Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t remember the last time that I felt like more of nerd than I did while typing, “Gatorade’s new social media command center.“Â I would have to score that title a 7/10 on the ‘dorkiness’ scale.Â To be honest, I can’t take even take credit for it either.Â A recent article was published yesterday at Mashable.com, the social media powerhouse.
Adam Ostrow of Mashable managed to get an inside look at Gatorade’s new social media/marketing center. Â However, as ridiculous as that title sounds, it does underscore the ever-growing importance of social media as well as online reputation management.
Importance of Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management and social media have become tremendously important–both to companies that market products online as well as companies that sell products through retail outlets. Without having a substantial online presence including websites, blogs, as well as social media content on the internet to support your brand, you can be susceptible to attacks from unscrupulous competitors or people who have nothing better to do with their time.
[box type=”important”]Here’s what I’m talking about… Try typing just the word, “Gatorade” in a Google search.Â What you’ll find to no one’s surprise is that Gatorade owns their brand name for the first page of a Google search and much of the results after.[/box]
*** Other results included Google image search as well as some Google News stories.[/box]
Notable Items from Page 2 of Google Search
What Can Your Company Learn from Gatorade?
Well, for starters Gatorade makes a good, simple product that does have a very solid reputation.Â However, command center aside, they’ve also done a very good job at owning their brand name on page 1 of Google.Â I know this sounds cheesy, but it’s very important for companies to follow in the same footsteps.Â Page 1 of Google is ‘your house’ and you have to ‘protect your house.’
Looking at the Mashable story, for example, though it was a favorable story, even a prominent website like Mashable was only able to penetrate page 3 of Google for their recent article.Â Now, that’s pretty crazy.Â If a story was written about your company and published on the Mashable website, I would be surprised if it didn’t rank in the top 2 on a Google search.
Why does this matter? When it comes to onlineÂ reputation management, it’s far more important to be proactive rather than reactive.Â Negative stories attract far more attention than positive ones and regardless of whether or not there’s a grain of truth to them, people will click them, they will read them, and many of them will believe them.Â Conversely, it’s far easier to buffer yourself ahead of time with solid reputation management while it’s nearly impossible to bury a negative story after the fact.
How to Be Like Gatorade?
To start off with, you’ll again take note that Gatorade has multiple domains registered with unique content on each website.Â Many of these domains have substantial PageRank which likely reflects extensive organic search engine optimization on each domain as well.
After that, you’ll notice the usual sites like a twitter account, Facebook fan page, a Wikipedia, followed by press releases and news articles.
Depending on your company’s budget, starting with a Twitter account and Facebook Fan page is a good start either way as they’re free and rank very well in Google searches.Â Next, it’s very inexpensive to register and host various domains these days.Â Organic SEO can get fairly expensive if you hire a professional SEO firm, but a month of organic SEO will probably cost you less than a single press release through PR Newswire.
Back to the Story from Mashable…
Gatoradeâ€™s Sr. Marketing Director, Consumer & Shopper Engagement Carla Hassan was quoted by Mashable regarding the goal of this recent project to:
“take the largest sports brand in the world and turn it into largest participatory brand in the world.”
Adam Ostrow, again from Mashable, made the following conclusion which I completely agree with:
“To that end, the companyâ€™s not only monitoring its brand on social media, but giving its fans increased access to its athletes and scientists.”
To Gatorade’s credit, they refer to this room simply as the command center which does sound far cooler at least.Â They even seem to be able make social media seem cool in the video below: