Heard of Google Sidewiki? It’s a Google toolbar that enables anyone to comment on any Web page for the world to see. Yes, any Web page. Including yours.
At less than three months old, Google Sidewiki has garnered mixed reviews. Some have said it has had little notable impact, and others argue that it is simply a retread of the StumbleUpon and Digg technologies. There’s a vocal contingent who suggest that SideWiki runs contrary to Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” mantra. What matters to marketers, though, is that Google Sidewiki is here, and there are some very interesting applications of Sidewiki worthy of our attention. In our opinion, it has the potential to be a game changer.
If you fancy yourself a progressive marketer, here are some tips to help you get ahead of the curve:
- Claim your site: By registering yourself as the site’s owner, your comments will be shown at the top of all Sidewiki comments collected. The folks at Vizion Interactive put together the video below to guide you towards official site ownership.
- Track your properties. Just as you are now monitoring Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., be sure to add SideWiki to the mix. After all, customer/user comments ride alongside your brand — on your turf — so awareness is critical. Sidewiki will soon be added to many of the social media monitoring tools out there, but in the meantime, the easiest way to see what’s going is via your site’s feed. Here’s a great post about how to grab your site’s Sidewiki feed.
- Monitor your competitors. If you can spot a chink in the armor of the competition via Google Sidewiki, you may be able to take advantage of the opportunity.
- Address customer service issues via the Sidewiki. What is your audience telling you? Are they unable to find contact information on your site? Comment right back with a phone number or e-mail address. Or take it a step further by making the appropriate changes to your site and note the updates via Sidewiki.
- Promote it. You ask for product feedback on Facebook, Twitter and on your blog. Why wouldn’t you ask for suggestions on your own site? Right now, your homepage tells your company’s story the way you want it told. But if you push happy customers to participate via Sidewiki– those messages might just ring truer than ever.
So get to it. It’s still early, so chances are your comment will be the first. But there’s nothing wrong with that.