Business Myopia-The Need To Realign Hope And Reality With Your Social Business

A lot of companies are going to transition to becoming a social business and fail horribly at it. It’s not entirely their fault. You might be sitting there and asking why not. Look no further than their website. It starts there. Here’s a real world example. 3 days ago I was on the phone with a prospective client, before I got on the phone I did a little research. First I wanted to look at their source code. I wanted to see what they thought of themselves. Regardless of who built the site, the meta tags that lie underneath can tell you a lot about what a company thinks they are, of how they view themselves.

I know, in the grand scheme of things meta tags don’t matter, but ahhhh, they do. It let’s people like me get a quick understanding of whether a client or company gets the rudimentary element of knowing who they are and how they want to be perceived online. you know why? Metas matter but not in the sense that we were all told or taught years ago. Metas matter because they drive the creation of content, the creation of bios, and the creation of hyperlinks from Tumblr and Twitter to YouTube and Pinterest. Metas are your descriptors of you and your company.

If you can’t tell me who you are with hyperlinks, geo specific hyperlinks,160 characters in a Twitter bio,25 characters for an adwords title, and or 70 characters for ad text, then how are you going to do it for your customers? The point being that search will continue to love social but before you even get to the point of cranking valuable content about you and your business. You have to have your act together structurally, internally and digitally.

Go look at all of your digital touch points and see if they pass the smell test. Are you painting the right picture of how search views all of your current content. Understand that part of being a social business is that, regardless of whatever social channel your choose-the digital content that you will create, has to align perfectly with what you do offline and what you currently have online.

When customers or prospects do a search, the results that they get back tell more of a story about you and your business then you may be aware of, and sadly the results may contain content that you had no control of. By the time you see it, or become aware of it-it’s too late, it’s been indexed and it’s virtually impervious to reputation management fixes.

Don’t wait for that to happen, go check your digital house and see if it’s in order. Align reality with perception and make sure that as a social business you understand that you are now searchable and accountable for content everywhere, starting with something as simple as your source code. Metas might not matter in search, but in reality, they can tell us what you think your business is.

SEO and Social Media are Inextricably Joined at the Hip.

Is it reputation management, perception management? Or search management?

I was recently directed by Tom Martin to read an updated post by Rohit Bhargava on Social Media Optimization and while it did get me thinking again about something I had not given much thought to in a while, it, like many other blog posts, opened up another footlocker of thoughts.

As I’m wont to do oh so frequently, I started thinking about the term reputation management and what that really meant. Literally defined for us in the digital world, it’s the practice of managing your orgs reputation online.

For most of us lay people, reputation management means trying to control or do something about the bad comments that show up on Google’s first page of search results about our brand.  That something is usually defined as using social media and search techniques to make it go away or… Could we say that might be… Social Media Optimization?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Rohit’s definition or ” new rules” of SMO

  • Create shareable content
  • Make sharing easy
  • Reward engagement
  • Proactively share content
  • Encourage the mashup

But you see, at the end of the day the number of  social interactions/engagements you have, and the number of social profiles you have, and the number of social platforms you play on, all to a certain degree will be reflective in higher search rankings. So essentially Rohit’s 5 new rules contribute to better search results.

# of social interactions + # of social platforms + # of profiles = Better search results

Which means the reality is the sum total of all of this activity will alternately end up driving perception. So given that SEO is a key component, ancillary as it might be to contributing to social media, it still is the key determining factor in driving perception of people and brands.

I will say it again.

SEO and Social Media are inextricably joined at the hip.

So is managing your reputation via search and social also include your ability to understand the key components of search?

You bet it is.

Which means that bad companies ( poor customer service, bad products, etc.) could be very adept at SEO, and given that your perception may be controlled or driven by a manipulated or “gamed” search hierarchy, you would never know they suck.

Your perception of their reputation is skewed by a high search ranking and a search result that may have also been manipulated or influenced by surface level social media participation as well.

Which means that the algorithm is flawed.

Given that most of us are intent on putting our best foot forward and are hell bent on quelling or snuffing out negative press-it would seem to me that a full understanding of the implications of search along with a full understanding about the power of how all of your social interactions influence reputation management would be a sound business decision.

So here’s your takeaways.

