Your company needs a Web 2.0 strategy

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:45 pm

    Is your web strategy up-to-date? Have you boosted your Internet investments to capitalize on newer techniques to encourage visitor collaboration, communication and feedback?

    If your answer to these two questions is no, your business could be falling behind. Businesses of all sizes and in all markets are realizing that consumers and other organizations want to connect with their organizations and others using the social media tools that have come to be packaged under the name "Web 2.0."

    Web 2.0 tools are all about individuals creating conversations using Web-based platforms that connect them through enhanced interaction, collective content creation and shared expertise.

    Among the Web 2.0 techniques that businesses are experimenting with are RSS feeds, podcasts, wikis, blogs and social networks. Collectively, these Web 2.0 tools can be extremely powerful in engaging your customers. Individually, they also provide utility that can help grow the connection you’re making with your customers.

    For example, Small Business Times uses several of these new tools, including RSS (really simple syndication) feeds and the Milwaukee Biz Blog, in addition to Webcasting. RSS feeds allow new content to be pushed to a viewer for delivery via a desktop or Web-based RSS newsreader like Bloglines, Newsgator or Pluck.

    This content delivery helps companies avoid delivery failure inherent in the e-mail delivery of content due to spam blockers and in-box fatigue. RSS feeds are being used for a wide range of content, including weekly promotions, blog postings, weather forecasts, sports scores, job listings, coupons, investor and public relations. 

    Blogs provide for an opportunity for your customers to hear your perspectives on your industry, products, services, markets or other topics that relate to your brand.  They also allow for your company to hear back when your customers comment on your postings or discuss your brand on other industry blogs. Adding a blog to your site can be relatively inexpensive, given the hosted blogging technologies from companies like Typepad, a leading blogging software provider. 

    Wikis take the blog concept one step further in that they allow for collective development of content. Where a blog has a writer or writers and allows for comments, a wiki is a collaborative document with multiple authors contributing all at once. There are hosted wiki services like PBWiki and SocialText that are being explored by companies looking to use them for product development, market research and other collaborative initiatives with their customers.

    Podcasts and Webcasts allow for the audio or video delivery of content that can be downloaded. Companies are using podcasts for technical support, educational programs and to deliver a range of other content in a more dynamic fashion.

    Social networks like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn have been all the rage. These comprehensive social networks allow users to share content, comment on content and participate in a conversation.

    Until recently, adding a social network at a small business site focused around a bulletin boards or chat. This has started to expand with the options available through hosted services like Ning, that allow you to create free advertising-supported social networks or to pay a fee for a more controllable, but useful service for your customers.

    By exploring these Web 2.0 tools and incorporating those that work for your business, you’ll be taking the next steps to engage your customers in a conversation that will build your business success.

     

    Paul Gibler, known as "The Web Chef," is the principal consultant for Connecting Dots (www.connectingdots.com), a Madison-based e-business and marketing strategic consulting and training company. Paul speaks on e-business and marketing, writes a monthly column called "Buzz Networks" for the Wisconsin Technology Network. He can be reached at pgibler@connectingdots.com.

     

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