Online Reputation Management

Jayson DeMers

Survey: 83% of Businesses Aren't Prepared for Online Threats

Following Target's data breach, in which the financial and personal data of 40 million Americans was leaked online, cyber security has been the focal point of businesses everywhere - or so we've been told....

Mike Moran

How do I improve our online reputation?

I recently got a question from a company with a problem. They have a history of not-so-sterling treatment of customers during the sales process (think used-car dealer approach), which they've used throughout the history of the company. For years, the company has been successful, despite customer complaints, but now they are running into a snag. The company's online reputation is not good, and they are worried that it is starting to affect their sales. They asked if I could help them eliminate the negative results that are popping up about them in search......

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Citations & Linking"

"What is Local SEO? How do use "links" to my advantage? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Mike Moran

What can social media do for me in a PR crisis?

When that bad story first hits your computer screen, you can be excused for feeling just a little bit panicked. If you're like most companies, you aren't prepared for a PR crisis. You might have some action plan in mothballs, but if it doesn't include social media readiness, you're not prepared for a full-blown 21st century PR imbroglio. If you haven't thought through how social media transforms your PR crisis planning, it's time to do so now....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Rank Factors: Review Sites"

"What is Local SEO? How do "reviews" influence my ranking? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Stoney deGeyter

The Right Message May Not Be So Right for Your Audience

The number one key to your business growth is crafting a message that speaks to your audience. Having the right message builds up your strengths and helps you overcome any deficiencies you might have....

Dave Cosper

Writing Google Places Reviews to Improve Rankings

A business owner recently asked me how to go about building positive reviews in a way that would "optimize" their Google Maps listing. This is about as provocative a topic as it gets in the Local Search community, I know, but it's also an unavoidable subject worth addressing. Search marketers ponder the same "How To" question, if for nothing else to try and understand every aspect of local search ranking factors and translate this to practical advice for SMB's....

Mike Moran

How deeply do you respond to customers in public?

Recently, I wrote a post that recommended, "Don't be afraid of fake reviews," to help business owners know how to respond to an angry post in social media. To make a long post short, my advice was to always treat angry reviews as legitimate (not assuming it is faked by a competitor, for example), because responding that way is best whether the review is fake or not.  That advice was questioned by one correspondent, who asked, "How deeply do you respond in public?" What he wants to know is how to practically manage a conversation in social media, which is...

Stoney deGeyter

Are You Preaching to the Converted?

In the service industry, once you've got a client, he or she is yours to lose. That means that, unless you screw something up, they'll often continue to be a client for as long as there is a need for your services. But, it's your job to continue to sell them on the quality of what you provide by giving the best service possible, and making sure the results are more than merely satisfactory.

Stone Reuning

5 Ways you Can Use Blog Comments to Obtain Organic Links

If you run a blog, you no doubt see many comments that have no use whatsoever. They're simply spammers out there fishing for links. While it may seem counter intuitive though, you can obtain strong organic links by commenting on other people's blogs. Continue reading for 5 ways you can get useful links through commenting on blogs. ...

Mike Moran

Do online reviews matter to your existing customers?

This is an easy question, right? I know I thought so. Sure, small businesses (or any size business) must be vigilant about all posted customer reviews, because they are the first impression that a potential new customer gets of your business. But existing customers? They already know you and they have chosen you. Surely your online reviews don't matter to them. Yeah, well, that is what I thought, too, until a friend of mine related a story that taught me otherwise....

Stone Reuning

Distributing your Press Releases for Maximum Impact - Part III

Creating a properly formatted and well written press release is only half the battle. You have to distribute it through various online channels for it to have much impact. Simply posting it on your site will not do very much. PR distribution outlets get your news out there for the whole world to see....

Stone Reuning

Properly Formatting your Press Release for Maximum Impact - Part II

Aside from letting the world know about what's going on at your company, press releases also help your company's website build and maintain high search engine rankings....

Stone Reuning

Properly Formatting Your Press Release for Maximum Impact - Part I

Optimized press releases not only help boost your search engine rankings but help your company build credibility and spread news about new products, events or any other newsworthy item. Properly formatting your press releases gives your company the professional look it deserves....

