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The Role of Reputation in Mobile

Posted on 9.19.2013

Mobile has been disruptive to say the least. It's forcing every enterprise to rethink how they design products and their digital presence in general, how they market and promote their products, and how they interact with consumers. With more users clicking, swiping and tapping throughout the day, how does the shift impact the reputation of businesses and enterprises? To find out, Website Magazine posed a few questions to Brand.com's Michael Zammuto on the importance of brand reputation in a more mobile world. 

WM: With the proliferation of smartphones (and mobile usage in general), what role does reputation management play?

MZ: The dramatic increases in mobile usage increases the complexity and importance of reputation management. Mobile users are often researching purchasing decisions online as they are preparing to make a decision. These decisions range enormously from searching for local restaurant to browsing product information in your local Best Buy, to looking up movie reviews and looking at apartment floor plans. Mobile users are also able to comment and share things on social media, review sites and much more. Search engines often deliver different results to mobile user for the same search query because the context for searches is different. 

WM: What mistakes do companies make most often on social review sites like Yelp and others?

MZ: It is a mistake for businesses to embrace anonymous, advertising supported review sites like Yelp! Review sites like these can encourage malicious and inaccurate reviews. Search engines look at the activity these reviews get in determining how highly to rank them in search results about your company. Negative reviews draw attention and clicks which increases advertising revenue for review sites. The first thing we tell clients is to never go to a review site again. Don’t support them and don’t try to manage them. You can’t and when they turn against you there is very little you can do about it. Treat any site that you do not control that comes up in search results for your company name that you do not control as negative or potentially negative. You will note below that Yelp themselves have some problems with reviews

WM: How much of an investment does a full-fledged reputation management campaign require?

MZ: What you should do depends on how much return can be gained by a campaign. Your search results are probably one of the main ways new clients find you so it sits at the heart of your marketing program. If your firm has not already been attacked and it is not highly prominent you can use free tools like the Brand.com Command Center and Completed.com to analyze, manage and monitor your reputation. Releasing press releases and setting up social media profiles which can be manage through the Command Center are among other free or cheap techniques that firms can utilize. If negative search results are costing you money or if inaccurate or irrelevant results are hurting sales then you should pay for a campaign to enhance your brand or suppress negatives. Our campaigns involve a combination of top quality news, highly authoritative blogs, access to our review network and other elements and the proper size of the campaign budget varies widely by goals and the challenge. Campaigns can range from a few thousand dollars to millions every year so you really need to have an expert assess what is needed. 

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