Should Squidoo be allowed to manage/mis-manage your brand’s reputation – Brands In Public
Yesterday, Seth Godin announced the launch of Squidooâ€™s latest venture â€œBrands in Publicâ€ â€“ a way for brands to quickly, cheaply and easily see what is being said in the majority of the social web. E-consultancy make a good summary of it.
Squidoo decide which brandâ€™s conversation they are going to â€œhijackâ€ and create a page which pulls in mentions of that brand as well as provide various on-page means for the public to respond to polls and questions about specific aspects of that brand.
For only $400, brands can then buy that page off Squidoo to grant them ownership of it and ensure that they can respond and better manage the content on that page (and, one assumes, customise, the on-page questions etc.)
Good? Hmm. Hardly.
The premise of the tools is that many brands who may be monitoring their reputation are not publicly handling the impact of the monitoring. I think thatâ€™s fair enough. Many brands are taking small, manageable steps into social media (understandably) and may not yet be ready to embark on a full-scale strategy, yet almost every single brand they have created a page for is a major multinational/multi-million Â£/$ company who already has at the very least one active social channel as part of their engagement strategy.
As a brand already in this space, you already know WHERE the conversation is taking place, you already know what is being said, and there is a good chance you know who the people are saying it and the sentiment of the comments being said. Why on earth would you need a BiP Page?
Which begs the question to whom IS the service aimed?
The good old Snake Oil salesman will walk into a client meeting to talk social media and inevitably pulls out a load of negative comments about that clientâ€™s brand and say â€œwe can manage this for youâ€¦blah, blah, blahâ€¦â€ and strike fear into the client to make them think they need to do something about it and quick. The snake oil comes out and the client ends up buying all sorts of services they neither understand or even understand if they need.
One might argue that as we move forward with the social web, that it will become brandâ€™s responsibility to aggregate conversation about them, but NOT an organisation who will benefit commercially from it.
Brands in Public is just a public version of this and itâ€™s not even that good. You could import a load of RSS feeds into Friendfeed and achieve the same thing. And who are Squidoo to determine what poll topics to put into a page?
Seth Godin hit on a great idea with Squidoo and few would question his ability to apply sound logic and common sense to your marketing, but I am genuinely surprised he is putting his name to this.
Sure, there is *someâ€ sense to this but it is otherwise just a cheap stunt with little value to anyone other than Squidoo.