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Strategies for Legally Generating and Monitoring Online Reviews

by · February 12, 2015

Businesses of all sizes and in all industries must embrace online reviews if they’re not doing so already.

Consumers are regularly crowdsourcing for the scoop on products and services, in particular reading online reviews. According to quarter three data from 2014, Yelp averaged 139 million monthly visitors.

And consumers are increasingly relying upon these reviews. According to Nielsen’s 2012 Global Trust in Advertising survey, featuring responses from more than 28,000 people globally, online consumer reviews are the second most-trusted form of advertising.

But the information contained in online reviews is often not factual or a business’s review page may simply not be representative of actual customer satisfaction – whether overly negative or even inflated positively.

Thus businesses cannot turn a blind eye to online reviews, as these reviews are often quite influential and can impact the success of any business, fair or not.

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How to Respond to Online Brand and Reputation Attacks

by · August 26, 2014

Online brand and reputation attacks have become some of the easiest and most impactful mechanisms for individuals and companies to cause serious harm to businesses.

These types of attacks can originate from a variety of sources, but most commonly the “attackers” are competitors, disgruntled employees, unhappy customers, dissatisfied investors, extortionists or other people and businesses who become upset with a company and want to cause that company serious damage.

Further, these attacks come in many forms, including:


The Complicated Ethics of Reviews & Ratings

by · January 29, 2013

The single social necessity we all have as humans is not to have power, but to not be left powerless. This fundamental principle led pilgrims to new lands, colonists to organize governments and oppressed of all walks of life to rally against those holding the notion of powerlessness over them.

And so it comes to bear on the Internet. Protecting your reputation is an activity all people and organizations should participate in. Companies are especially keen to this practice because the liberation of publishing has led to the simple fact that anyone can post anything about anything online, regardless of motive or motivation, with little recourse in the offing. Sure, libel and slander online are still libel and slander, but there’s a whole lot of reputation-sensitive content that won’t fall under the guise of legal precedent.


The Fundamental Flaw Of Yelp’s Solicited Review Stance

by · October 23, 2012

Ratings and reviews are an incredibly important resource for consumers online. Sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon convince diners to eat, or not eat, at restaurants every day. Other resources like Google Places, CitySearch, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor and more help people make purchase decisions on everything from vacations to plumbers and beyond.

According to most recent data from The Social Habit, online review sites were the second-most important resource for consumers considering a purchase behind the company’s website. As a result, smart marketers are paying closer attention to where they are reviewed, how many positive or negative reviews are there and how and when they, as a brand, can respond to them.


Think Like a Startup, Act Like a Blogger

by · February 22, 2012

The best startups focus unwaveringly around one thing: solving a real-world problem.

The best bloggers focus intensely on another thing: participating and publishing in social media.

Combine the two and your organization has a simple framework for success in the digital space.

Think like a startup: What problem are we truly trying to solve?

Startups launch fast, get feedback, and react quickly. When Yelp first launched, the platform’s focus was getting friends to email each other requests for their recommendation of a service. While that idea fell flat with their audience, the concept of social business reviews did catch on and the site became a huge success.


9 Ways Your Business Needs To Change To Become Social

by · August 16, 2011

Social media has changed the way we do almost everything.  We make buying decisions, find jobs, play games, listen to music and learn socially.   But for business it’s clearly been a more challenging shift.  Engaging in social media requires a fundamental change to the way businesses function and think. No wonder so many are slow to embrace social media and devote budgets to it.

The challenge is that most businesses are stuck in traditional thinking and marketing that doesn’t translate well to a social atmosphere, on- or off-line. While many people are advocating the evolution of businesses to becoming, “social businesses,” few people are outlining specific changes that will help them.


Geolocation done right

by · November 10, 2010

There’s an old maxim in television newsrooms, that you’re not going to get the audience’s attention unless you clearly sell the WIIFM.

(What’s In It For Me.)

That’s been the failing of so many services within the social media space. It took Twitter more than three years to brand itself as a platform for news. For the longest time, it floundered as people stared at that “What are you doing?” prompt and still didn’t know what the service was about. Twitter is the exception, as most networks that don’t enunciate the WIIFM eventually die.