Australian Social Media Marketing Network

Brand Reputation

Ask and Google Answers – being aware of expert advice without context

Ask and Google Answers - being aware of expert advice without context

In 2008 the Atlantic had a great article by Nicholas Carr titled  “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Carr says

What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

Learning how to successfully harness an inquiry by conducting effective research on Google taking ownership of ones own learning is the secret to becoming a life-long learner. It’s a vital trait too. There are many people who talk about the dangers of Google, yet how many people do you mix with that do not access this service 5-25 times a day?

Are attempts from a author to attach a ticket price to information from Google more worrying? An ebook on how to market with Facebook will set you back $25 on one website. For the person that told you “I can just google it” they can seemingly now do this with one hand while holding a credit card in the other. Presto!

Where does this fit in in a wider marketing context? How has this been tested? Is this latest trick replicating something done previously? Is there an opposing view available?

Coke Health Benefits

Is there an opposing view available, or is this information out of date?

Google at times seems like an excuse for us to concentrate less on what’s in front of us, leaning on Google for anything we can’t remember. If businesses use Google to solely solve business/marketing challenges then they are rolling the dice.

This is compounded when we go to a source that, we think, appears trustworthy or at least well intentioned. There are hundreds of these in the social media space. At best we receive information often with limited local context. For example, at time of writing Twitter Cards are not widely available in Australia however they are in some overseas territories. For every reputable website there are probably 100 that are full of information that’s inaccurate, unreliable or worse.

It is one thing to feed ourselves (and others) with trivial facts and information we can easily get online, it is another to receive value, context or broad perspective and strategy when it counts.

Treat Commercial Sites Warily

Sites run by some companies are more often than not trying to sell you something. And if they’re trying to sell you something, chances are whatever information they’re presenting will be tilted in favor of their product, service, event, ebook or online course.

Beware of Bias

Reporters write a lot about politics, and there are plenty of political websites out there. But many of them are run by groups that have a bias in favor of one political party or philosophy. This is no different the marketing sphere. Trust must be built on a human-to-human level in the new business environment

Check the Date

As an internet user you need for the most up-to-date information available, so if information seems old, it’s probably best to steer clear. One way to check – look for a “last updated” date on the page or site.


What most of us can benefit from is using logic and context to solve problems on our own and as part of a team, while showing true understanding of the environment we will be working on. The difference between an experienced professional and an inexperienced professional is not so much knowing the answer to a question but rather knowing there is a question to be answered.

Search engines can supplement instruction and research, and are incredible tools for data acquisition, but knowing when and how to use them is crucial — not only to prevent misuse or over-reliance on these resources, but to also make use of them as important tools in an environment where solving problems is often going to be bigger than you and a few mouse clicks.

Beating Bullying and Social Media

Beating Bullying and Social Media

In the face of increasingly shocking headlines, an underlying issue exists around cyberbullying using Social Media.

The online environment carries a perceived anonymity and distance from the victim for abusers. Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass others in a deliberate, abusive manner – either through email, text message, instant message, or through posts on website forums and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

The headlines belie a complex and worrying behaviour online.

For anyone working alongside a public identity, or is a public figure themselves there is a responsibility to identify and address the issue early.

In Australia the Criminal Code Act 1995, makes it an offence to misuse telecommunication services to menace, threaten or hoax other persons.

In addition, anti-stalking laws have been used in cases of cyberbullying. An example is the 2010 prosecution for stalking in Victoria by a man who sent several threatening text messages to a person who then committed suicide.

The perpetrator pleaded guilty to the charge and received an 18- month community-based order.

‘Think Before You Type’

Government must invest in online safety if we are to better protect people from the impact of cyber-bullying and reduce its prevalence.

Special efforts are needed to address the disproportionate level of cyberbullying that occurs among girls, LGBT youth, and youth with disabilities.

As an industry we need to coordinate efforts to help set standards about what is acceptable behaviour online. Educational efforts could target youth with messages about tolerance and respect, and outreach efforts should target these vulnerable groups with messages of support and information on how to seek help if involved in cyberbullying.

Professional marketing organisations and agencies could make publicly available best-practice social media risk matrices and filtering guides for the public to utilise.

It is crucially important to use a combination of search filters and blocking practices in place to – at least partially – shield cyberbullying attempts. Filters and blocking are simple actions  are easy to set up when you are first establishing your presence on social media or at any time.

For those who think they are or may be the victims of criminal conduct, the first step must always be to report matters to the police. Do not shut down a social media account before consulting with the police, as vital evidence may be lost in the process. 

Cyber bullying

Are You Effectively Managing Your Online Reputation?

Are You Effectively Managing Your Online Reputation?

Did you know:

Social Media ReputationOver 60% of consumers utilise the internet and social media to conduct research and post reviews on products, customer service and company executives. This is changing the business landscape that you, as an organisation, can either ignore and pay the price or embrace and capitalise on.

Customer feedback is of course an integral cog in the business wheel. Social media has simply increased the canvas on which customers can comment but has also allowed businesses on the same playing field – you just have to be prepared to play.

And preparation is the key.

First you need to have a social media presence in order to hear what is being said about you and your company as well as giving you the vehicle to respond.

You then have to have a strategic plan in place on how to deal with what you hear and how you can be proactive in fostering a positive online reputation. After all, not all feedback is negative – you can cultivate positive social advocates through social media as well.

Having this plan will ensure you respond carefully, showing your customers you are paying thoughtful attention to them and can sometimes even turn a complainant into a supporter.

Bad social media postings about your company are inevitable and can lead to a loss of reputation and sales. A recent article on highlighted the importance for companies to manage their online reputation stating “Word of mouth has always been a powerful way to build or destroy a business’s reputation. With social media, word of mouth is more powerful than ever.”

If you want the power to build your company’s brand and reputation, please contact me for assistance in developing your Social Media Reputation Management Strategic Plan.

Rae Brindley