Social Media, Search & Reputation Management

March 4, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

It’s the last session! Can you believe it? Let’s just do this, shall we? Up on stage we have big-mouthed Vanessa Fox (she knows she deserved it),  Tarla Cummings, Rhea Drysdale, Conrad Saam, and Matt Tuens.  Outspoken’s very own Rhea is up first. Everyone please clap where you are.

Up first is Rhea Drysdale.

The Case For Reputation Management

Why should you care about reputation management:

  • The Google OneBox: This doesn’t look social at first, but you notice it is once you click through. That’s when you start to see reviews from all sorts of sites. Local results show up at the top of the SERPs, so you want to make sure you have favorable reviews here.
  • Universal Search: Puts video, images and news results in the SERPs.
  • SideWiki: She had a hard time finding anything that had a SideWiki. Everyone who was using it was an SEO. Google just went ahead and killed this anyway. Thank God.
  • Real-time search: Putting real-time updates right into the search results. Anyone saying anything about Tiger Woods will appear in the real-time results.

Some social stats:

  • 40 percent of adults 30 and older use the social sites in the fall of 2009.
  • 73 percent of adult profile owners use Facebook, 48 percent have a profile on MySpace and 14 percent use LinkedIn
  • 37 percent of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

I guess that means social stuff is important or something.  Rhea is going to use Tiger as the basis for the rest of her chat.

What Sources Can You Use For ORM?

  • Your Web site: Are you using your own site to promote your other properties. Tiger has and also has a bunch of subdomains. If you are going to use subdomains, do it effectively.
  • Site Links & Indented Results: This can help push negative stuff below the fold when you’re just trying to fill the page.
  • Wikipedia: Very powerful. Not everyone deserves a Wikipedia page. Tiger Woods certainly does and its ranking. Some pages are locked. Be cautious as a business, you should not be creating your page by yourself… from your own IP address. [Rhea!]
  • Get In Front Of The News: The easiest way to replace bad news is with good news. If there are lots of bad news articles ranking, do some interviews to get that stuff pushed down and replaced with other content.
  • Profiles to Rank: Make sure you have profiles like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Indeed, Better Business Bureau, CrunchBase, Hoovers, etc. She says to use knowem to claim and register your brand name across dozens of sites.
  • Get Social: Create linkbait. Include your name in it. And then promote it will press releases

Brand Monitoring: Use services like Whos Talkin, Trackur, Radian6 or ScoutLabs

We also have an online reputation management guide you may find useful.

Next up is Tarla Cummings.

What is Search Reputation Management? Keeping the first search engine results pages free and clear of negative results for branded terms.

Examples of negative results: RipOff Report, ComplaintBoards,com, Yelp, [brand],,, Anti-Facebook profiles, and all negative news stories or press releases.

What do I do about it? Create positive assets to outrank the negative results.

Where do you create it?

  • LinkedIn: Encourage all your employees to connect with it. Add content and applications. You can put an RSS feed to your blog on it. Engage with the community and answer questions.
  • Wikipedia: Name your profile correctly, monitor changes and follow best practices when editing.
  • Twitter: Choose a branded handle, use brand terms in bio, engage in the community, use branded terms in tweets, provide compelling content, build up followers base, use hashtags.
  • YouTube: She hasn’t seen the YouTube channels rank, but the videos do. Include brand terms in the video tags. Promote the videos and engage in the community. You really want to get people to comment because that’s going to help them rank more than just a million views.
  • Flickr: Brand your profile and each picture that you upload. Continually upload photos and include brand terms when you’re tagging pictures.
  • Blog: Brand the domain, the blog name and tactfully include the brand name in occasional posts. Keep up posting frequency.
  • Branded Domains: They bought up 30 branded domains with things like [brand], [brand], [brand] and build them out so they’d rank. She also put lead gen forms on them and directed them back to the main site so she wasn’t take away from the main page.

Link up your Assets: Cross promote your social media profiles on your Web site and through the social profiles. Use SEO tactics to increase SERP positions for all assets.

Track your results: Regularly monitor all branded search queries for both positive and negative results.

