Social Media Breakfast – Online Reputation Management

Enlightening event with the presentation that could be considered a treasure of facts and numbers (Wow! 65 slides!)  I wish Greg Swan and Christopher Lower had the rest of the day to continue 😉

The most curious points and links from the presentation:

Free reputation monitoring services:  (try Firefox; issues in IE)  (love it!) (free Tweeter alerts by e-mail) (Google Blog search) ( Comments monitoring)

Paid reputation monitoring services:
          Small business (starts from $18 a months, free trial)
          Enterprise (seems to have free trial)

How to respond to online reputation issues:

  • investigate complains
  • respond at the same site / same platform
  • respond as quickly as possible (after the comment was investigated)
  • you may need legal assistance (make sure legal team has a specialist in the area)
  • host the conversation (complaints on your own site are easier to control – make them possible)
  • make sure your brand is reserved at various sites

Why all of it is necessary?

60% of Americans use social media
85% of Americans say social media presence for a company is not enough; the company should interact with its customers

Social media can amplify poor service very quickly  – FTD’s Mother’s Day Mishap (by TechCrunch)  

70% of global executives fear for their corporate reputations as online risks grow

66% of global executives are either unaware or do not want to admit that employees are badmouthing their companies online

Domino’s case study
The infamous video taken a tall on Domino’s perception – it changed from 81% positive to 64% negative. Cost to Domino is estimated over $50,000,000. Interesting: Domino’s PR agency suggested initially ignoring the video (now Domino has a different PR agency 😉  ).

Domino’s video response

Shevron case study


What did Chevron do when it learned that “60 Minutes” was preparing a potentially damaging report about oil company contamination of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador?

It hired a former journalist to produce a mirror image of the report, from the corporation’s point of view.

The number of views was much smaller, but – it was an attempt by the company to create its own media.

There are many industry–specific sites featuring reviews

SEO can be a temporary fix to promote positive online reports and push back negative results. But…as soon as the complainer refreshes his or her post – it will move straight to the top. The problem needs to be addressed.

Bacon was sponsored by Concordia University MBA program.  🙂

MIMA – Web analytics for people who hate web analytics

picActually, the event attracted those who love web analytics and everything related to it… and sometimes struggle to show others the beauty behind the data.

The insights that Chris Wexler and Kristen Findley shared were…  “actionable.”  🙂  Though as an analytics enthusiast I was ready to scream “yes!!” after almost every statement, some ideas were refreshing.

New insights (or better arguments to achieve our perpetual objectives):

  • Share analysis with designers… they rarely receive the information how their creations work
  •  How to approach a designer: “I have something that will help you to do cool things”
  •  How can analytics help
    • Executive: help to decide where you should spend budget
    • Designer: where to apply your creative expertise
  • Questions to get business goals from stakeholders:
    • What do you want people to do? (works!! My favorite 😉  )
    • What would it be if we succeed?
    • What would it be if we don’t succeed?

 To attribute costs better, different conversion points can have different values (visit – 1; creating and uploading a video – 10,000)

Web analytics term is too narrow – we should be channel agnostic – “interactive analytics”  is a better term

Chris Wexler demonstrated a wonderful image to illustrate the difference of insight v. data.


Data can sing…

Era of analytics “post” is changing of analytics “pre,” but as before, we can over-rely on analytics.

MN AMA – Marketing to Women – Nine Essential Ways to Engage Her in Your Brand

shehivemarketingShe Hive Marketing (Betsy Perez and Sharon Carleton)   gave very interesting presentation  and useful points to consider immediately. Marketing to women – related statistics was quite curious.

Why target women?

83% of all consumer purchases are done by women, and over 90% are influenced by women, women as a category outspend every other category, women involved into 89% of all consumer electronics purchasing decisions, do 80% of health care decisions, have 7 million more credit cards, and involved into majority of business purchases.

91% of women believe advertisers don’t understand them.

marketing-to-womenRecommended book – Marketing to Women by Marti Barletta

People are the most interesting in women’s lives… it is important to concentrate on human benefits and the user, not the product.

Portraying the target market – “the 10 rule” – 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter. Women can feel depressed if a woman on the picture looks too much close to herself. The image does not have to represent a beautiful woman, but a fit one.

Communication for men – facts. Communication for women – “scoop.” Example: Wii is explaining how to fit the activity that the product makes available into her life.

9 ways to engage a woman:

1. Ask her what she thinks. Women are not as comfortable disclosing their opinions in a group of strangers (that can be dominated by a strong personality). Smaller group of women where participants know each other could be more effective. Online possibilities: surveys, communities, rating and feedback sites.

Quarkbase – a free tool that allows evaluation of different websites, including number of links from social bookmarking sites.

2. Get into her conversations.

84% of women will tell friends when they receive a positive brand experience; brands with most conversations grow 4 times faster compared to an average brand.

Example – Charmin cleanest New York bathroom

Blogosphere is important for targeting women; Facebook is growing number of boomer women
Twitter: 64% of moms follow at least one brand, 48% of moms are willing to try product or service recommended on Twitter

But – women may not be comfortable receiving rewards for recommending something to their friends – charitable donations might work more effectively.

Caution about social media – it is important to understand the possible pitfalls; remember Motrin commercial mishap 

jackcards3. Don’t disappoint her online. Women are comparing your website to every great web site on earth. Yes, it is important to update content. Amazon is a good example for functionality and usability.

Example: Jack Cards  – a web site that helps remembering birthdays and other important event. The site allows selecting cards and dates and will send a card to the user in advance. It helps save time and maintain relationships.

momspanelExample: Moms panel from Disney World  women expect interaction and may not want to limit themselves to “brochure ware” web site with tips on trips and recommendations. Moms panel provides this experience.  

