Content Is Key to Repairing Online Reputations

How do you get rid of damaging information about yourself online—like arrests, scandals and offensive activity?

You don’t get rid of it, you add to it.

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors charged 50 parents in a bribing scheme to buy their children admission to top universities. The individuals charged—including actresses and a famous fashion designer—face fines, prison time and damaged reputations.

Unfortunately, some of the students involved had no idea that illegal activity helped them get into college. Several are now seniors facing job rejections and other fallout from the scandal because their parents are on the list of those charged.

We’ve all heard how some college grads miss out on jobs due to off-color Facebook photos or offensive Twitter rants. Employers and hiring managers often use search engines and social media searches to glean info on job applicants. Even though these students were not named in the bribery scandal, a few Google searches easily link them to their parents.

We all make mistakes and atone for them, so how do we repair our online reputations when those mistakes become permanent fixtures on the web?

A real-life example

I had a client years ago who was a successful business owner, community advocate and all-around good citizen. He had a stroke of bad luck one day when a policeman arrested him for possessing an illegal hunting rifle. He went to court, paid the fine and did community service.

Though he had a great reputation in his community, Google searches for his name led with the negative news stories.

Why did his arrest story come up first? It was the only information about him online.

When you’re creating content, you control the story

There’s no way to delete the bad stuff, so just create more good stuff.

Create truthful content that tells your story how you want to be portrayed. By creating content that highlights how you’re benefiting the community, your business or the planet, you’ll:

  1. Control your story
  2. Promote your good reputation
  3. Compete with the negative stories in search results

It’s not just spin

Using a content strategy to repair your online reputation is really no different than how anyone defends their reputation in real life. You tell your side of the story after you’re accused. Even if you admit guilt, sharing your good deeds might reduce the punishment.

My past client had done so many good works in the community, but none of them came up in searches. Why? Because neither he nor anyone else had written about them online.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, start a personal website with a blog and share those stories. If your issue is a bit more complicated, you can hire a reputation marketing consultant to create SEO-friendly content and tell your story.

Call us today at Mammoth Undertakings if you’d like some suggestions on how to get this done.

 

 

By |2019-03-28T18:12:52+00:00March 28th, 2019|Categories: Content, Social Media|Tags: , |

Facebook Announces Algorithm Changes

Last week, Google announced that it would be changing its search to tag mobile-friendly sites. Now Facebook has announced algorithm changes based on surveys from users who wanted to see more of their friends’ content on news feeds. Whether you’re simply a user of Facebook or internet marketer, this will be of interest.

1. You can now see multiple posts in a row from a single friend. Facebook prevented this from happening in the past (not sure why) but Facebook users who did not have a large friend network will now have access to more content.

2. Content from friends will take priority over news feeds and publisher content.

3. Content that friends have liked or commented on will be hidden further down, since users complained about this. I guess people want to see content their friends’ post but not content they comment on.

All in all, this will be a benefit to the Facebook user as opposed to the marketer on Facebook, but in the long run it will satisfy the Facebook audience and ensure its marketing platform for advertisers.

By |2017-06-11T22:05:50+00:00April 27th, 2015|Categories: Brand Marketing, Content, Social Media|Tags: , |

Google to Favor Mobile-Ready Sites

The stats are real: 67 percent of people are viewing your website for the first time on a mobile device. For some potential customers, it’s a huge inconvenience (and sometimes a deal breaker) when they can’t find your products or location from a few taps on their phone.

The problem is, many websites built a few years ago are not “responsive design,” i.e. they do not modify themselves automatically to fit on smaller screens. Some sites have a mobile version, but this is not the same as responsive design and is often a lesser experience. Other sites are not mobile-ready at all. On a smaller device, they look downright frightening.

This is why Google plans to start labeling sites “mobile-friendly” in search results, giving a little boost to those who have gone to the trouble of updating their sites.

According to the Google Blog,  a page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

How do you know if your page fits the bill? Test it out on the Mobile-Friendly Tester.

Did your site not pass the test? Give us a call today and we’ll get your site mobile-ready.

By |2017-06-11T22:05:50+00:00April 20th, 2015|Categories: Design, Social Media|Tags: , |

How’s Your Social Marketing? Grade It!

