Google loves your network, so should you.

You have spent years developing a strong personal network… yet over the past few years you’ve been letting someone care for it more than you do.

Who? Google.

As an professional you could be looking at CEO reputation or how different online reputation types work. Depending on your roll in life, your personal and professional brand can drive between five to five hundred searches per month on your “personal name” as a keyword. For any professional with an interest in how other people perceive them, this is a critical point to understand.

If you are part of a team of professionals, these personal and professional name searches quickly escalate into hundreds or thousands of searches every month. An example management team with 15 to 20 members generates anywhere from 400 to 5000 searches a month. If this is a public facing group (I.E. executive or business development channel) then this search traffic is being entirely left unattended. Read more

CEO Reputation, how to lead or fail online

Many top executives experience both love and hate of the promotional affect of the web, however CEO reputation in the digital space interacts with dozens of new elements including investor relations, customer service, stock prices, perception of liability, and more.

Depending on what report you look at, business analysts attribute somewhere between 23% and 52% of a companies reputation based on the reputation of the CEO. This percentage of ownership in the digital space is directly related to CEO names and executive staff members being in the spotlight when it comes to news coverage. Ask any journalist, the CEO of a company is usually the top choice for interviews and industry coverage.

Read more

2010 Online Reputation Survey

The staff here at Social Media Reputation (SMR) is always doing our best to understand the metrics driving our clients and our marketplace. To help clarify some of the critical issues facing companies today, we have been collecting survey information from hundreds of individuals relating to digital reputation.

If you would like to be included in the survey and receive a final copy of the report when it is finalized, please visit the survey form by clicking here.

International Reputation Reaching Critical Mass

Our global neighbors in England launched Reputation Matters, a campaign to profile corporate reputations through an alliance between the Newcastle Journal newspaper, Bradley O’Mahoney public relations, and Newcastle University Business School. It is both refreshing and encouraging to see local support systems being created by professionals in the field of reputation (a niche that has been sorely neglected in recent years.)

Reputation is, after all, not how we see ourselves, but the opinion that others form about us.

We are not looking just at well-known brands. We want to highlight both large and small firms, those operating in niche markets that most people have not come across and those that may have been in business only a short time, but who clearly understand the need to build their reputations.

On the Newcastle Journal, you can read about the business case for reputation. At four pages long, it serves as a good entry point and strategic setting for reputation concerns impacting your business (and includes a little international perspective not always considered here in the U.S.)

Hotel Reputations, search brand value under attack

The hotel and travel industry is suffering from one of the most aggressive issues of online brand and reputation attack, which is rooted firmly around the value of hotel brands and search phrases.

This is seen within primary search results, where 80% or more of branded search traffic on keywords directly related to a hotel’s brand are stolen by directory and trip review sites such as Orbitz, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Priceline, Hotwire,, and TravelPost. There are dozens of smaller sites and sub-properties involved in this marketplace attrition model, high-lighting an ongoing and growing problem.

Needless to say, that this is a monumental issue.

If we want to apply real world numbers to this problem, we can establish a baseline value of traffic redirected by encroaching on branded terms by looking at the monthly unique traffic of the top travel sites dealing with hotels and comparing those numbers against the percentage of traffic originating from search engines.

The chart below list some of the top sites involved in leeching off organic traffic through brand related hotel terms: Read more

Casino Reputations and high-risk online business models

As our team is formalizing some niche segments with unique reputation issues, one of the unusual models of reputation is within businesses that have an inherent percentage of alienated consumers.

Casino reputations are one such example. Regardless of who visits the casino, a certain percentage of the consumer marketplace will always lose at the gambling table.

There are other business models like this:

  • Limited seating concerts: if you have ever been “Johnny come lately” to performance, you have probably experienced at least one instance of feeling left out and alienated when the doors closed right in front of you. While many individuals simply walk away and try again another time, a small percentage of people turned away at the door lash-out and demand specialized attention. Even after jumping through a few extra business hoops and offering additional value, many businesses find angry prospects complaining online.
  • High-risk financial funds: if you knew anyone with an investment portfolio through 2007 to 2010, there were probably a few times when you saw some numbers on your monthly statement you weren’t especially happy with. In times of stress and high-monetary value, many investment consumers take our the frustration against brands, analysts and investment firms for lack of performance.
  • Premium vs economy models: (airlines are famous for this) – every consumer wants fair and equitable treatment, but some models of business have preset levels of service that the community at large doesn’t always agree with. The most common example is airlines who have 1st class, business, and economy levels of service. The perceived value of service vs the delivered level of service in these cases is often exaggerated and causes a high probability of online complaints.