4. Go viral.

Caution from another presentation – viral can not be a strategy… it is not possible to plan for viral video – infamous Elf Yourself was one of 20 web sites produced

Though a classic viral marketing success, Elf Yourself was not connected to the brand enough and many of the users did not know what brand produced the site.

JC Penny viral video and site Beware of the Dog House

5. Market for the “thrift shift:

11% of women optimistic that the recession will end soon
39% of women consider their financial situation as “not good enough”

6. Be a need, not a want

More and more people are using lists when shopping

Wal-Mart: you can find you “wants” here too… on budget.
McCafe – luxuries without the guilt (women feel guilt too often)

7. Back to the basics. People are doing more activities themselves.

55% cook more meals at home, trips to grocery store are up, and gardening is up.
Landscaping companies offer to put in gardens instead of traditional landscaping.

8. Remember who has the money

Boomers are online and constitute 29,8% of US Internet users.
Millenials (eco-boomers) – most influenced by current economy (were laid off multiple times).

Cross-generational marketing (Wii Fit) – helps to keep the family together, what women find important.

9. Make her laugh.  Even sensitive topic can be presented with humor.

MIMA – Living in the Post-Advertising World

bigspaceshipMichael Lebowitz, CEO of Big Spaceship, addressed the change that brands and agencies experiencing now and offered a few interesting suggestions during May MIMA event. He suggested to “never waste a good crisis” and experiment with new tools and possibilities.

Interesting points from the presentation:

Full service interactive agency may not exist – there are too many services and it is not possible to specialize enough in all of them to perform each service well.

Traditional advertising model is broken – consumer is in control. Advertising is competing not with other advertising but with the life itself; brands need to understand how brand can make consumer life better.

Penguin-DatingExample: Penguin Dating
Instead of creating a totally separate dating web site for book lovers, Penguin   formed a partnership with what became Penguin Dating.

Strategy is needed; marketers should be aware of “shiny object syndrome” when a particular new technology is used for the sake of the technology itself. Any technology needs to contribute to the business goals of the company.

Thinking about strategies, plan to adapt. Too much change and too many unknown parts that need to be considered.

Recommendations for agencies:

  • don’t concentrate on metrics only
  • focus on culture
  • build things (don’t outsource craft)
  • stay flat (allow some chaos)
  • experiment constantly (not only for clients)

Approach to a projectall functions need to be involved at the beginning to allow collaboration and use of new opportunities. This approach is also helpful for “adopting on the fly.”


Experiment. Try something and see if it works. If it does not, drop it. If it does work, optimize and improve.

QuaptureExample: Qapture  an aggregator of most popular links on Twitter in three categories. Qapture was built in a day and a half by Big Spaceship unrelated to any client requirements.

MN AMA and MIMA – Search 101

azul7It was wonderful to see a mixed crowd of AMA and MIMA. The event presented by Azul 7 concentrated on basics of search engine marketing; however, it still had a couple of nuggets that I would like to mention.

Universal search is a known phenomenon, but it was interesting to research Wolfram Alpha (expected to launch in May) and its approach to universal search. Alpha separates the screen into results categories. I wonder how the new categories can be added (when they unexpectedly appear) and how category priority can be managed… I am a little cloudy on PPC opportunity 😉


Search perspective: big brands should not have just one Web site. Yes, I was advocating this approach for a few years, but it was a pleasure to hear much more educated opinion than my own. Different audiences and needs demand different web sites for specific products or services. While the corporate site can certainly serve as a hub, searching and optimizing happens based on clearly defined needs of the target audience. The goal is not demonstrating a company to the world; but making as easy as possible for a qualified prospect to find the solution/information the company provides.

Content optimization – one idea per page.

Creation of pages for specific market/vertical. Somehow I limited this approach to landing pages (PPC or display), but did not think about SEO. It makes perfect sense!

Social Media Breakfast – Personal Branding

smbMykl Roventine  gave a wonderful overview of personal branding.  Oh, yes, I will be busy after this presentation… defining and correcting my personal brand online. Now I have an excellent ever-changing “instruction,” but – what is more important – an understanding of the “big picture…” Social Media Breakfast is “must attend” event from my perspective.

Personal brand is important:

  • You want to stand out of the crowd
  • Is your digital footprint exactly what you want to portray?
  • Now is the window of opportunity
  • Yes, you are a brand!

Examples to check:

So, what should you do to build your personal brand?

1. Identify your personal brand

“You are not defined by your job title, and you are not confined by your job description.”  Brand is authentic – what makes you different

  • Goals?
  • Audience?
  • Value of you to others? (if not clear – ask others)

Create a brand statement.

2. How are you branded?  Chose the name (better real name; be consistent)

3. Change all your accounts to the name

4. Change your photos  to one consistent image (that hopefully recognizable)  – get Gravatar

5. Create your brand story

Create a story, which would be easy to add to different accounts and social networks

  • super short
  • short
  • long (a few paragraphs)

Might make sense to ask for proofreading help. Then go back to social media sites and fill out all information (it should be consistent).

6. Create a destination

  • Decide on a destination. Most logical “About” page on your blog.
  • Point everything to this page.
  • Long version of your story should include links to your other networks
  • Make sure that you have simple contact information
  • Fill out your Google profile 

7. Tie is all together – link everything to your destination. Be consistent.

8. Share.

Comment using you first and last name, link to your destination. Thank commenters on your blog.

9. Monitor your brand

Your personal brand is always evolving.

The video from the event was posted on ning.