Digital and Online Reputation Management

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Digital and Online Reputation Management as presented to Goodwill Industries International's 2014 Summer Conference in Orlando, Florida, to be presented on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 1:30 PM, Northern E-3. If you leave your reputation to chance, online, Google will fill the void that is left by your inattention of fear. You need to create fresh content. Creating online content and dominating search is not About filling Google with junk but you need to fill the void Controlling and owning your reputation online depends on pushing negative content down past page three of Google, etc owning all the beans Users typically retain their browsers default setting of 10 results/page Remember that 93% of people never go beyond the first page of search engine results and almost no one goes beyond page three Online reputation management is akin to defensive SEO The Technique SEARCH Actively seek out positive and neutral content about your brand that already exists and aggressively promote it to all of the search engines CREATE Create additional positive and neutral content about your brand LEVERAGE After positive pages and content has been identified and created, leverage established Google mojo The Effect NEGATIVE RESULTS BURIED Those pages we promote climb past the negative pages, and push the negatives down to a point in the results where very few people are ever going to stumble across them POSITIVE RESULTS KEEP THE SEARCH ENGINES ATTENTION We compare this strategy to the sort of countermeasures called soft-kill measures that aircraft use to evade missile attacks: chaff-decoys, flare-decoys, and radar decoys. Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of making people and businesses look their best on the Internet. To accomplish that, people need to control their online search results because they frequently contain inaccurate, misleading, or outdated material which can adversely influence how web searchers view them. Gerris understands that we live in a world where the Internet records everything and forgets nothing every photo, comment, post, status update and tweet about your brand can be stored forever. Our Online Reputation Management (ORM) services will help you prepare for a social media crisis before disaster strikes or help you mitigate the damage that a current crisis could be causing. Our team is based in 5 continents, which means someone is on hand 24/7 around the clock to help assist your should a crisis arise.

TRANSCRIPT

  • Digital and Online Reputation Management Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 1:30 PM, Northern E-3
  • Take Control of Your Reputation Online About Chris Abraham Principal Consultant, Gerris Corp Contact info chris@gerriscorp.com www.gerriscorp.com +1 202-352-5051 Social Media Twitter.com/chrisabraham LinkedIn.com/in/chrisabraham Google.com/+chrisabraham Facebook.com/chrisabraham YouTube.com/chrisabraham Slideshare.net/chrisabraham Pinterest.com/chrisabraham Chris Abraham Getting to know your presenter
  • Intro to Online Reputation Management (ORM)
  • What Is Online Reputation Exactly? Your online reputation is What shows up in the search results What people say about your company on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites Any reviews of your company or work environment Anything published in the mainstream press Any academic or trade publications Any photos or videos tagged with your name Public records connected to your business You are judged primarily by the first page of search results Incredibly easy to find and access this information No filter: everything is available all the time No statute of limitations: the Web is forever
  • How People Search Key Stats 53% of users do not go past the first two results for any given search 89% of users do not go past Page 1 for any given search 99% of users do not go past Page 2 for any given search You are judged primarily by the first page of search results
  • The Importance of Online Reputation More than 80% of reputation damage risks come from a mismatch between the buzz and the reality (Digimind) Reputation risk is the greatest risk facing companies, with as much as 75% of a companys value based on reputation (Economist Intelligence Unit) 92% of Internet users read product reviews and 89% of people say that reviews influence their purchasing decisions (eTailing Group) Some key statistics
  • The Importance of Online Reputation Auto dealerships with few online reviews or negative average scores saw their search referral traffic drop by as much as 86% when Google started placing reviews under business websites (DealerMarketing.com) A difference of one star in the average rating in a typical online business profile can lead to a 59% difference in revenues (Harvard Business Review) 72% of consumers trust online review as much as word of mouth (Local Consumer Review Survey) 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase and 89% trust online reviews (Cone Inc.) Consumers are 25% more likely to research online reviews for high-cost purchases such as automobiles (Cone Inc.) 86% 59% 72% 89% 25%
  • Online Reputation (ORM) Threats
  • Inflammatory Google Suggestions Rumors can have a serious impact on your online reputation Suggestions pop up because many people are curious about the rumor1 High search volume creates a feedback loop: Google thinks this is relevant2 New searchers see the inflammatory suggestions, giving criticisms more authority3
  • The Web Is Forever Wells Fargo First Interstate Takeover Major blunders, such as the Wells Fargo takeover of First Interstate Bancorp, live on in the search results Critical articles from the 1990s continue to rank prominently Becomes a permanent black mark for anyone doing research on Wells Fargo
