What Google’s Sidewiki Means for Corporate Reputation Management – Part II

In our last post, we discussed how Google’s Sidewiki launch has sent corporate anxiety regarding brand management and PR off the charts. Today we’ll offer some tips for managing and monitoring Sidewiki.

# 1 – Thicken Thy Skin. Dealing with public consumer feedback from a multitude of channels is now a fact of life for any organization. If customers don’t find you on Sidewiki, they’ll find you on Twitter or on blogs. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but do create guidelines defining when to respond to legitimate brand or service issues in a timely and effective manner. Also, be open to constructive feedback and how it might be used to improve your organization.

#2 – Post news. There’s nothing stipulating that you can’t use Sidewiki as yet another channel to communicate with your customers. Assign someone from your staff to post the news there that you would normally post on your Web site or social media pages. This allows your organization’s voice to be heard just as loudly as your customers’.

#3 – Monitor it. Include Sidewiki in your daily sweeps through Google News alerts, Twitter, Facebook and other Web monitoring that you may be doing. But don’t spend much time on it. There are likely far more people talking about you on Twitter, Facebook, news sites and the blogosphere, so accordingly, you should put 98% of PR & monitoring efforts there. If Sidewiki’s popularity grows, then ratchet up your efforts as needed.

# 4 – Vote. Ask your valued clients and friends to vote on comments. If your Sidewiki falls victim to haters (see the Guardian’s article “Why Framing Your Enemies is Now Virtually Child’s Play”) those associated posts can be voted down rather quickly.

# 5 – Put it into perspective. A tiny portion of the Web population is using Sidewiki so far. You might be surprised with how few comments are publicly displayed on some highly trafficked Web sites so far:

  • Apple.com – 20 comments
  • Salesforce.com – 9 comments
  • WhiteHouse.gov – 2 comments
  • GoIsrael.com – 1 comment

Besides, you might be surprised at how nice some of the comments actually are. In our informal survey, any site with at least ten comments has at least one scathing one so far, but in many cases the comments are quite helpful.



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