Sage Lewis

Google Places - Do You Know This Place?

If you aren't familiar with Google Places please watch this video. It's growing and could be significantly affecting your business without your knowing....

Miriam Ellis

The Local Business Owner Who Would Not Be Mollified

I couldn't help him. After 45 seconds of conversation with a local business owner who phoned me out of the blue, his voice literally quivering with rage, I knew my words could bring scant balm to his personal inferno of a Gilead in which the negative review had been left and the whole world, he was sure, was laughing at him......

Stoney deGeyter

Guilt by Association: Do You Really Know Who You Are Linking To, Parts 1-12

A lot of people subscribe to the "Guilt by Association" theory in online marketing. This theory suggests that you are who you associate with. I agree there is some definite truth to this mindset, but, like a lot of things, it can also be taken to a paranoid extreme. This fear leads some people into a paralysis that ultimately hinders their online marketing efforts rather than helping them.

Mike Moran

Does the Internet show the true colors of your business?

For big companies going online in the '90s, the Internet was a shocker, laying bare all the silos within their organizations, as those units communicated directly to customers, with no homogenizing layer of customer service in between. So, if each of your business units had a different system for processing returns, it was no longer the poor telephone rep who had to deal with the crazy systems, now it was your customers. Over the years, those problems have been worked through, but it is an example of how the Internet reveals the true colors of your business. Small businesses need...

Stone Reuning

Reputation Management - Tips for Using Testimonials

Your prospects want to know what other customers think of their experience with you before buying, booking or signing up. And they'll go wherever they need to go to find out. Hence the growth of online review sites like Yelp.com. If you sell in the B2B space, you may be faced with providing references, another form of testimonial. Making customer testimonials available on your own web properties is a great way to keep shoppers and prospects engaged on your site while you provide credible feedback from others....

Sage Lewis

Nestle - Not Feeling the Social Media Love

Marketing Pilgrim reported on a sticky social media situation that Nestle is currently facing. They are getting bashed pretty good by some very outspoken people in the social media space. What do you think? Should Nestle keep pushing the issue in the social media space? Or should they tuck their tail and run?...

Mike Moran

What To Do When Reviewers Lie About You

When my friend called me, there was a little panic in his voice. He owned a successful, customer-friendly small business, and was generally an easygoing person. But he didn't know what to do. A long-time and loyal customer alerted him to a savage review of his business on an Internet Yellow Pages site. And so now he was turning to me to find out what he could do about it....

Mike Moran

Small Businesses Must Choose Partners Carefully

As a small business, you probably pride yourself on being customer friendly. Even though you might work with large companies as your suppliers and partners, you go the extra mile for your customers when something goes wrong. You make your site search friendly. You put the information on it that customers need. And you stand behind what you sell. Except when that big company partner makes it impossible....

Aditya Mahesh

A Guide to Pitching Bloggers

From an SEO standpoint, the blogosphere is a goldmine. It provides the opportunity for marketers to build targeted natural "in-content" links which are not only great for increasing search engine rankings, but also can drive significant amounts of targeted traffic...

Sage Lewis

Skylight Opera Theater Gets Schooled

You always think these kind of things won't happen to you. Social media can effect any kind of business: big, small, corporate, artistic. Look what has happened to Skylight Opera Theater. They are getting schooled in the powers of social media... big time!...

Sage Lewis

United Breaks Guitars - Power to the People

United Airlines is learning about the power of consumers and how quickly bad service can turn into a PR embarrassment....

David Carberry

Chimney Sweep - Crossing The Line

Wow - I am completely shocked how businesses in today's "quick to the web world" can still cross the line. Don't they understand that everyone they do work for has the power to say the good, the bad and the ugly. This is what I would consider an ugly situation....

Mack Collier

Small Businesses Can No Longer Ignore Blogs

A recent study by eMarketer forcasted the next five years of blog readership, and creation. The findings weren't surprising, as eMarketer expects the number of people that read blogs, and those that blog themselves, to continue to grow dramatically. What this means for your business is that increasingly, your customers are going to be reading blogs, and writing them.

