Friday, February 06, 2009

StepRep Update: Reputation Management One Account at a Time

This morning I published a post called Strengthen Your Online Search Reputation on the StepRep blog. This post is a continuation of the previous 2 posts on linking. Your linking can greatly affect your search profile - the results that someone sees when they search for you or your company. Hopefully these 3 posts are helpful for people that are looking for a high level plan to start improving their online reputation.

Yesterday the VendAsta team attended the CSSS career fair at the University of Saskatchewan Computer Science Department. It was great to get out and talk to students that will be coming out of the program. We've already received applications for summer students and from graduating students. Hopefully we find some good matches.

By way of an update on our 2 initiatives:

Today, the HomeBook team wrapped up a sprint and started in on the planning of our last 30 day sprint before our public beta launch of HomeBook. We're super pumped to get it out to the world for a first look!

The StepRep team is winding down their StepRep improvement sprint. We're doing a few things in this milestone. We have some improvements and general styling to finish and we're also doing some architecture work for functionality that will be released in the next sprint (30 day milestone). We'll be wrapping this one up next week.

StepRep will officially be 1 month old on Sunday. Today, I'm gathering up a lot of feedback that we've generated from our first group of users and I'll post a bunch of them on the StepRep blog at the beginning of the week. I'll do this just to let everyone know that we are listening, we appreciate the feedback and we are acting on the feedback.

Lastly, I wanted to say a big thanks to Joel Burslem and Inman News for mentioning StepRep. Also wanted to thanks Missy Caulk, our favorite Ann Arbor Real Estate blogger (there's a little link love for you Missy!), for her post about us on ActiveRain. Of course, I was notified of these posts right away by StepRep! Whether a comment is good or bad, you have to be responsive. Luckily, we're seeing a lot of positive feedback...


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fusing the Age of Social Media with Marketing Principles

I bookmarked a good article on how to evolve marketing by fusing web 2.0 with sound marketing principles. Besides the very obvious plug for SilverPop, the article is has some good suggestions. Some of the better ones I have some comments on:

1. Speak from a place of service - Rather than blatant self promotion. Sounds obvious, but too many people don't get it. If you are using your blog or twitter account to spam thousands of people while trying to build awareness, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Especially on twitter, the best way to build your followers is to publish frequent, valuable content. People find you through feeds and if your tweets have value, you'll get followed. Further, using twitter's content search, people will find you through relevant information you publish on topics they are interested in. You can't splatter your name or your brand all over social media without adding value.

2. Cross-link all of your profiles and social groups. Common sense and I discussed it in my last two blog posts on linking and building a search profile on our StepRep blog. Don't forget to list these profiles, blogs and don't forget about your email footers and other marketing materials.

3. While I noted the obvious plug for SilverPop, I don't think this is a bad product. A more important point here is to clarify what viral should mean. Viral marketing is not trying to produce a video that is soo crazy millions of people are going to share it. A viral product is one that naturally spreads when it is used. Rather, the use of the product spreads it. While SP makes it easier for email messages to spread, an overall focus should be on trying to create something that is spread through it's practical use.

4. Lastly, the point on exclusivity is a good one. If you have several profiles that you are actively trying to promote and build, you have to make the content on them somewhat unique. Sounds simple but it multiplies the workload.

(Oh, and I had to comment - I liked the title of the article ;-) Catchy)