Reputation transparency is a good thing these days if you’re a business of any size. People like to think they can relate to you and that you’re not perfect and make mistakes, and how you answer those mistakes and improve on them should be visible.
I just started reading Radically Transparent by Andy Beal and Judy Strauss and I have to say that so far so good. A lot of what it takes to be an SEO consultant has to do with PR. How well you market yourself will be how well companies think you can market them, and keep up a positive reputation for the company. This ties back in to my last post, how negative reviews on review sites and blogs can dramatically damage a company’s reputation, but this holds true for a company of ANY size. I don’t care if you’re a one-man Air Conditioning company who has a 200 square-foot storage space, if you have a dissatisfied customer, chances are that it can end up on the web no matter who your clientele is. Think just because you’re putting duct work in a hood house in West Baltimore that they can’t jump on Insiderpages.com or Google/Yahoo! local and rip your ass to shreds?
The book also mentions how companies such as Wal-Mart who go out of their way to post ghost reviews who are favorable to absolutely everything about their own company have suffered once they were exposed. JetBlue bouncing back from their Valentine’s Day ice storm debacle, Dell fighting fire with fire after they created their own blog to receive customer feedback and suggestions after a famous blogger questioned their warranty procedures resulting in a mass uprising, and Home Depot’s customer service issues (which I’m always a fan of considering I spend half of my life and income there) are a few topics touched on so far.
The best part about the book is that is is recently published and up-to-date enough to pass on some imprtant modern resources like Technorati, Flickr, Youtube, the rise of Facebook founder Matt Cutts(if you google “Matt” he comes up about 20 times. Now THAT’s e-power), and a few basic SEO pointers.
I recommend checking this out, I’ll post some quotes after I finish reading.