Sage Lewis

Reputation Management - Know what is being said

Marketing Pilgrim provides a good perspective on when to jump on these potentially devastating social media flare ups....

Mack Collier

Why Is Your Business Afraid of Negative Blog Posts?

It's enough to make the average business owner break out in a cold sweat; the thought of bloggers ripping them. But while many businesses and companies are fearful of posts that shine a negative light on their business, these instances are in fact a wonderful opportunity.

Eric Brown

SOCIAL MEDIA FAIL

If you think your customers aren't talking about you, better rethink your position. You can no longer bury your head in the sand without suffering the consequences. The story reported in the New York Times last week is a classic example of what Not To Do. It outraged folks and drew over eighty comments. Every company, small medium or large should be listening, and taking action. The world is different today, take heed, grasp and embrace this space we call Social Media.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Lessons from a Wooden Boy: Part Two: Online Reputation Means Straight Talk

For as long as there have been web sites, people have posted their thoughts, opinions and rants about people and companies and for as long as there have been search engines, consumers have found and read those thoughts. While it's been several years since companies began to realize the value of tracking and managing their reputations online, the explosion of social media has made online reputation management more complex and necessary than it's ever been before.

Beth Harte

Are you keeping tabs on brand experience?

There's been a power shift and the first mistake many companies make is believing that they do and can control the brand experience. That's no longer the case. It's the people on the other end of that experience that control it. Today, customers sharing brand experiences happen every day, everywhere without being edited or seeking a company's approval....

Mack Collier

Wal-Mart Says No to Black Friday Ads on Internet, Goes After Sites and Search Engines

Failing to get the memo that it's 2008, Wal-Mart has decided to get even more aggressive in battling the 'pre-mature' leakage of their Black Friday circular ads.  The Bentonville, AR retailer is not only going after the sites that post the circulars, but the search engines that link to and index the sites....

Jennifer Laycock

Stick and Stones May Break Your Bones, and What You Say CAN Hurt You

I've written about the need to understand how "public" our thoughts, ideas and conversations are these days. Hundreds, no thousands of others have issued the same warnings. I think most people still figure we're talking about what you post online, but if you think about it, it's really not the case.

Karri Flatla

In Blogging You Need Only Think Small to Get Big Results

When I started a blog on my website a few months ago I felt overwhelmed by the sudden responsibility to post fresh content often. It was as if the minute I created a section on my website called "Blog" I was inaugurated into a writer's hell where I felt both stumped and compelled to write all at the same time, all of the time. Then I realized that I was missing the point of blogging, which is to keep a lively conversation going (even if it's sometimes only between you and the WordPress Dashboard). And if you're a decent conversationalist,...

David Wallace

Connecting the Dots: Online (Brand) Reputation Management - SBM Unleashed

As online conversations grow and spread, there's a good chance people are "talking" about your brand using the tools of social media. But how can you find out what they're saying...and how should you be responding? In this workshop, Christina Kerley ("CK") of ckEpiphany Marketing educates and empowers you by connecting the dots of how to monitor what people are saying about your brand, how to leverage their talk to grow relationships and revenues and which techniques to use in responding to positive and negative feedback--as well as tips for engaging brand advocates. All this talk = a lot of...

Karri Flatla

Bet You Didn't Know Micro Blogging Could Be This Simple

When I finally did get on the micro blogging bandwagon (and no, I don't count Facebook, not even the "new" one), I put my profile on pretty much all of the Twitter-ish sites I could find. Hey, why not? It's sort of like one of those drinking games where you do a bunch of different shooters in about half an hour, realize most of them just make you want to throw up and go back to your favourite beer the following Saturday....

Sage Lewis

Things That Suck, A Revolutionary Take on Brand Management

Sage uses Scoble of Scobleizer.com as an example of a revolutionary approach to brand management. Scoble launched a fairly scathing review of all the DEMOfall '08 start up companies, stating how much they sucked and how he couldn't believe they won $18,000. Scoble's readers did not like this, so they launched they're own attack on Scoble himself....

Mack Collier

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Small Business Blog

While many small businesses are curious about blogging, few understand the steps necessary to get a solid effort off the ground.  Here's the steps you should consider to create the perfect blog for your small business....

