Rob Key, CEO Converseon, on Consumer-Generated Media

Rob Key, CEO, Converseon, speaking at today’s conference:

You can download the slides from this presentation here: Converseon

3 of top 10 media sites are blogs

39% of top search engine listings for Business week 100 derived from consumer-generated media

Google allows max of 2 listings per domain, so out of top 10 sites, 8 are not your corporation’s site

David Weinberger: ‘Google is the home page of your corporation”

7.6m searches on the term “Walmart” last month, and most of the results are negative.

“brand is an experience that creates an impression”

Someone who’s addressing this technology well: the “Starwood Concierge” goes out and interacts with bloggers, addresses their concerns

Blogs can maximize “shelf space”, Converseon’s term for the first page of search engine results . their product is “Search Engine Reputation Management” (SERMA)

Jupiter: 75% search engine users never go beyond first page of results. Very rare for user to scroll past the top twenty (2 pages) of search results. Therefore, critical battleground for reputation management is what content appears in 1st 20 sites.

Push negative listings off the ‘visibility cliff’.

His guidelines:

  • Establish a corporate blog policy.
  • Harness, don’t squelch.
  • “Don’t be stupid.”
  • Be committed.
  • Speak with authenticity.
  • Take the high road.
  • Be prepared for critics.
  • Let your personality come thru.
  • Consider legal parameters.
  • Listen & respond.
  • Optimize.
  • WHAT NOT TO DO

    Create fake blogs, e.g., Mazda.

    Quixtar created a series of “adoration blogs”. They were called out on it.

    Don’t disguise your intentions. “I Hate Starbucks” started getting communications directly from Starbucks, and so he posted their enthusiastic messages online.

    Burger King’s attempt to market its ‘king’ masks was a failed attempt at viral marketing.

    Don’t ignore the conversation. E.g., Dell initially ignored Jeff Jarvis, but then realized they had to pay attention.

    I asked: your SERMA product is designed to lower the ranking of negative sites. From Google’s point of view, perhaps they believe that they can provide a better user experience by providing a diversity of views about a controversial subject, e.g., starbucks. So how are the search engines responding to your efforts?

    Rob Key said: the engines do value diversity of opinion. A PR firm is your advocate in the court of public opinion; you have the right to an advocate.