  • Know that search and social media are tied to each other.
  • Do not treat the fact that you can control these things lightly.
  • Search can be your friend as much as it can be your enemy.
  • Understand that everyone has the ability to game the system.
  • Do not want to wait to address negative search results after the fact.
  • Dive deeper when doing your homework on companies and people.
  • Create meaningful social profiles
  • Participate in social media because you want to, not because of the SEO benefits.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Monitoring The Tiger Woods Brand

If you did not notice Tiger Woods has been in the news a lot lately. How much? Lets take a look at some visual representations utilizing some of the exact tools that you would use to monitor your brand. Then I’m going to ask you a very simple question at the end of this post.

First we’re going to use the Trend search from Blog Pulse to create a graph that plots “buzz” about Tiger Woods in the blogosphere. We’re going to look at a 6 month window.

How about some search analytics from Compete? Notice an uptick?

Icerocket also tracks blog mentions and real time search trends, look at it’s graph and check out the numbers below the graph.

One of the most impressive and visually appealing of the tools that I used was from Trendrr which allowed us to track qualitative, quantitative, real-time, sentiment, and competitive trends. For the purpose of this post, we looked at Google results, tweets from Twitter and blog posts on Google..

Driving the point home, we now look at Google Trends.

So your team Tiger or your the brand manager for your company and you see these kinds of results. What are you going to do to repair this? What is your first step? How would a large organization manage its reputation after taking a hit like this? What does Tiger do now? What will repair a reputation damaged to this degree? What does Nike do?

A lesson in reputation managment


Social media has allowed us all to be comedians. Some of us are not that funny. Context is the fly that you cannot quite pin down nor kill sometimes. But when something is printed on hard copy, the ramifications are just as significant as if it had occurred online.

The good thing, if there is such a thing, in being slandered online is you can “do” something about it. There are ways to combat it. But what do you do if it happens in print? and what do you do if it was your 11 year old daughter who did it? Ask her to print a retraction?

Let me set the scene and you decide.

Her teacher had a class project in which everyone wrote 2 recipes. A “how to” if you will, but geared more towards life lessons or something offbeat. Tinged with a hint of sarcasm and frivolity, all of the “recipes” were pretty cute. Nicely bound, it was a collectors item for parents to cherish when they were old and gray. Unless you are my wife and I.

The title of her one recipe was “How to amass a huge gum collection”. The other, “How to get away with not cleaning your room”. Both pretty good topics until you start reading them. I will boil it down to a couple of choice sentences: “Be sure to make the lie good for your gullible parents”..and the other “your unsuspecting parents will think you listened to them..”

There were a couple of other choice nuggest in both stories that I can’t recall but there it was. Now her class consists of 30 kids, and if their parents did what we did, they read each students recipes as well. Woohoo!!! Great.. Now the other parents will think my wife and are gullible idiots..Classic!

I know, I know, they won’t. Some might, but most won’t. Even though perception is not reality, we now have that cute bound book to partly remind us of her 5th grade year. I’m over it, but do you see how important reputation management is both online and offline? And this a simple relatively harmless situation.

Obviously we’re in an offline world situation here but there it is. The big elephant will be in the room every time we go to a school function.”Oh look, here come those 2 idiot buffoon parents..”

SO.. I had to give my 11 year old daughter an abject lesson in reputation management last night. Essentially explaining how she better be sure that what she is writing won’t piss someone off. It doesn’t matter if she were trying to be funny or not. Once it’s printed hard or soft copy, its out there for someone to see or find, the digital footprint.

How to listen in a bad economy- 67 social media/web/reputation management tools and sites

You know we listen all the time don’t we? We keep telling companies to do it, but sometimes we just leave it at that.  Or even worse, we don’t get specific. well here u go. Here’s the specifics. Here’s a mix of sites, tools and companies that do some kind of listening, monitoring or reputation management  for you. Some are free, some are not, and some are good and some are not, but here they are. I know there might be more but these are the ones that I have found through numerous sources.

1. Google Alerts:

Easy to use and easy to manage


2. Scout Labs A powerful, web-based application that tracks social media and finds signals in the noise to help your team build better products and stronger customer relationships-tag line $100 a month

3. The Search Monitor-Monitor paid search, news, blog and websites is the tag line. Starter at $99 per Month (50 Keywords) They had a demo, but it forces you to fill out a lengthy form and “request” the demo

4. Umbria– One of the most confusing web sites claiming to have a social media monitoring tool or service or is it..

5. Buzzlogic– I’ve heard some buzz about them, but I hate when I have to contact a rep or search for more info and that’s certainly the case with their Insights product.