Mack Collier

Social Media is NOT a Silver Bullet

For many businesses, social media can seem to be this mysterious black box that they don't really understand.  But a recent conversation with my friend Tim Jackson reminded me that social media really isn't as mysterious as many companies think....

David Wallace

Has The Better Business Bureau Outlived Their Usefulness?

I learned today that Google has an "unsatisfactory" record with The Better Business Bureau. How can a company voted "top global brand" in 2008 at the same time have an unsatisfactory record with the BBB? Apparently because out of 331 complaints filed against the search giant over the past three years, 2 were listed as unresolved. that's right - just 2! Despite this, Google continues to lead the way in search and nothing on the horizon seems to be able to change that. This got me thinking as to whether the BBB is still a useful resource in today's online...

Debra Mastaler

Grab Your Profile Link Before Some Jerk Does

Online, reputation is everything. It drives you professionally, personally and algorithmically. Have a good reputation and your efforts will be rewarded through growth and customer loyalty.  Develop a bad one and you'll spend precious time and resources trying to recover lost market share. While it's impossible to monitor every venue open to public opinion, you can work to protect your reputation by registering your known brand/name with as many social media, forums, and discussion sites as you can, especially the popular ones in your niche....

Mack Collier

Is Your Business Under (Online) Review?

More than ever, sites are popping up that let customers review everything from restaurants to daycares. And while many small businesses cringe at the thought of receiving a bad review, here's a few reasons why even a negative opinion from a customer can be a good thing!

Jennifer Laycock

What Nutella (and I) Can Teach You About Blog Marketing

Yesterday I spent the day at a small conference here in Columbus put on by Ohio Web Leaders. They'd asked me to come and speak about blogging for business and blog marketing to a mix of small business, PR types and in-house marketers. Now I always try to break things down into every day life examples, but thanks to an off handed comment about Nutella, I had a chance for a great object lesson.

Sage Lewis

Twitter Dee Twitter Dumb: DirectTV Done Wrong and Right

Twitter and DirectTV go head to head this week by creating and solving customer service issues at the same time. Mack Collier's article "Worst Example of a Company Twittering?" exposes DirectTV's bumbled use of Twitter, explains the frustration that can cause, and encourages companies to use social media tools "as the rest of us do." The DirectTV/Twitter saga actually begins with Stoney deGeyter's tweet about the company's presence, is filled in with his article "Why DirectTV is Losing My Heart (and Quite Possible My Business)," and then ends with another tweet about the company's immediate response to his customer service...

Karri Flatla

My Relationship with Facebook: Can We Talk?

I'm probably going to lose a lot of Friends with this post, but I need to get some stuff off my chest about Facebook. If you're a real Friend, you'll listen without judgment. If not, it was nice Facebooking with you. I hope there are no hard feelings left in my wake....

Karri Flatla

Twittering Our Way Toward Truth on the Social Web

I admit, I've been relatively slow to catch on to Twitter. At first it just seemed like a lot of background noise with no real purpose. Silly almost. Like, um, Facebook. Except with Twitter the discussion becomes more relevant as time goes on, not less. The conversations, even inane ones, retain a degree of rawness and truth, cluttered and disorganized as they may be....

Jennifer Laycock

Spite is Not a Marketing Strategy

Over the past few weeks, I've seen multiple instances of companies using spite and or attacks to try and push themselves ahead of their competitors. I imagine in their minds, painting the competition in a poor light makes their own products and services look that much better. Unfortunately for them, they've missed a key lesson in both life and marketing. If you have to make someone else look bad in order to make yourself look or feel good, you've got a long way to go.

Sage Lewis

Video: Arrington, Comcast, Twitter And The Chicken

Michael Arrington from TechCrunch gets top honors this week with his article "Comcast, Twitter And The Chicken (trust me, I have a point)." After being without cable service for 36 hours, Arrington utilizes Twitter as a way of spreading his discontent and frustration. Within twenty minutes of the first tweet, a Comcast executive contacts Arrington and arranges for the problem to be fixed immediately. Sage points out and encourages everyone, not just major company executives, to utilize Twitter's Tweet Scan as a way of tracking what's being said about them and/or their brand. Not only does the article display the...