Next up is Matt Tuens.

If you’re proactive in your brand management and connect with your audience, you can create it so you’re friends with them and they’ll be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt should something come up. He calls this, ironically enough, proactive reputation management. Being proactive increases the benefits ten-fold. When your audience knows you, they become more invested in you and are more likely to be on your side when things go wrong. You’re creating relationships with people.

A reactive approach prepares your reputation. A proactive approach builds it.

PROACTIVE Reputation Management Benefits

Being proactive helps you to:

  • Connect with your audience and create a relationship.
  • Open the lines of communication
  • Establishes the ongoing conversation
  • Displays an openness, honest.
  • Builds and increases trust
  • Creates a stronger relationship and bond with your customers.

When you create a better relationship with your audience, you learn more. It helps you to react to changes fasters and better. It gives you an established foundation, makes management more effective and builds an army of vocal supporters.

If all the media outlets have when something goes wrong is the bad stuff, then that’s all they’re going to write about. But if you have a lot of other stuff out there, you have an information history that the media can grab from. Even media about what goes wrong can have positive aspects about it so they can help further your message.

How do you do it? Write content. Lots of content.

Make your site the authority of information in your industry. Your site needs to be the strong foundation where everyhthing else is built. Your goal should be to make your site the biggest authority on your topic. If people find one site that answers all their questions, that’s what they’re really looking for. You can transfer that thinking into any vertical.

What is good content? Tons of articles that are really helpful to give them real information that answers their questions. Providing it is going to make them trust you more. You’re informing, not selling. [Matt just summoned Steve Ballmer, I think.] It’s vital to the perception of your brand.

By being proactive, you’re setting yourself up to be the company that’s the most on top of the industry, the most knowledgeable, the most open, the most trustworthy, the go-to business. This reputation builds a strength that is hard to break when something goes wrong. You’ll incur fewer problems in the future.

Include social aspects on your site.

  • Have at least one blog.
  • Have a forum.
  • Social networking functionality.
  • Constant feedback.
  • Encourage comments, openness and candor.

Use Facebook:

  • Be active, proactive and open
  • Create conversation and interaction
  • Customer the look and functionality of your page
  • Create multiple accounts if advantageous
  • Launch products, updates and specials
  • Publicize new content.

Next up is Conrad Saam.

There is no such thing as bad PR when it comes to SEO. When you rate lawyers (like his company does), you get sued. That’s what happened to them. They were sued at launch and had this huge PR campaign already going for them when all the news outlets began covering it. Heh. Everyone wants to write about a fight. Joe Consumer likes the drama. They got lots of links for being sued.

You have to engage most of the time when you’re dealing with online reputation management. They build it into client reviews so attorney’s can engage. When you engage, don’t be a jerk. When you’re a jerk, especially when you’re a jerk online, everyone knows you’re a jerk. When you search for the lawyer that sued him, his Avvo entry pops up that says he’s been cited for professional misconduct. He calls it the Streisand Effect.

There are lots of nut jobs online. You want to engage with everyone, in general. Most people are normal, but then you have the crazy people – who either love you or hate you. He says to associate with NEITHER of these groups. Ha. Don’t engage the wackados or the pigs. Pigs are people who don’t like you because they have an invested interest in not liking you. It doesn’t matter what you do.

Embrace raving fans – he has at least 200 lawyers that he can call on to stand up for them.

Dealing With Threats

When you’re dealing with threats:

  1. Always respond
  2. Don’t go into detail
  3. Be polite

Go Public

When you’re dealing with really strong negative issues and people are being mean and nasty, you can do the public approach.

He talks about Mint. It’s an online personal finance site. It was founded in 2007. In Feb 2009, they get a cease and desis lawyer from Quicken saying they’re making up their numbers. The next day, TechCrunch obtains a copy of the letter. This goes round and round, everyone’s talking about Mint. 6 months later, Intuit buys Mint for $170 million dollars.

And after some crazy computer issues, WE ARE DONE!  Hope you enjoyed the coverage. I’m grabbing a beer.

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