An excerpt from our casino reputation page details some other issues:

Casino reputations are particularly interesting, as the entire model of many casino braands has transformed from games of risk into family event destinations. When it comes to where we choose to take risks, reputation has always been a key influencer for controlling where consumers spend hard-earned dollars.

As unique niche properties, Casinos have the basic challenge that a percentage of customers will loose at the table. This isn’t due to the lack of integrity by the casino, but the perception of gambling is that casinos need to provide honest and fair terms. If the perception of the digital consumer is influenced to indicate the casino or its executives are dishonest, the entire business model suffers painful revenue losses.

When businesses are operating in high-risk scenarios that require complex customer service and management structures, our team at SMR is immediately alerted to potential areas of business impacts that can occur in the online marketplace.

After reading this, give some thought to the actual business model and process structure. You should give special attention to your top ten percent and bottom ten percent of clients. In many instances, the bottom ten percent of your clients should detail the prospects that you didn’t service (either through choice, business model, or circumstance.)

When examining the top/bottom ten percent, create a simple bullet list of pros/cons for each segment and ask yourself these two questions:

  • Does this pro/con get communicated online?
  • What can we do to prevent a bad item from becoming more severe, or leverage a good component as a free exposure tool?

Reputation Insurance, why it makes good sense

Like any asset, there are hundreds of unforeseen risks that are associated with online reputation. A common viewpoint shared by many business executives is that they don’t know how to gauge how virtually explosive different aspects of their business model are. If you don’t know what smoke is, you probably can’t justify cost of fire insurance.

The cost and risk are real.
(Let us use a little example below)

As the size of a business increases, an exponential multiplier of risk is applied to the digital model:

  • more consumers increase opinionated reviews
  • more employees increase HR related violations
  • more marketplace share increases chance of competitive arson
  • exposure to social networks increases chance of
    • confidential leaks and privacy disclosure (family, friends, bedroom talk.)
    • ethical misbehavior (executive compensation, regulation violations)
    • employee / x-employee complaints (unions, disgruntled employees)

Read more

Reputation Toolbox, tools for online professionals

Just a few years ago, the traditional business professional didn’t need to worry much about digital conversations said about them. In today’s modern marketplace, your online reputation controls many of your professional opportunities. So far that online reputation is overtaking the traditional credit score as a means to identify if you are a worthwhile business partner. *If you would like to read more detail, you can read this four page whitepaper about reputation value or my CEO blog article on reputation score vs credit fiasco.

With that said, this reputation toolbox is a collection of resources to help you establish, maintain and protect your “online reputation score.”

Why should you read this? My company provides online reputation management services to executives and corporations. We believe that a good online reputation company doesn’t hide behind dozens of secrets or manipulative strategies to keep clients in the dark: if a professional wants to self-train themselves on hundreds of overlapping technical points and spend hours refining an expertise as a digital reputation specialist… they can. Read more

Xfinity vs Comcast, No Reputational Escape?

Earlier this month (February  2010),  Comcast made the announcement of shifting over several products to a new brand: Xfinity. The downside to the brand revamp appears to be a spiral effect of news channel, industry critics, and industry peers passing along a series of criticisms trying to rebrand reputation.

Unfortunately it isn’t going so well for Xfinity. Starting with Reuters article “Comcast Seeks Reputation Change with Xfinity brand“, critic after critic is asking big questions about the rebrand effort.  In essence, the brand was not what was the target of the change (its reputation was.)

This is a digital issue we have covered before (Supermedia, Idearc, Verizon, and GTE) , as companies continue to re-brand business units in an attempt to fix areas of concern in online reputation and real world business issues.

A core problem of these rebrand efforts is the digital portion, where conversations connect old brands to new brands, along with some related problems on the side of search engine results. Read more

SuperMedia , Idearc, Verizon, GTE ? Reputations Don’t Fade online.

In the past, corporations and big business developed into the mindset that you could “reset” a brand simply by changing your logo and developing a new slogan.  The mentality found within corporate America was that the average consumer had little or no long term memory. The lack of memory leads to the simple assumption that the non-digital consumer would never connect the dots with due-diligence and investigation.

The data repository now known as the world wide web has connected those dots. Companies (and people) now have a thousands of data points being historically interconnected. Stories and insight about topics of interest are no longer doomed to fade away, but are chiseled into digital stone to be remembered, recalled and renewed. Read more