Saturday, December 26, 2009

Corporate Webtribution

Earlier this month Elizabeth Bernstein at the Wall Street Journal coined the phrase Webtribution as the personal act of getting your own back online. She highlights how easy it is for an individual's reputation to be wrecked using email and other online methods.

However although its easy to attack a person's personal brand, its even easier for a badvocate to attach your company, regardless of whether they have a legitimate grievance or not.

So what can an organisation do in advance to protect itself from this activity?

1. Firstly register all likely domains that your organisation needs and as many of the ones you don't want to be used against you. These include all popular TLD's (top level domains), common misspellings (especially if your domain is even slightly difficult to spell or obscure) and obvious insulting ones such as mycompanysucks.com, etc.

2. Find out what the general public and customers are saying about you. . Search for yourself on search engines weekly and set up Google alerts and Twitter monitoring services (e.g. http://www.tweetscan.com/) on your company and brand terms.

3. Claim the first 10 results of Search Engine Results Pages - especially in Google which still has the lion's share of the search market - for each major term.
There are a number of ways to do this such as:
- registering your company on Linkedin.com (here is the profile of Ideal Interface as an example) and Naymz.com
- using sub-domains for your different online services / offerings (e.g. Yahoo)

4. If you haven't already... start and maintain a blog.
This will not only act as a useful resource of information for prospective & existing customers, but will help your Search Engine Optimisation efforts around your key brand terms.
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