Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Online Harassment becoming a major concern in Australia

Many people are concerned that the Internet and Social Media are difficult to control, and an Australian woman, who was a victim of identity theft and harassment online, has spoken out this week.

When men started calling, emailing, texting, and even turning up at her door, Cathy (not her real name) became aware that a bogus MySpace profile had been set up in her name. The site detailed her personal information, alongside suggestive photographs and explicit text, asking anyone interested to contact her.

It’s not clear how often this kind of thing happens (she thought is was her ex boyfriend), but with 3.8 million profiles in Australia alone, it’s likely that there are many more cases like this, though MySpace insists that it does not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Social Networking is Not Always a Popularity Contest

Now that I have just about every popular social network profile under the sun, I wanted to share an observation: Having a social network is not just a popularity contest.

Sure, the younger you are, the more you may want to be liked and show-off your popularity – that’s part of the reason why MySpace has become so popular. Once you get out into the real world (boy do I sound like my parents), you’ll realize that life is not always about “he who has the most friends wins.”

Take a look at where popularity works and where it doesn’t.

Twitter – there’s no harm in letting countless numbers follow your Tweets, but do you really need to follow the micro-updates of people you don’t know?

Local Businesses Need Online Reputation Management Too!

If you think it’s only large businesses that need to worry about their online reputation, the Wall Street Journal wants to remind you otherwise. They take a look at the effects of negative reviews on small businesses and give an example of a spa owner who discovered she had a 2 1/2 star rating on Yelp.com.

Using Yelp’s email system, she typed out messages to each downbeat reviewer to find out more about what went wrong — and to try to make it right. And she sent a thank you to the happy customer. Then she added to her email newsletter a note encouraging regular clients to get online and share their good experiences. Several stressful months later, the spa’s rating had climbed to an acceptable four stars.

The Effects of Social Media on the Top 100 Brands

As some of you know – and now all of you know – I’m writing a book on online reputation management and a big part of that is about utilizing social media. So, I’m excited to share with you Immediate Future’s “The Top 100 Brands in Social Media” study of which brands are most benefiting from social media.

The study looked at the Interbrand Top 100 global brands for 2006 and then reviewed each for their involvement in social media channels such as:

  • The “blogosphere” as a whole
  • Social networks Bebo and MySpace
  • Video sharing site YouTube
  • Photo sharing sites Flickr and Photobucket
  • Social bookmarking sites del.icio.us and ma.gnolia 
  • Social editorial site Digg

Share of Voice

Have You Set Standards for Using Your Brand Online?

As someone writing a book on online reputation, you can imagine my excitement when I read the headline of the latest e-consultancy article: “Top ten hints on managing your brand online.”

Unfortunately, either I’m just too obsessed with the topic, or e-consultancy didn’t quite get the title right, because the “ten hints” actually refer to managing “brand standards”, that is how and where your brand is used in an online environment.

Ok, so once I got over my initial disappointment, I discovered an article that is actually very useful and on a topic not often discussed. When companies create their brand, they often go to great lengths to document what colors to use in the logo and how to capitalize each word in the company name. A lot of that gets lost when you move to the web – perhaps we feel the web is less strict and so cut a few corners. Regardless of the medium, companies that value their brand should ensure that they use it consistently across all channels.

Spotting Negative Social Media Marketing

There has been plenty of chatter in the last couple of days about ways that people could be negatively affecting your search engine marketing strategy. People are right to be worried, you only have to look at your search referrals to see how many people are typing in your brand name into the search engines. If there’s some mud slinging going on in your SERPs; plenty of people could end up reading it.

The Google results aren’t the only battle ground for disgruntled customers or unethical competitors. Everyman and his dog are getting involved in social media, and it’s here where the next round of fights will take place. So it’s worth thinking about where and how your rivals could be doing damage to your business.

Reputation Management vs. Search Engine Sabotage

An article in yesterday’s Washington Post follows the online reputation misfortunes of Sue Scheff, a consultant to parents of troubled teenagers. Scheff found that Google searches on her name produced many negative results from a disgruntled customer, and she didn’t know how to fight back. Scheff hired an online reputation management company to fix the problem.

Online reputation management has been around for some time. And with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and social media, the opportunity for feedback itself outranking a website is greater than ever. Companies, and even individuals, are finding it more important than ever to outrank (or even push out for that matter) the negative results about them in the search rankings.