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Managing digital reputation. By: Zeeshan A. Bhatti. Digital Reputation . E Reputation/ Digital Reputation / Online Reputation/ Digital Footprints… Everything that you say & do online can have an effect on your reputation – E-Reputation

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managing digital reputation

Managing digital reputation

By: Zeeshan A. Bhatti

digital reputation
Digital Reputation
  • E Reputation/ Digital Reputation / Online Reputation/ Digital Footprints…
  • Everything that you say & do online can have an effect on your reputation – E-Reputation
    • Internet – vast collection of details and you might be surprised at just how information on YOU can impact on how you look and how you are perceived as a person and a professional
  • The internet is not anonymous anymore – E Reputation is a hard core reality
    • Today our digital reputation expose more information about our lives than ever before
    • The fact is that digital reputation might be incorrect or present only partial information

Are you happy with the results people get back when they Google your name?

    • If not, there are easy ways to monitor and guide what info. is published on you
    • In today's world of instant information and communication, having a strong and positive digital reputation is vital
    • Incremental formation of digital reputation by unintentional sharing of data
    • Regardless of whether the information comes from
      • a competitor; an unhappy customer; a disgruntled employee: a media news site; or an anonymous posting on a message board; BUTfalse or misleading information can devastate your company's reputation
business perspective on e reputation
Business perspective on E-Reputation
  • In business, having a bad reputation can mean bankruptcy or perpetual unemployment
    • So it has always been considered good practice to remain polite, professional and reliable so people think highly of you
  • With Internet, the ability to control what people said and thought about you has drastically diminished
    • As search engines got better at finding things and blogging and social networks became more common, it got easier for people to express an opinion and even easier to plant a false rumor 
e reputation individual vs corporate
E-Reputation:Individual Vs. Corporate
  • A person’s digital reputation begins with information from public record sources that define you – whether you want to have an online reputation or not
    • While you may not participate in the initial results delivered about you, the Internet frequently consolidates information about you, your family and your business, and delivers that information through a simple search query
  • This information can have a lasting presence online, permanently impacting you
    • Online content can even impact your ability to secure bank loans and mortgages, the underwriting of insurance for you and your family, not to mention creating many embarrassing situations 
erasing the digital past
Erasing the digital Past
  • NY Times Article “ Erasing the Digital Past” (April1, 2011) by Nick Bilton:
    • The NY Teacher who divorced his wife
    • Bryan – the NYC Professor – charged with wrongfully receiving 9/11 money – Press release from US Attorney’s Office
    • Philadelphia Physiologist – unwittingly linked with a consumer advocacy site, which listed him a graduate of distance learning school that was shut down
    • Hiring of Reputation Management Company –

Google Alerts

    • Subscribe to a Google Alert and receive an email as soon as your search phrase (like your name or company) enters Google's index
    • Blog searchengines (e.g.,Technorati)
    • Tracks buzz in the blogosphere
    •  If you're looking to monitor blog comments, check out previously mentioned comments which keeps you informed of the ongoing discussion
corporate digital reputation
Corporate Digital Reputation
  • Your company's digital reputation is the aggregate of all the information and viewpoints on the Internet made by multiple stakeholders, both inside and outside your firm.
    • Each piece of content can be seen and heard worldwide and has the potential to damage your brand in an instant
  • Typically, the first informationpeople see and impressions they form result from a search-engine query
    • You must monitor and manage the flow of information about you and your company to protect and enhance your corporate image
  • It's not just about finding out what others are saying. You need to have some type of digital presence; otherwise, it's hard to counter any negative press your company may receive.
  • If you're not actively involved in communicating, your company's reputation will be left to what others say about you
    • So what will people see when they use the Internet to investigate your company, including you and your executives?
firm consumer relationship
Firm – Consumer Relationship
  • For years marketers assumed that consumers started with a large number of potential brands and methodically winnowed their choices until they’d decided which one to buy
  • After purchase, their relationship with the brand typically focused on the use of product/service, itself
the brand relationships has changed
..the brand relationships has changed..
  • Consider and Buy
    • Mktrs often overemphasize the “consider” and “buy” stages of journey
    • They allocate 70-90% of resources to building awareness through advertising and promotions
  • Evaluate and Advocate
    • New media has made “evaluate” and “advocate” stages increasingly relevant
    • Spread of word of mouth can as important as building awareness about brand
  • The Bond
    • If a consumer’s bond with a brand is strong enough, S/He repurchases without cycling through earlier decision stages

“Nowadays, More than 60% of consumers of facial skin care products worldwide do online research about them after purchase”

Do You work on this point in your company?

What can be the consequences???

consequences you re spending your money in all the wrong places
Consequences: You’re spending your money in all the wrong places
    • Paid Media Vs. Earned Media
    • Earned media (or free media) refers to favorable publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, as opposed to paid media, which refers to publicity gained through advertising
    • Management still focuses on “working media spend” – which doesn’t make sense unless you consider owned and earned media, as well
    • A VIRAL VIDEO IS WORTHLESS – if the products gets bad reviews or worse – if no one is talking about it

“Still 90% of digital budgets are allocated to websites – When only 1 out of 10 consumers visit company sites to get information”

  • Earned media (be it negative or positive) is more trusted by consumers/candidates/partners
    • Therefore, it is important to monitor what is being said on the web
how to manage your online presence
How to manage your online presence?