  • Search Results Are Not Chronological Wikipedia (contains criticism) Company profile Critical news articles Positive image results Attacks by blogger Third-party profile Company profile Critical news article Third-party profile Mark Hurd, former HP CEO, Google p.1
  • Results Reflect Old News Example: D. E. Shaw Group A good reputation requires positive, high-quality validations by third parties The D. E. Shaw Group has good control of the top few results, but the rest are misleading and give a poor impression Google p.1 Results Outdated news; No mention of D. E. Shaws recent positive performance 68 No relevant third-party sites in the first page, other than Wikipedia 910
  • Propagation of Misinformation Example: Whole Foods A search for monsanto brings up the suggestion whole foods Results strongly suggest Whole Foods was bought by or supports Monsanto In fact, Whole Foods has been a vocal critic of Monsanto for many years Google p.1 Results
  • The Reputation Economy Example: Vodafone The Web gives powerful tools to consumers to validate corporate communications Online reputation often more important than brand Consumer Generated Art I Hate Vodafone Forum Parody Websites/Social Media
  • Key People Affect a Companys Reputation e.g. Commercial Estates Group Limited Gerard Versteegh has received criticism online for his extravagant tastes Top of his search results is an inflammatory post on CrazyBillionaire.org This result ranks on a search for his company too
  • A Note About Style News articles appear in embedded news feed more easily than press releases Google p.1 Results Example: Forest Laboratories Critical news articles highlight tension between company and Carl Icahn Public companies have higher coverage based on performance, making losses more visible ORM is not SEO: Negative Content Is Also Optimized for your Search Results News page only shows negative information, company appears silent in midst of turmoil Waiting several days to respond gives negative press more time to take over results News
  • Online Brand Attacks by Consumers Company website 1 Attacks on forums and social media 27 Attacks on forums and social media 9
  • Defamatory Attacks by Former Clients One-star rating in the results is enough to deter most searchers Critical blog postings 12 Negative reviews 3 Even if libel is proven, website likely to remain online
  • Mistaken Identity e.g. Timothy Thurman Lawyer Top 8 results are about Timothy D. Thurman, arrested by the FBI for committing mortgage fraud against Korean immigrants in Los Angeles Search results include negative reviews, news articles, and blog attacks Timothy B. Thurman practices law in Pittsburg and is unrelated to this issue Only about 10% of prospective clients would actually get to the bottom of the page before deciding to try a different lawyer
  • Armoring Your Online Reputation (Before a Crisis)
  • Google Abhors a Vacuum Creating online content and dominating search is not about filling Google with junk but you need to fill the void If you leave your reputation to chance, online, Google will fill the void that is left by your inattention or fear. You need to create fresh content.
  • Hiding a Needle in a Needle Stack Users typically retain their browsers default setting of 10 results/page Remember that 93% of people never go beyond the first page of search engine results and almost no one goes beyond page three Online reputation management is akin to defensive SEO Controlling and owning your reputation online depends on pushing negative content down past page three of Google, etc owning all the beans
  • People Are Already Talking About You Online Listen Before You Leap Get to know what people are saying about you online Be specific Include your staff and executives Dont make any assumptions Note Potential Allies and Enemies Collect a list of people who are already talking about you Consider who you may engage Keep an eye on those who are critical
  • People Are Already Talking About You Online Alerts There are online tools that will let you know if you, your brand, and your staff are mentioned online Google Alerts (free) www.google.com/alerts Sysomos Heartbeat sysomos.com/products/overview/heartbeat/ SDL SM2 sdl.com/products/SM2/ Radian 6 salesforcemarketingcloud.com/products/soci al-media-listening/
  • General Principles Prevention is more effective and less expensive than treatment1 Aim to control as many of the search results as possible2 Empty search results create vulnerability3 Avoid clicking on negative/critical websites, which increases their relevance4 Be proactive with online reviews5 (Almost) never comment on critical blogs or forums Avoid communicating with attackers Avoid discussing the defamation in online channels Diversity is important: choose several types of sites
  • Building a Good Reputation is Not Easy Actions need to match words1 Pay close attention to public sentiment2 Proactive online reputation to protect against attacks or misunderstandings3 Ongoing, high-quality interaction with stakeholders4 Reputation Management for key executives or other prominent figures5
  • Do an Aggressive Domain Name Buy Misspellings Domains yourecompany.com, yurcompany.com, yourcompanie.com, for example Variation Domains xyzprogramme.com for the British, for example, rather than xyzprogram.com Similar Domains Domain investors and marketers often steal traffic and harm brand by creating similarly branded and named properties that succeed parasitically off of common user error and intentional misdirection One example is bedbathbeyond.com, rather than bedbathandbeyond.com for the home wares superstore Transposed Letter Domains youcrompany.com, yourcompayn.com, etc.