Jennifer Laycock

Social Media + Humanity = Embarrassment (But That's Ok!)

On the heels of this morning's article about the need to inject a little humanity into your small business marketing, I ran across a great post by Mike Moran over at Biznology that asks if you can handle a little professional embarrassment. After all, if you're going to inject humanity via social media experimentation, there's a good chance you're going to make a fool of yourself.

Jennifer Laycock

A Simple Reminder of Why Alexa is Useless

While catching up on my RSS feeds today, I came across a post at Matt McGee's Small Business SEM that's a few days old, but well worth mentioning. The post dives into the issue of Alexa rankings and explains why they should not be used as a gauge of how successful a web site is.

Mack Collier

Are You Monitoring Twitter?

If you aren't, you should be! With close to one million users (according to TwitDir), businesses are beginning to realize that it's just as important to monitor what Twitter users are saying about them, as it is to monitor the blogosphere.

Mack Collier

"Your Company + Sucks" is Your Worst Enemy, or Best Friend

As the dynamic CK points out, "Your Company" + SUCKS is the new Google barometer for how well you are satisfying your customers. And sometimes, it's not very pretty.

Mack Collier

Should You Really Care What Bloggers Are Saying About Your Business?

Believe it or not, you don't have to be a blogger to respond to and engage bloggers. All it takes is a willingness to monitor the blogosphere and respond when appropriate. Doing so can help you convert skeptics and naysayers into fans.blog

Liana Evans

Most Public Relations Firms Are Not Online Marketers

If you are a small business and you are looking to hire an online marketer, be weary of public relations firms that claim "we can do that" or "we'll bundle that with our services".  Public Relations companies that truly understand online marketing are few and far between, and the ones who really do understand it and do a good job at it, are usually swamped and not taking on new clients....

Miriam Ellis

34 Google Local Maps Sources For Hospitality Industry Reviews

Today, I sat down and looked at approximately 1000 reviews listed in Google Maps for hospitality industry businesses. The following is the list of sources I found Google currently pulling this data from, in addition to their own Google Reviews source.

Mack Collier

Someone is Probably Blogging About Your Business RIGHT NOW!

Normally the first step a business takes in exploring the blogosphere is to start blogging themselves. But instead of diving in with a new blog, is it better to first understand what bloggers are currently saying about your business?

Jennifer Laycock

Target Buries Its Head in the Sand

You would think that in 2008, it would be hard for a mainstream retail outlet to ignore the potential impact of blogs. You would think that, but you would be wrong. I caught Jim Tobin's tweet about Target's decision not to interact with "non-traditional media" and found myself just shaking my head at the news.

Sage Lewis

Video: Would your company be missed if it closed today?

Sage highlights an article by Search Engine Guide's Jennifer Laycock that asks vital questions of small businesses in 2008. "Would your company be missed if it closed today?" and "Is your business able to keep its promises?"

Jennifer Laycock

Do You Know if You're Ticking Off Your Best Customers?

Every now and then, your company makes a decision that has a pretty big impact on your customers. Sometimes that impact is positive, sometimes it does a pretty good job of ticking those customers off. How that decision is received can make a big difference in the ongoing success of your business. If you aren't watching the Internet to gauge the reaction to these decisions, you're making a big mistake.

Jennifer Laycock

How to Set Yourself up as a Viral Success

As we head into the new year, small businesses across the web will be looking to boost their presence by sparking conversation, attracting links and driving new sales. If you're looking for to walk the path to viral success, consider two statements made by popular marketing bloggers this week.

Jennifer Laycock

Are Your Social Networking Connections Hurting YOUR Reputation?

It's been well over a year since I first wrote about how the social networking frenzy is impacting the personal and professional reputations of Internet users. Since then, we've continued to see stories about how many companies are now running Google searches before hiring applicants. In fact, it's becoming more and more common for companies to decide not to hire someone based on what they've found in a potential hire's online profile.

Sage Lewis

Video: Search Engine Guide - Thursday, December 20

Google toolbar version 5 is out. Flickr offering stats to pro users. Only 47% of Internet users check their Google reputation.