#1 Understand your online reputation – Global Ecosystem

The idea is NOT to bring everybody back to the corporate website but to create and manage activities in these 3 different types of “spaces”


#2: Work on the Basics

  • Ensure the visibility of your In-house platforms
    • Domain name strategy is the key
      • Alphabetic (Russian, Arab, French)
      • Geographic (extension e.g., .FR, . PK etc.)
      • Linguistic (Accent) / Translations
      • Typographic (Microsoft, Mikrosoft..)
      • Product Universe (Android, Iphone 4, 5, …)
    • SEF (Search Engine Friendly)
      • Optimized structure of your website to support search engines
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
      • Refresh content regularly

SMO (Social Media Optimization)

    • Allow people to find your brand on other places (e.g., Youtube, Flicker, Pinterest etc.)
    • Helps avoiding irrelevant or “squatted” UGC
    • On Wikipedia, make sire existing definition is precise and improve if necessary

If you don’t know which type of brand you have – do online mapping

  • Mapping is a snapshot of your brand online
    • Allows to understand where your brand is talked about online, how, and how much
1 basic brand
1) Basic Brand
  • A Basicbrand typically means products/services for which people DON’T usually talk about – because there is not much to say
  • A basic brand can do or create funny or useful content to set itself apart
    • E.g., Blendtec Blenders (
2 functional brand
2) Functional Brand
  • Most brands are Functional
    • People mention functional brands at length online ‘cause they have questions about their products/services work
    • The brand should engage and answer wherever discussions are taking place
      • People are going to shop with companies that really care
      • Don’t go ‘above and beyond’ – be quick, short and relevant
        • E.g., Customer services on Twitter
3 exciting brand
3) Exciting Brand
  • Exciting brands have self-made fans on FB and around the web that talk about them
    • E.g., Nike, Adidas, Apple, Google etc.
    • What they are doing seems inspirational to their fans
    • The should focus on creating top-notch content so that enthusiasts can dig and enjoy (e.g., TED: Ideas)
    • To measure ROI of these brands – the best is to compare the “buzz” around each campaign
      • The volume of conversations
      • The improvement of sentiment
  • Harley Davidson is a unique brand followed by diehard enthusiasts – Rise of shine, their fans will follow
  • TIP

Encouraging real life meetings

can foster community feelings

4 vital brand
4) Vital Brand
  • Vital Brands affect people in a very direct manner (health, environment,…)
    • e.g., Subway – the low calorie sandwich
  • These brands should listen carefully to what people are saying to discover meaningful insights

#4: Evaluate your brand’s personality

“Today anyone with a $100 camera and an internet connection is a potential Spielberg or Riefenstahl”


Can a real crisis really occur on the social web?


There are different types of crises

    • Most common: Communication crises – short term damage but won’t mean the end of your company
    • Others can effect your core business: What happened in Vegas wont stay in Vegas anymore – World of Mouth
      • The rise of Wikileaks
      • From now on everything that concerns your company (particularly non-ethical matter, as well as interactions with stakeholders) risks to be exposed
  • The Bank of America already lost 3% of its value – on a rumor
  • Wikileaks announced that a bank will be targeted in January 2011 – Just the rumor that it might be Bank of American caused it to lose its current value
new media can you be your friend
New Media can you be your friend!!
  • Attacking is the best defense
    • Begin by defining all sensitive subjects that concern your company
      • Identify and listening to weak signals on social web – whether you need to change policies or develop communications
      • A YouTube video can be more effective than a formal press release – people can be surprised (e.g., Domino’s Pizza CEO video on YouTube)
find sympathetic third parties
Find sympathetic third parties
  • Force Multipliers
    • In case of crises – Don’t use in-house experts
    • Develop e a network of independent 3rd parties willing to take your side
      • Bloggers, Journalists and forum admins. can help maintain a positive or at least a neutral position
      • You may not have diehard fans like Harley Davidson, but strong arguments might find you someone
      • Develop long-term relationships with well targeted bloggers
        • e.g., WEBLINK: The Top 50 makeup Blogs
        • The YouTube Gurus
avoid any show of force
Avoid any show of force
  • A typical company’s reaction to online attack has been a juridical approach
    • Never been a good idea
    • Lengthy
    • Cannot reflect on your company as a humane approach even if you are right

People don’t care who leaked the information, they just want your company to be responsible – apologize if you are wrong

empower your team
Empower your team
  • People talk with people
    • No body wants to hear rose-colored versions from a top-executive – they want to talk to a real employee
    • Empower your employees to express themselves – they’ve got stories – they can be a good resource
    • Treat your team well
      • You’re only as strong as your weakest link
      • If we go back to Wikileaks – employees could be the ones doing the “leaking”




so roi or roni
    • Its not whether investing $1will make an impact BUT what will happened if you don't
      • Misunderstanding of customer expectations
      • Missed opportunities to improve CRM
      • Failure to make up for the decline in efficiency of classic advertising
      • Failure to connect with Gen-Y and their behaviors
      • Inability to manage potential crises before they begin
key takeaways



The media has shifted and the Internet is longer just an option

  • Communication in the digital world is long term (The web doesn’t erase itself)
  • Understand your customer's decision journey
  • Understand your brand’s online presence & your company profile
  • Prepare yourself because your brand doesn’t belong to (just) you anymore
  • Be humble, We are all learning. Be curous