Social media’s big advantage over traditional print media is the ability to gauge metrics, i.e. crunch the numbers and learn if all those hours spent on Twitter and Facebook are attracting customers. But this capability is in some ways a two-edged sword: Online media metrics can also point out if it’s not working.

Whether you’re a marketer or a small business owner, you might want to do an extensive audit of your website and social networking accounts to make sure your time in front of the computer is maximized.

This is easily done. Google products (like Google Analytics) allow you to access and download reports on web traffic, subscribers, keywords and other ways people are accessing your web site. You can print charts and graphs to gauge traffic, repeat customers, geo-data and more.

Even better, and slightly more fun to play around with, is HubSpot’s Marketing Grader, which works very simply: Just enter your site url and generate a report that grades your site’s accessibility, set-up, SEO and popularity, among other things. This free product also give suggestions on where improvements can be made. Of course, the most extensive reporting must be purchased, but there’s enough free material to satisfy casual users.

If that one doesn’t help you track how your social networking is helping your website, here’s a list of 25 website grader tools that should help.

[I originally wrote this post for ReachFactor, a real estate reputation marketer.]

 

By |2017-06-11T22:05:50+00:00February 5th, 2015|Categories: Brand Marketing, Content, Creative, Social Media|Tags: , |

Miss Google Blog Search? You Don’t Have To

If you’ve ever wanted to know what bloggers think about a particular topic, you might have used the “blog search” option on Google, which conveniently sorted out the blogs from the news articles and shopping pages. Unfortunately, Google Blog Search is no more, leaving those of us who used to rely on it scratching our heads and searching for a workaround.

Why search just blogs? News articles can be a little biased:

1. Some of them don’t state an opinion at all (AP articles, etc.)

2. Some are subject to advertiser or sponsor influence (e.g., Washington Post is not likely to talk straight about owner Jeff Bezos)

3. Some go through endless rounds of editing to the point where you can’t be sure if one person actually wrote it

For this reason, some corporations and organizations might find the “straight talk” of a blog to more accurately represent what the people are thinking. The best bloggers also have demonstrated the ability to build dedicated audiences, making their words very influential.

While it’s not impossible to search blogs on Google (you can still filter blogs in your news searches under the “Search Tools” button) the results are not as extensive as the old Google Blog Search. So, what’s an internet researcher to do?

You can jimmy the system by adding Google Blog Search (tbm=blg) to the end of the URL in your browser’s address bar: http://www.google.com/search?tbm=blg.

What’s a Google application? You can find all of them here: http://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/58550/what-does-tbm-mean-in-google-search

Source: Internet for Lawyers

Could your company use product or topic research on the web? Contact us today at info@mammothundertakings.com.

Are You Taking Advantage of LinkedIn?

Are you missing something in your social marketing? You direct so much time and attention to your Facebook, Twitter and blog–probably because everyone you know is constantly updating, sharing, posting and promoting on those pages. And there’s nothing wrong with this at all. But don’t forget that LinkedIn account gathering dust, because colleagues and prospects are checking that as well.

Recently, Inman News published its 5 rules for LinkedIn Lead Generation, which lists its recommended rules for making the most of this underutilized social network,

AGBeat has a nice feature on what you should and should not be doing on your LinkedIn account. In a nutshell, you should treat it like a marketing web site that requires a certain amount of maintenance and updating, yet the nature of LinkedIn is slightly drier and more focused on professional networking. In other words, this is not the place to post some of the content you might be promoting on Facebook and Twitter, but items with a little more of an industry bent. Some highlights of the article include:

Upload a professional photo. This isn’t Facebook. Having a picture of a flower or your dog isn’t going to cut it. Your front photo should be a professional-looking photo of yourself. This is a more formal site, and your picture should be chosen accordingly.

Don’t use LinkedIn like Facebook and Twitter. This is not a casual forum and you don’t want to post things that are irrelevant to your industry. Post items that people in your network will want to know about and focus on building your brand and professional presence. That’s what the site is used for.

From a broad perspective, each of your social networking channels serves a specified purpose, whether quick thoughts (Twitter), photos and text (Facebook), longer keyword based content (WordPress, Blogger, Joomla), video (YouTube), and so on. Consider LinkedIn a place that needs some storefront upkeep, but with a different approach. This is a place to develop your brand and business.

By |2017-06-11T22:05:50+00:00December 5th, 2014|Categories: Content, Social Media|Tags: , |