Matt Cutts: Google’s Public Face

Ever heard of Matt Cutts? I’m guessing that if you’re not in the internet search community, you probably haven’t. (Unless you know his mother or something like that). Well, Matt works at Google. He’s the guy that Google puts in front of the cameras when there’s something to be said about their Search Engine.

He’s a face, an information source and a  personality to whom we can learn from, listen to and interact with. Google, one of the biggest companies on the planet, chose to give their Search Engine a face.

Did you notice how Tom Hessey of Sprint stars in the Sprint commercials? How about the Papa John’s guy being front and center in their marketing?  Even radio disc jockeys in the last 10 years have become more than just a voice.

Why Does a Face Matter?

Because that face matters. There is so much sincerity, honesty and trust that can be built with a smile than can ever be created with a tag line. Think about this. . . when was the last time you really felt like the people at your local telephone company, the DMV or that vending machine downstairs really understood you? How about Wal*Mart?

Now, turn around and think about your business.  Now that you’re looking at doing social media – have you considered the value of the human voice for your company? Have you considered how much more personal a picture is on Twitter than your company logo?

Narrow that even further. Think about that one person who buys your product and for some reason returns it.  Did you give that person enough reason to come back? Not every product fits every customer. . . that’s just part of the deal. But with a human voice, a smiling face and some sincerity – you can limit that person’s negative or blase feelings to the product itself.

Getting to know the people behind the company can do more for conversions than a perfectly sized, red opt-in box may ever do. Isn’t it cool when you know someone who works for the company? Don’t you feel more connected? I sure do wish I knew Matt Cutts better. . . and the only reason I say that is because I’ve seen him in action on video. He seems pretty cool.

That “connected” feeling truly turns into profits in the long run. How many times have you heard someone say

  • “I know a guy that works at X. . . they’ve got a great operation over there”?
  • “I met the weather guy from Channel 4 – he’s pretty cool. . . “
  • “Hey, when you get there ask for Trudy, she really helped me the last time”

Conversely, when there’s no face involved, you rarely hear someone say “Come by my office some day, our vending machine rocks”, or “You should use my hosting company, they never answer the phone but they have good prices.”

How Do You Introduce a Company Face?

First, determine strategically who should be this new face. There’s no sense in picking a lame duck, a summer intern or a mean-spirited person. That seems obvious I suppose – but you’d be surprised who don’t take time to think about it.

Will that person represent your brand well, inside and outside the job? Will you choose multiple people depending on their area of expertise?

Then just do it! Have them create their own Twitter Account that you tweet about from the company account. Introduce them on Facebook, BlogTalkradio, Cinchcast, YouTube and LinkedIn. In fact, look up Matt Cutts on YouTube to see what he does.

Have that person track questions they get asked and start making relevant response videos for YouTube. Use them by name and even write a press release for your local media.

Upload some photos throughout the web using the company name as the photo’s file name. That way internet searchers can find the face associated with the company name.

Consider buying Ask(Thatperson’s name).com and use it as the teleseminar or webinar registration page. Have that person answer WikiAnswers questions with the personal profile built and branded to the company.

Don’t limit yourself. People love a face.