Corporate web sites are designed to build reputation and market share. The very best sites go beyond a map of the company’s strategic goals to offer knowledge, learning and resources to the visitor. But they are of little help in revealing what’s going on from the inside. For that we can turn to unofficial online sites.
You can’t hide anything from social media – that’s the whole point of web 2.0. It’s interactive and [gasp] brand management is no longer under the sole control of the corporation. If you doubt this at all look up your own company using Google, Twitter search or Bing. How much of what you find on the first page of results is self generated and how much is external content?
Even more interesting is the information contained within LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking site much like Facebook. By creating a search based on a company name you can locate comments people post about that company — many of them will have been written by current and past employees. Here is a link to the advanced search feature.
All these things coalesce to form a picture: the accidental corporate brand.