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Altimeter Partner Warns of ‘Reputation Inertia’

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Altimeter Group partner and technology columnist Michael Gartenberg closed out mediabistro.com’s Think Mobile conference this week with a discussion titled, “Social Ubiquity: The Disruption When Mobile and Social Networks Intersect.”

Gartenberg explained–for better or worse–mass adoption of smart phones has created a “social ubiquity,” causing the need for brands to not only monitor social networks, but have a strategy to respond in real time:

If you have a brand and you’re not monitoring what’s being said about your brand in real-time, you’re making a mistake. But it’s not just having the information — you have to be able to respond instantly, and you have to be able to respond in real-time. Eventually, the voices of 100 million start to show truth.

For the PR profession, the funnel of word-of-mouth information has changed drastically. Once upon a time, mainstream media was the driving force behind discussions at the water cooler.

Now, as Gartenberg explained, consumers’ social network relationships and recommendations from people they don’t know can drive decisions, and “now include real-time information, contextual data, social factors beyond the physical sphere of influence and reach — information that is always available, always on, persistent, and in-pocket.”

The recent Tweet-flap between filmmaker Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines was used as example du jour.

MobileContentToday and its Twitter feed have more information on the Think Mobile conference.

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