Manipurated is a manifesto for business owners struggling against an online ratings and reviews industry that is holding their businesses hostage through manipulative practices. Manipurated uniquely combines an expose of the shifty inner workings of this industry with a step-by-step playbook to empower the 30 million American business owners desperately trying to fight back. In today s hyperconnected world, business owners are confronted with the challenge of managing their online reputation right out of the gate. The first weekend for a new deli, salon, cafe, or boutique store can be make-or-break with online reviews. Few business owners understand that amazing businesses can be permanently damaged with a few bad reviews. Managing a reputation online requires skills and tactics that are not always intuitive to business owners. Manipurated gives business owners an insider s view of how the multibillion-dollar ratings and reviews machine systematically stacks the cards against them and more important, empowers business owners to fight back with a six-step playbook to defend, control, and enhance their business s online reputation. Both a warning and a call to action, Manipurated is a must-read for all small business owners who depend on online reviews."
Daniel Lemin is a startup co-founder, trusted advisor and bestselling author on reputation management, digital marketing, and social media customer service. As an early member of Google’s global communications team Daniel led the launch of products in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, and edited the Google Zeitgeist weekly research report featured in over 40 markets worldwide.
He is the CMO and co-founder of Selectivor, a food intelligence startup that helps people stay healthy through personalized eating.
His new book with co-author Jay Baer, Talk Triggers, explores word-of-mouth marketing and lays out an indispensable framework for building them in your own organization.
Daniel regularly provides expert commentary on TV and in high-profile publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, CBS Radio, and Fox News, and speaks and leads workshops across the nation. He writes for the world’s most popular content-marketing blog, which appears on the Convince & Convert website. In 2015, he released his first book, Manipurated.
A native of Ohio, Daniel earned his MA in communications and leadership from Gonzaga University. He lives in Los Angeles with his cocker spaniel, Truman.
As someone who runs a ratings company, this is a difficult book for me to review. My company (Locals Love Us) doesn't do reviews, just ratings, and so I think we avoid many of the pitfalls that the author outlines. I say all this just so you know that I'm not coming at this with an unbiased opinion.
With that said, the first of the two parts of this book was mystifying to me. Lemin employs some extremely loaded rhetoric against ratings and review sites, as the title of his book, Manipurated suggests. "These sites are robbing you of the opportunity to influence [people's] perception of your business," he writes. They've got "businesses such as yours squarely in the bull's-eye."
All of this is an attempt to position himself as being on the side of the business owners who are frustrated with ratings and review sites (and there are many of those). But it struck me as over-the-top and actually ends up detracting from his main (and important) message that doesn't come until chapter five: business' "top source of new customers is rating-and-review sites."
For those who can wade through all of this and still want to work with ratings and review sites to gain those customers, the second half of the book has some extremely practical and useful information. Lemin effectively shows why businesses can't afford to ignore ratings and review sites and he gives them the tools to be able to do so. His explanations of the big players in the game (Yelp, Angie's List, TripAdvisor, etc.) are very helpful even though the web evolves so quickly that a published book is out of date almost the minute it is printed.
Pick up this book to learn more about sites that allow people to rate and review the places they do business. If you're a business owner who has had problems with these sites, you might enjoy the first half of the book. If you aren't, I would recommend skipping straight to chapter six.