6. Cymfony– Man, talk about a busy page, there is a lot on this site. Coming from TNS Media, They would be better served with a more user friendly site. 5 areas of interest for me, but again I have to contact a sales rep.

7. Biz360 Opinion Insights  is there consumer-opinion measurement solution that uses technology to capture and interpret vast amounts of customer-opinion data—to deliver insights that lead to better business decisions. But you have to contact them and fill out a big-ole form again.

7. Nielsen Online– formerly Buzz metrics thi site delivers so much data, FREE data as well, I might add, with the ability to pay for other services and products. It’s always a good one to check in with, from time to time.


8. BrandIntel-BrandIntel translates consumer-generated content into predictive consumer insights. You have to request—>fill out a form for a demo, and I have no idea how much it costs, but the site is clean. 🙂

9. DNA13 The global leader for on-demand software for real-time reputation management, dnaEnterprise provides complete visibility into global reputation, request a demo, no pricing…

10. Motivequest– Looks like they do everything in house, so that might not interest you “do it your selfers”

11. Market Sentinel according to their website uses the technology behind the popular website It won its first customers in the technology sectors and now operates in the UK, US and Europe, serving customers in areas like the automotive, pharmaceutical, internet, telecommunications and financial sectors.

12. Converseon They have a  proprietary product called Conversation Miner™  which scours public, online discussion areas – including blogs, newsgroups, social media, and more – to capture, understand and report the issues, opinions and ideas that costumers share between and among themselves. But you have to contact them…

13. Onalytica Is a leading supplier of services that transforms online buzz into actionable intelligence. Through analysis of what is being published and debated online we help some of the world’s most respected brands measure, understand and improve the effectiveness of their MarCom activities, improve their responsiveness and predict the future. Translation: They monitor the conversations about your brand online. The site was pretty bad and had me going in a perpetual loop.

14. BurrellesLuce Media monitoring, media analysis and media measurement.

15. Attentio Look…something tangible! Attentio Brand Maps  launched two months ago. Currently, they have two types of Brand Maps available – correlation maps, that are based on multidimentional scaling (MDS); and segmentation maps, that are based on correspondance analysis (CA). Sorry though, it looks as if it’s for European countries only. 😦

16. Sentiment Metrics With Sentiment Metrics social media measurement dashboard you can monitor and measure social media and gain actionable business intelligence, allowing you to develop more targeted marketing, improve products and increase profits. The skinny: It’s only available in the UK, Though Starting at only £259 a month for single user accounts.

17. CIC China data anyone? The skinny: CIC is the first Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) research and consulting firm in China. To put it simply, they help their clients make sense of the buzz found on blogs, BBS and other IWOM platforms.

18. Media Miser The skinny: Take control of managing your media coverage with MediaMiser Enterprise. MediaMiser Enterprise is a media analysis and public relations measurement solution that shows you how the news is affecting your organization

19. Radian6 Ok, so I’m biased, I know a few folks who work there, the product is easy to use, effective and its inexpensive. Good combo.


20. WaveMetrix Online Buzz research


21. Techrigy SM2 is a software solution designed specifically for PR and Marketing Agencies to monitor and measure social media. Create a free account and get up to 5 Search Words/Phrases, and store up to 1000 results.


22. Keibi Keibi Technologies provides solutions and services for the moderation and classification of user generated content, allowing our customers to safely leverage and better monetize this fast growing medium. FYI They mention they are on Twitter: They are following 2 people and they have 11 followers…

23. Relevant Noise aka Zeta Interactive See what these “citizen journalists” are saying about your brands across social media – and the impact they’re having – in real-time. The skinny: ugly site.

24. Unica Enterprise marketing management software Integrated solution for engaging customers in cross-channel dialogues.

25. Milward Brown Precis They can track and provide analysis from online news sources, blogs and message boards to help clients understand the tonality of online consumer comment and evaluate the success of online communications.

26. Socialmention A  social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services


27.  Facebook-Lexicon Facebook Lexicon counts occurrences of words and phrases on Walls over time

28. Lotame Allows brands to build and target customizable consumer audiences.

29. Visible Technologies Provides  strategic solutions supported by proprietary technology and measurable results. Whether it’s building or managing reputations across popular search engines, or helping companies track and participate in influential consumer created content channels, they empower brands to do more online to build their businesses and bottom lines


30. Customscoop Customizable media monitoring technology and analysis solutions in Public Relations, Sales, Marketing, Investor Relations and Competitive Intelligence. 2 week free trial..

