Social Media, Search & Reputation Management: SMX East 2010

Moderator: Vanessa Fox, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land


Tarla Cummings, SEO/Social Media Manager, Location3 Media
Rhea Drysdale, COO, Outspoken Media
Conrad Saam, Marketing, Avvo
Matt Tuens, CEO, AcuVox, Inc.
Tarla Cummings speaking
Last session of the conference. Rhea takes the podium first.

The case for rep management:

  • Google OneBox: not too social, but when you click in you start seeing reviews and those reviews are pulled from all sorts of sites. Local listing results are also at the top of SERPs
  • Vertical turned into Universal: videos, images, news results all can come up for a search result.
  • <strike>SearchWiki</strike> Starred results: SearchWiki has become starred results. Users can bookmark results.
  • SideWiki: She had a hard time finding anything with a SideWiki result. The only people using it were in social media or SEO. She doesn’t see anyone really using this, so it probably won’t become an issue.
  • Real-time search: Google incorporates real-time updates
  • 40 percent of adults 30 and older use social sites in the fall of 2009.
  • 73 percent of adult profile owners use Facebook, 40 percent have a MySpace profile, 14 percent use LinkedIn
  • 37 percent of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter

Case Study

  1. Local Business Listing: check out to see if your business in local listings and that it’s filled out completely
  2. Use the Web site: this is often underestimated. Can you get your other properties or sub-domains to rank?
  3. Sitelinks or indented results: anything you can do to push negative below the fold is great
  4. Wikipedia: very powerful but not everyone deserves a Wikipedia page
  5. Get in front of the news: the easiest way to replace bad news is with good news
  6. Profiles to rank: have profiles on places like Twitter and Facebook, even if you’re just going to claim it
  7. Industry profiles to rank: Better Business Bureau, Indeed for job postings, etc.
  8. Profiles to push: use something like to register your brand across tons of social sites
  9. Get social: lead with the brand name so you’re using a strong ranking signal
  10. Brand monitoring: play whack-a-mole whenever something else comes up

Up next is Tarla. Search rep management is keeping the first search engine results pages free and clear of negative results from branded search queries.


  • Ripoff Report
  • ComplaintsBoard
  • Yelp
  • [brand]
  • Anti-Facebook profiles
  • Negative news stories

Build positive assets to outrank negative listings. Caveat: engage with social profiles, don’t just set it and forget it for the sake of ranking.


  • Connect with employees and encourage them to connect as well
  • Add applications
  • Update content
  • Engage with the community
  • Answer questions


  • Choose a branded vanity URL
  • Brand the profile
  • Content, content, content
  • Engage with the community


  • Choose a branded handle
  • Use brand terms in bio
  • Use branded terms in twets
  • Engage in the community
  • Provide compelling content
  • Build up followers base (more authority, better rankings)


  • Brand the channel
  • Brand each video
  • Include brand terms in video tags
  • Promote the videos
  • Engage in the community


  • Brand the profile
  • Brand each pic
  • Include brand terms in pic tags
  • Continually upload photos


  • Brand the domain
  • Brand the blog name
  • Regular blog posts
  • Tactfully include brand name in occasional posts
  • Remember content comes first

Branded domains (most success, more so than social sites)

  • www.[brand]
  • www.[brand]
  • www.[brand]
  • www.[brand]etc…

It takes months to for any of these options to rank, it’s not an overnight solution.

  • Link up your assets
  • Cross promote your social media profiles
  • On your site
  • Throughout the social profiles
  • Use SEO tactics to increase SERP position for all assets

Track your results. Regularly monitor all branded search queries for both positive and negative results.

Matt is next. He’s going to talk about the proactive approach to rep management. If you leverage engagement with audience before something goes wrong, you’ll be in a good position for future success.

Benefits of proactive rep management:

  • Connect with audience, creating a relationship
  • Opens lines of communication
  • Establishes the ongoing conversation
  • Displays on openness, and honesty
  • Build and increase trust
  • Creates a stronger relationship and bond with your customers
  • Learn more
  • React to market changes faster and better
  • Builds up your reputation ahead of any problems
  • Gives you an established foundation
  • Makes management more effective
  • Builds army of vocal supporters
  • Better press
  • Positive reputation with non-customers

So how do we do this?

1. Make your site the authority of information in your industry.

  • Most knowledgeable
  • Most helpful
  • Most up to date
  • Open
  • Trustworthy
  • The go-to business
  • Will incur fewer problems
  • Stronger foundation when issues arise

2. Have social aspects in your site

  • At least 1 blog
  • Forum
  • Social network functionality
  • Constant feedback

3. Facebook

  • Be active, proactive and open
  • Create conversation and interaction
  • Customize look and functionality of you page
  • Create multiple accounts
  • Launch products, updates, specials
  • Publicize new content
  • Encourage feedback
  • Trumpet wins
  • Great look behind the scenes

Taking home my coverage of SMX West 2010 is Conrad. Brand management is an anonymous, litigious, mean-spirited, competitive…

There’s no bad PR in SEO. When a client was being sued, the negative stuff they generated meant his client got lots of links coming in. Plus, Joe Consumer likes to read about this kind of drama.

When you engage with community online, don’t be a jerk. The lawyer suing his client, has been cited for professional misconduct. It’s even in his Wikipedia page. When Barbara Streisand sued a photog for $50 million for taking a pic of her house, everyone found out and thought she was a jerk.

Nutjob Bell Curve

Nutjob Bell Curve

Don’t associate or interact with either side of the bell curve. That’s the exception to the engage, engage, engage motto.

Dealing with Threats

  • Don’t wrestle with pigs, like anti-[you] Facebook pages.
  • Embrace your raving fans. They’re very vocal and positive for you.
  • When dealing with threats, always respond, don’t go into detail, and be polite.
  • Go public when you’re under threat.


Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (1)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent Social Media Marketing posts is better than the last!

One Reply to “Social Media, Search & Reputation Management: SMX East 2010”

Reputation Management has become a huge part of business the past few years. We often have clients that ask us how they can “work” on their reputation. It would also be nice to see some information to use as a guideline to guide companies on what they can and cannot do legally.


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