  • Do an Aggressive Domain Name Buy Search String Domains Make a list of keyword search terms and phrases that one might use to find yourcompany.com and register as many of them as possible Staff Member Domains Consider registering the domain names for your executive team, C- suite, and board Unfriendly Domains It is important to make sure that any derisive domain names are registered Competitors are not above hosting slanderous web sites and web properties Even though yourcompanysucks.com may never be used or even registered, the price of registering even dozens of domain names at $9/year is cheaper than any crisis response or legal actions
  • Dominate the First Page of Google Control all possible social media profiles One of the easiest ways of doing a quick search results land grab is to secure as many social media profiles as makes sense Be sure to spend some time filling out every required section Links, bios, names, and keywords are essential parts Be sure to include all keywords terms that are apropos KnowEm.com can make the process easier
  • Review Sites Encourage your customers to say nice things about you Make it as easy as possible to write reviews for you Name the preferred review sites by name Include review sites names (Charity Navigator, Yelp, etc) Suggest what to write (people have writers block) Dont be shy to make bold requests for reviews Displayed at point of sale or in stores In a message on sales receipt As part of the official messaging via email, mail, or newsletters Via social media
  • Email Lists If you dont have an email list, start one Even if you do, create an activation list Invite friends, family, best customers, and even the people for whom Goodwill exists Empower the People You Serve If there is brand confusion about the mission of Goodwill, empowering the people you serve may make things clearer Creating opportunity for beneficiaries to speak well of Goodwill on sites other than Goodwill properties
  • Social Networking Services Social media is becoming an essential pulse point for Google and other organic search engines Google+ Page the least popular by arguably most important for influencing Googles organic search results Google Profile Googles algorithm has changed; Google requires that each contribution is backed by an identifiable author YouTube Channel The 2nd largest search engine with results that come up in routine Google search LinkedIn Page LinkedIn is a powerful and search optimized Facebook Page SEO optimized and a powerful platform to prepare in case you need to message during a crisis Twitter Ditto
  • Goodwill as a Publishing Empire Blogging as long as its on a separate domain Publishing many online magazines accept articles Huffington Post, Medium, BuzzFeed, Forbes, etc Aggregation some sites aggregate best of content Business2Community and others repurposed good content Many feed their content to Google News and Yahoo News News Source apply to become a wire service You can apply to be a source for Google News Cross-Pollination many hands make light work Sharing up GII can aggregate best of content from regionals Sharing down regional Goodwills could share GII news Share laterally cross-pollinating across regional
  • Influencer Marketing Online Engagement people collect and self-organize find them! Facebook & LinkedIn Groups, Pinterest boards, Flickr groups, online forums Blogger Outreach if it exists, theres a blog about it Include the long tail reach out to hundreds of bloggers and not merely top-25 Content Marketing creating stories others will post and share Guest Blogger Infographic Videos Events Pledge Drives I have been doing earned media marketing for over seven years, including blogger outreach and influencer marketing for Alzheimers Association, The Fresh Air Fund, Greenpeace, Habitat for Humanity, International Medical Corps, and Miriams Kitchen bloggers and other influencers...