31. Pythia Analytics internet marketing toolsets designed to track the entire marketing narrative, on- and offline, and measure its effects on a business.

32. Collective Intellect Collects real time market intelligence, providing direct insight into consumer opinions for marketing professionals. Here’s a quote: ”

We can answer any question that marketers and researchers have, and produce the most relevant and actionable intelligence Faster,More Cost-effectively, and with Better Data Purity than any other method.

33. Repumetrix Provides products and services that peruse mainstream media, blogs, chatrooms, message boards, social networks, videos, images and Web sites worldwide to retrieve communications and activities initiated by employees, competitors, consumers, shareholders and interest groups, enabling organizations to pre-empt attacks on corporate reputation, assess competitor moves, monitor industry-specific mergers and acquisitions, or guard intellectual property-WHEW!

34. Blogscope Is an analysis and visualization tool for the  blogosphere  being developed as part of a research project at the University of Toronto. It’s currently tracking over 34.39 million blogs with 696.05 million posts. BlogScope can assist the user in discovering interesting information from these millions of blogs via a set of numerous unique features including popularity curves, identification of information bursts, related terms, and geographical search.

35. Sports Media Challenge Protecting and enriching sports brands, Buzz Manager constantly searches the internet for information about your organization or specific individual subjects. It measures and analyzes the “Buzz,” and then accurately presents the results in time saving, easy-to-use reports. It can even proactively engage conversations to protect your brand before rumors spread.

36. Claim ID ClaimID is the free, easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID.


37.  FindMeOn Instead of collapsing all of your network identities onto one site, FindMeOn helps you manage your circles of friends, family, colleagues and others… respecting the divisions of your real life online.

38. CheckUserNames Find out which social media usernames have already been taken.

39. Garlik Garlik helps people take control of their personal information and protect themselves against identity theft and financial fraud

40. MyOpenID OpenID states “start using the last username and password you’ll ever need.Apparently  myOpenID gets you:: Secure control of your digital identity, Easy sign-in on enabled sites and Account activity reports.

41.  Spyshakers Spyshakers builds  spyware blockers for websites.

42. Naymz– Manage your professional brand.

43. Rapleaf Businesses use Rapleaf’s search service to better understand their customers, learn how their customers use the social web, and offer their customers new and enhanced services.

44. Repvine RepVine allows individuals and companies to collect and display references. The site allows you to see what people say about themselves and what others have to say about them

45. Reputation Defender ReputationDefender’s goal is to search out all information about a person and/or their child on the Internet, wherever it may be, and present it in a clear report. Also, to destroy, on command, all inaccurate, inappropriate, hurtful, and slanderous information about a person and/or their child using proprietary in-house methodology.


46. Boardreader Boardreader is search engine for Forums and Boards

47. Forumfind Find what people like you, think.

48. BigBoards The largest message boards and forums on the web

49. Boardtracker is an innovative forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted.

50. Monitor This With Monitor this, you can subscribe to 20 different search engine feeds at the same time. Enter a search term and click the ‘make monitor.opml’ button to get a list of rss feeds in OPML format.

51. Keotag Tag search multiple engines, tag generator and social bookmark links generator. Buzz Monitoring.


52. Comwat Organize your profiles (communities, forums, social networks, blogs etc.) and invite your friends. Decide who you want to show where you’re online. Find new friends or interesting profiles using tags and search terms.

53.  onXiam onXiam is a site that lets you consolidate all of your online identities and easily tie them back to a single point of reference.

54. Profilebuilder Eliminate the need to constantly build profiles on multiple social sites.

55. Profileomat is a shareable profile aggregator that lists all your personal Websites, Social Networks, Blogs, Contact Info, Photo Albums and other Profiles in one profile. Plus: People can leave a message in your profile (this is something between a guestbook and reputation system).

56. Simplifid organizes online networks, screen names, profiles, blogs, bookmarking services and URL’s with unique IDs. Categorize your info for different audiences; one for chat friends, one for business and another for family.

57. Socialurl is a social community platform enabling you to organize your online identities. Connnect to all your social network sites with one URL.

58. Venyo The Venyo Project – to build a free and universal online reputation management tool.A personal reliability index.

59. Zoolit is a shareable Web page that lists all your personal sites. Your Zoolit Landing Page is always current and up to date, providing the world with all of your personal Websites, Social Networks, Blogs, contact info, and Photo and Video Sharing sites.

60. Trackur Online Reputation Monitoring & Social Media Monitoring Tools, If your reputation is being discussed in the social media, Trackur will alert you. 14 day free trial.


