Today's Web 2.0 "Participation Nation" means that customers are talking about your products all over the Internet right now.
As we've discussed in recent weeks, an up-to-date online marketing approach today includes developing a complete "Product Presence" (See week one's post on this here) that extends far beyond your web site to include a strategy of "Distributed Engagement" (see last week's post on this here) that reaches out from your site to market to customers where they live and play online already.
Shockingly, these customers are talking about your product and services and web site without even asking your permission! They are commenting on blogs, reviewing your products on Amazon.com and eBay, they are "tweeting" commentary to each other on Twitter, and online forums on every topic imaginable are under way RIGHT NOW including discussion about your products.
I call this collection of customer conversations your "Reputation Cloud". It is the sum of your web site and all your marketing efforts, plus what customers (and competitors) are saying about your products online.
What are you doing to manage the 24/7 conversation in your company's Reputation Cloud?
In today's Web 2.0 world, your "Reputation Cloud" is now active - whether you are paying attention to it or not. It's the opportunity and responsibility of a modern marketer to pay attention, participate, encourage positive coverage, and try to ensure that your cloud stays clean.
You should do this by engaging in social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, by blogging and commenting on others' blogs, by regularly publishing email noozles, by micro-blogging on platforms like Twitter, by contributing videos to YouTube, and more.
The Reputation Cloud affects your sales.
Therefore its your responsibility as a marketer to participate online. And, if you don't manage the conversation, it's quite possible that unhappy customers (or even competitors) will.
The Reputation Cloud is an opportunity for marketeters who embrace customer interaction but a huge obstacle to those that don't. If you're reading this, you're ahead of the curve and I hope that you stay there by expanding your company's marketing strategies online today.
Encouraging your best customers to spread the word about your products is the major new opportunity offered to you by social media.
What do you think of the Reputation Cloud? Does this paradigm make sense to you?
What did I miss? Is the graphic an effective expression of these points?
Was this series of "Next Generation" marketing concepts useful to you? (They are likely to appear in my new book, so I'd love your feedback. Please leave me a Comment below?)
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