Jennifer Laycock

Be Nice - You Never Know Who That Email is From

Last week at Search Engine Strategies I finally had the pleasure of meeting up with Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home. Wendy and I have been emailing since last April when she first contacted me to interview me for a feature she was running on her site. As we sat and chatted about some of the things we've worked on together and some things that are coming up, it reminded me of just how important it is to take the time to reply to your emails.

Jennifer Laycock

What the Heck is Reputation Link Bait?

Debra Mastaler knows and she's more than happy to tell you. Her latest column on link building over at Search Engine Land is a gold mine of information for anyone having a hard time building links a really competitive niche. Always ahead of the curve, Debra looks beyond the standard link bait and aims to help site owners learn the value of using a public relations style campaign as a link driver.

Jennifer Laycock

The Accidental Lessons of Life in the Search Industry

I missed a great post last week by Matt McGee, so I'm blogging it now. Titled "Eight Things the Search Industry Can Teach Small Businesses," the post offers up several great examples of how to market yourself online from people in the industry who were simply going about their business. From networking to staying visible to finding your niche, it's a great little set of tips and examples worth reading through.

Jennifer Laycock

Fighting Back Against Bad Pitches

It's no secret that blogs and social media sites are a great way to get coverage of your web site or your products and services. In fact, teaching small businesses how to approach and pitch bloggers is one of the things I most enjoy writing about. The archives here are full of suggestions and blog posts pointing out the right way to approach people and the wrong way to approach people. That's why I thought it was worth mentioning Wired Editor Chris Anderson's controversial post outing bad PR pitchers.

Debra Mastaler

A Step by Step Plan on How to Market Your Site on Facebook

If you've heard about Facebook and understand it can help grow your business but aren't sure how to get started, read on. This article is a step-by-step outline on how to market yourself on Facebook.

Jennifer Laycock

Protecting Your Space in the Google Results

One of the most common questions small businesses have when dealing with online reputation management is "how do I make bad results go away?" The bad news is you usually can't. The good news is you can often push them far enough down the search results they don't get looked at. That's why it's essential to capture as many of the top listings on your own as possible. Andy Beal over at Marketing Pilgrim offers up a great post today with information about protecting your brand and your name in Google.

Jennifer Laycock

4 Lessons in Online Reputation Management from a Small Town Grocer

It's funny how once you get in the mind set of online marketing, you find examples in the least likely places. A few weeks ago while visiting my small hometown in Northeast Ohio I was surprised to find a great example of reputation management from a small company. While the example takes place offline, the four steps they took to manage their reputation could easily (and inexpensively) be reproduced online by any small business.

Jennifer Laycock

Who Says it's Wrong to Monopolize Search Results?

David Wallace writes up a great case study today that shows how he's used social media sites and blogs to monopolize the majority of the top 30 search results at Google for his business name.

Jennifer Laycock

Good or Bad, Words Spreads Fast on the Web

It's no secret that blogs have given people an unprecedented voice in terms of sharing stories of corporate blunders. Anyone who has been online for any length of time has seen their fair share of posts about bad customer service experiences or arrogant CEO's. Thankfully, there are also plenty of examples of great service. Stories of the company employee that went the extra mile can actually spread pretty fast as well. Mack Collier covers both ends of the spectrum today in a post about how companies deal with their online reputations.

Jennifer Laycock

Green is the New Black (We Said Go Niche, Right?)

With everyone jumping on the bandwagon of niche marketing, finding the topics folks are most interested in BEFORE the rest of the world knows it is key. Matt McGee over at Small Business SEM points out what many social media marketers are already learning. Green (environmentally friendly) is the new black.

Jennifer Laycock

Don't Just Manage Your Reputation, Respond to Your Competitor's

I've done a fair amount of speaking and teaching about online reputation management in the last two years. After all, you can't effectively play in the social media and search engine optimization fields without an understanding of how to respond to negative mentions. Most of the time, businesses seem to want to learn about the best way to address (or avoid) negative press. Often, I find myself reminding them they should also be focusing on how to address or respond to their competitor's negative press.

