Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Your Viral Marketing Message Dissected

Sometimes the turn of a phrase or even just the lack of a single word can be all the difference between delivering a powerful and highly proficient viral marketing message or missing the boat entirely. Gord Hotchkiss has recently posted an excellent breakdown of what turns a rumor or message into that successful viral entity all marketers hope for.

Gord begins with “Jumping The Weak Ties”. This is the concept of creating an idea compelling enough that it will have the ability to transcend a social group and leap out to other groups, creating the viral buzz. Gord also addresses “Moral Hazard” at the same time, which is the idea that even a compelling idea, when laden down with conditions, may fail to be able to break the barrier of the initial social group and ultimately fail. Gord does a nice job of covering historical research on these ideas as well as offering up some well thought out and useful examples.

Why a Lawyer’s Letter Rarely Helps a Reputation Management Crisis

When a company’s reputation comes under attack, it can be tempting to bring in the company attorney and fire off a "cease and desist" letter. Unless you’re responding to something that is clearly libelous, trying to cover up your mess by threatening the messenger usually backfires–in a big way.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital is learning that lesson the hard way after sending a c&d to The Funded–a site that lets companies anonymously share thoughts about VC firms. VentureBeat has a copy of the letter sent and TechDirt points out why Hercules’ effort will likely backfire.

Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires

Molson brewing company has pulled a promotion on Facebook after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students.

Called the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge the ad said, “Be the #1 party school in Canada” and says that the school with the most pictures uploaded would win a trip for five people to spend spring break in Cancun, Mexico.

The next line said: “Show everyone how you and your crew get the party started!” Then it listed the top 10 party schools.Universities and parents both contacted the company to complain. Xavier University administrator Joe MacDonald, who is the dean of students said: “This is not something that is welcome within our campus community.”

Five Ways Negative Reviews Help Your Online Reputation

Rejected It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you want to build a stellar reputation for your business, you should embrace negative reviews. Sure, the more positive reviews you have for your business, the better it looks, but there are some benefits to having some negative ones too.

Andrew Goodman, guest writing for HomeStars, hits the nail on the head:

I was recently a little disconcerted when I visited the American Apparel site, because of the presence of too many glowing, cheerleading reviews of its products. Some simply said "I haven’t tried this yet but I’ll be getting one really soon!" Poring over the various reviews, I actually felt like I’d be more likely to buy the product that had at least one negative or moderate review. Why? Because I wouldn’t be as likely to suspect that the reviews are fake.

Apple’s Social Media Hell – Why it Needs to Repent

iStock_000000582779XSmall At the recent BlogWorld Expo, I discussed two companies that "get" social media and one that doesn’t. The two that get it were Nike and Dell. Nike’s excellent community efforts–especially Nike+–and Dell’s efforts with forums and blogs are helping both companies join online conversations. Both companies are benefiting from either higher sales–40% of Nike+ users end up buying Nike shoes–and better stakeholder relations–Jeff Jarvis just recently wrote a glowing report on Dell for BusinessWeek.

Apple Doesn’t "Get" Social Media

So which company doesn’t get social media? That would be Apple. Apple doesn’t have any explicit efforts to engage its online stakeholders, doesn’t have a blog, and even tries to sue those bloggers that help build the passion for Apple’s products. If the company were Microsoft, it would have died a long time ago.

Add Music and Video to your Bebo Profile

Social networking site Bebo has its own “Open Media” platform for music and video content. If you’re a member of Bebo you can create your own profile but now you can put video and your favorite music on it. Not audio files though (which someone should develop). Media companies can also create their own profiles.

When anyone says social networking profile I can’t help myself but translate that into free publicity for me and my company (or clients). I’ve been asked how I do my reputation management online, and there’s one of my secrets. It doesn’t take long to create profiles of yourself everywhere and focus on a few social networking sites that are worth a deeper time investment. Because they are time investments. But they are also ways to get links and exposure online. And the sites like Bebo get unique content. I’d think this would be especially big for small companies (local real estate agents, etc) who may not even have a web site or much competition online.

New Media at BlogWorld in Las Vegas

I’m here at BlogWorld in Las Vegas, Nevada. The best part of being here (besides it’s warm) is that normally blogging is solitary. But here, I’m in good company. There are laptops, bloggers, and podcasters publishing in real time, right from the show.

Andy and I are actively twittering about what is happening in real time (along with many others). It makes what we do seem practically mainstream. And judging from the biggest names in the industry, more people are listening to new media. More and more we expect commentary and conversation not monologues.

I got to meet some of my heros: our own Andy Beal, John Chow, Matt Mullenweg, and Joe Beaulaurier from PRWeb. There are many I still hope to meet.