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This is the first in a series of interviews we will be doing with executives focused on Social Local Media

While much has been made of how social media is changing consumer behavior, advertisers are struggling to keep up with and make sense of this shiny new toy. Matthew Goldman is the executive director of product management for subscription ad products at ATT Interactive (parent of Goldman is ATTi’s point man on social strategies for its advertisers.

What Products Are You Responsible For?
I am responsible for Consumer & Advertiser Products including IYP products, YP 360, websites, mobile websites and social media products.

How Does ATTi Think About Social Media Regarding Its Advertisers?
Social needs to be interwoven into everything. Three years ago there was hardly any focus on social within the organization, and perhaps in the industry. Now it’s everywhere and we’ve bought into that.

We are providing the basics. For example, when we build a website for an advertiser it will have FB like button and Twitter feeds. If you add video there are video sharing tools and virtual tours. In addition you can add a Facebook Fan page to your site.

What Are You Doing for Reputation Monitoring?
In August 2010 we rolled out our Online Presence Manager, which allows a business to review its reviews from a variety of review sites. We are private labeling Marchex’s platform and integrating it with ATT’s single sign-on. Any ATT customer who buys any ad product, including a bold listing in the book, is provided with ability to sign up for a free/lite version. The lite version limits the number of trends you can track and provides a monthly email summary of activity. For businesses that don’t get a lot of reviews, this is a good way to start. The paid version is about $30/month and includes unlimited history and alerts and competitor comparison view, so you can see how the guy across the street is doing. We are seeing pretty strong take rates and now have over 10,000 customers, many of which are paid.

ATTi’s Online Presence Manager Reviews Dashboard

ATTi’s OPM Competitor Dashboard


Once Advertisers Sign Up for Reputation Monitoring, Do They Actually Use the Service?
We are seeing double-digit usage from those who sign up. There are basically two types of behaviors. The plumber who doesn’t get new reviews every day comes in and bounces out because they are not seeing any new data.

But once an advertiser is engaged in the service we are seeing them spend several minutes per visit and coming in more than one time per month. That said, the email reports allow the advertiser to engage with the data without actually using the site. When offered the email reporting, we usually get a good take rate.

One indicator of success is that our YouTube video on how to use the service has almost 10,000 views.

Does the Service Bring In a Lot of New Business?
The service is a good door opener, but for now it’s a marketing service vs. a lead generator. One of the benefits is that it unearths less visible sources of reviews. Not every review happens on Yelp after all. It’s a time-saver for businesses.

What’s the Future of Rep Monitoring Tools?
Our goal is to make it more about meaningful insight. I want them to log in and know what the best thing on their menu is or which employee needs more customer sensitivity training. When we see a change in review behavior we can ask the business if they made any changes on a certain date so they can correlate the two events.

As far as the future goes, we think about things like can we create a wizard that helps you figure out how to make a status update that’s relevant and then provide keys to “social SEO.”

When we amass this kind of data we can educate the business about how to use the data to market themselves.

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