Kimberly Krause Berg

Adapting to the Influence of a Social Media Internet

I love to study human behavior and the Internet. Social web behavior takes the cake. It's a marketers' never-ending party. Reputation management is something big business can no longer hope to control without also understanding Internet media

Debra Mastaler

Controlling Damage on Wikipedia

Marketing Sherpa recently released the second half of its two-part series on how to get your company listed on Wikipedia. This special report focuses on damage control and what you can do when incorrect information is added about your company....

Jennifer Laycock

The Value of Social Media is Often in Listening

Companies have been rushing to embrace social media in droves over the last year. While it's great to see companies embracing Web 2.0, I worry sometimes about the number of companies rushing in to talk rather than listen. After all, one of the greatest benefits of social media is having the ability to find out what your customers are talking about. Bill Balderaz points this out today over at The Buzz Saw.

Jennifer Laycock

Make One Blogger Happy and You'll Often Make a LOT of Bloggers Happy

With so many companies trying to figure out how to leverage social media and blogs to their marketing advantage, one key point often gets missed. "Just talk to them!" If more companies would spend half the time reading blog posts and responding to them that they spend obsessing about how to get more people to blog about them, they'd be way ahead of the game. In fact, Mack Collier points to a great example of a big company doing exactly that and taking the time to engage their customer evangelists in conversation.

Jennifer Laycock

Yo Gabba Gabba Fans Storm the Web (or at least my blog)

What's Yo Gabba Gabba you ask? It's a new kids show on Nick Jr. that combines 80's style animation with oddly costumed "monsters," pop media guests and annoyingly catchy songs that will have you waking up at night to the internal sounds of "snacky snack snack snack snack, snacky snack snack SNACK SNACK!" It's apparently also the type of thing that sparks passion on both the "love it" and "hate it" side, as demonstrated by the blog storm generated by a simple post.

Stoney deGeyter

A Look at Search Engine Strategies Speakers and How Well They Brand Themselves, Part II

Last week I started looking at the branding savvyness of a handful of speakers at Search Engine Strategies, San Jose. There was no way I could go through each and every speaker so I narrowed the list down to those who spoke in sessions I attended. Here I continue through the list (alphabetically) and will provide an additional bonus: me. Yeah, I got my own set of branding issues which I uncovered once I started looking into some of the others here. But before I rip me a new one, let's continue...

Jennifer Laycock

When Social Media Attacks the Wrong Person

It's no secret that the pack mentality that often powers social media success can also turn into an angry mob complete with virtual pitchforks at the drop of a hat. That's great when the mob is helping to bring social injustice to light, but it's a nightmare when the mob attacks the victim. Unfortunately, the murky waters of Internet gossip and the fuzzy ethics that seem to rule online behavior can make it difficult to know who the victim actually is.

Stoney deGeyter

A Look at Search Engine Strategies Speakers and How Well They Brand Themselves, Part I

While I was live blogging the search engine strategy sessions last week I was often in a hurry to find links to each presenter's website. Come to find out it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. In some cases I was able to find a speaker's company name fairly easily with a quick Google search. But other times I was left actually guessing to make sure I got the right company....

Jennifer Laycock

Zipatoni and Sony Slammed for "Flogging"

Wondering what "flogging" is? No, it's not when you take a big old strap and beat yourself senseless with it... (though Sony may be considering the idea right now) it's when you set up a "fake blog" in order to promote a product or service. Internet users are a savvy bunch and they have a way of ferreting out the companies that try to scam them. That's what happened to Sony and the reactions haven't been pretty....

Bruce Clay

Protecting Your Brand's Reputation Online

With all the self-publishing options on the web, nothing is sacred, including control over your brand. The multiple sources of user generated content published and communicated online can dramatically affect your company's reputation....

Jennifer Laycock

Online Reputation Management for a New Generation

Most adults are now well aware that anything they say or write online can come back to haunt them, but most of the school-age population isn't quite as familiar with the idea of "consequences for your actions," especially in the realm of the online world....

Jennifer Laycock

Online Reputation Management, Are You Doing It?

As the world shifts more and more focus toward online research, the importance of knowing what other people are saying about your company increases exponentially....