his comments, this country's entire political balance shifted from a republican controlled congress to a democratic controlled congress.
Marketing is about participation. Word of mouth marketing is not about SEO. SEO is great and it's the new advertising. The reality is that if you don't have substance to back up your ads, people are going to run away. Media outlets, speaking organizations, blogs are subject to the community. You need to be a part of the community, not just an entity talking to the community.
The Buzz Bin is the name of Geoff's blog, but it's also the name of an Viacom product. Geoff is ranked above Viacom's spots (and even Wikipedia). For marketing, you need to know SEO and social media. Nothing is going away. There's always going to be a NYTimes.
Monitoring: monitor your activities and a few tools are emerging: Radian6, BuzzLogic, cymfony, etc. Google Alerts and Technorati are good.
Responding to Criticism: - Online communications requires a 24/7 crisis PR approach. Reputation management is very similar to crisis communication. You have to be reactive, factual, and transparent. Most importantly, give up control of the message but know you can respond. Dell has really addressed concerns but still gets egg in their face. Even lately, Apple has been in the hotseat for reputation management - because Steve doesn't talk, says Geoff. Popcorn's diacetyl crisis: tinyurl.com/yp8gj6 Dell Hell: tinyurl.com/2vxd7s
How do you do this? Comment. Remember, companies are led by people and people make mistakes. Acknowledge your wrongs and the steps taken to correct the problem. People who admit their wrongs fare much better (in terms of following) than those who don't. Publish a co-joining statement. Do it on your website if you don't have a blog. For example, Steve Jobs did that with the $200 discount on iPhones. Make sure your side of the story is clearly communicated. Don't apologize and then repeat the errors. Nobody likes Facebook because they're doing the same thing and screwing people over. If someone is complaining and you can't do anything about it, acknowledge what they said and make them feel like you heard them (empathy!). If they know that you cared enough, you'll feel better. (I feel like Digg should take note of my rants on my very nice and beautiful mostly Digg-themed blog.) Little guys matter. Consider the source: trolls will be trolls. Some things just don't require commenting.