61. Backtype Whenever you write a comment on a blog or other website, BackType attributes it to you. It gives your comments a home where they can be discovered, followed and shared. Receive updates whenever a search term is mentioned in a comment – delivered by e-mail (immediately, or in daily or weekly digests), RSS or your Dashboard.

62. Monitter real time Twitter montioring, though it looks more like Twitter on crack.

63. Sideline Here’s Yahoo’s version of Tweedeck. The tag: Watch search and monitor the Twitter public timeline in real time


64.  Filtrbox Monitor your brand and reputation across millions of sources in one place.

65. Watchthatpage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page

66. Google Trends With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.

67. Factiva offers a collection of business intelligence and news sources, along with the content delivery and information management tools enterprises need to find and use information more effectively. Factiva’s broad collection of targeted products includes solutions for media monitoring, sales lead generation, taxonomy, and credit risk management.

What can social media do for reputation management?


Alot has been written about online reputation management of late, and recently I was asked by a company to explain to them what I had done in regards to reputation management. So I’ve decided to recount what I did and what were the results.


About 18 months ago Emerson Directs’ web presence was no more than a brochure-ware site with no more than 3 pages of cursory content with zero traffic and zero web presence. all of its business was by word of mouth and referral. The only web presence was of SERP’s of information on an FTC settlement and consumer affairs reports on some bad customer service that occurred over 6 years ago.


Realizing that this had to have and was having a negative impact on the company and its ability to go out and get new business, I decided to do a few things. In short order, 1) I decided to create a new website, 2) a Social Media Optimization strategy wrapped around creating a number of social media pages devoted to the company-specifically the company name, 3) a blog site devoted to pushing out a more positive and leader like image for the company, 4) a robust social networking campaign 5) a Twitter persona in which I knew and hoped that people would go from the tweet to the blog site or to the website based on the quality of the tweet and lastly 6) be more visible and authentic with current and potential clients.


By creating the blog, it was another way of creating more content as well as another web site devoted to the Emerson Direct brand. As of today, The blog averages more than 10,000 visits per month, connects with clients, potential clients, and the casual reader, and has received numerous accolades. All of which were not my goal going on. They include ranking in the Adage power 150 The Power 150 is a ranking of the top 900 English-language media and marketing blogs in the world. The site is also ranked #23 of the Junta 42 which ranks the top 42 content marketing blogs. It’s also ranked oddly enough in the UK for top marketing blogs. It’s also part of the Big List of SEO blogs compiled by Lee Odden of Top Rank Blog. The indirect result of all of this, is people go from the blog to the website. The indirect direct result has been the creation of my personal brand as well, which has been cool and also very humbling since that was never my goal.


The residual effect of this effort has been tremendous in 1) driving traffic to a new site we built as well as 2) creating more opportunity for the company as well as 3) driving down the negative websites and 4) managing our website and companies’ online reputation in a more positive and proactive fashion and 5) I’ve become the de facto spokesperson for the reputation management campaign that Emerson Direct  undertook, as well as a champion for all things social media related and 6) Their phone has been ringing and 7) I’ve made some great new friends and contacts and 8. I’ve learned a ton and  9) respect so many others in the space now.


In regards to other forms of social media, I’d also created company related personas at nearly all of the top social networking sites, and even some of the lesser ones. I would venture that the total number was close to or had been 50. Some of those sites included YouTube, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Disqus, Propeller, Friendfeed and Twitter. All good viable ways of sharing content and changing a bruised reputation. Delicious is a prime example of my social media book marking efforts, in which I have over 600 bookmarks. That might not seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it is.


I’ve toned all of this down now, as I’ve been able to dial it back, tweak it, and develop a happy medium with a consistent social media presence in the places where it’s most effective. Plus the time suck was killing me.

One note:  I also created a number of filters in Google Alerts, Summize  and Backtype that keep and kept me abreast of anything that was said or written about me, the brand, the company, or any of the products that they were marketing, which I highly recommend.





The culmination of these social media and reputation management efforts has been, to put it mildly, extraordinary. Not a day goes by where they do not see some type of positive ripple effect both professionally and or for me personally from these efforts. 

The interesting thing about this whole exercise has been, and some people might not realize this, the tremendous amount of effort and work required to maintain and do all of this. The payoff though has been well worth it. I also think it’s important to note, that you cannot afford not to be doing some variation of the above. What do you think? What more could I have done? Did I miss anything?