Want To Make Web 2.0 Work For Your Business? January 4, 2008
Team Leader – Web Content
Silicon Valley loves its buzzwords, and none more than it does Web 2.0 these days. But what exactly is it in terms of website development and strategic internet marketing? Unless you’re a diehard techie, wish you good luck in figuring out what it means.
Web 2.0 technologies bearing names like wikis, blogs, RSS, AJAX, mashups and the startups hawking them — Renkoo, Gahbunga, Ning, Squidoo sound to be straight out of Star Wars, right up Mr. George Lucas’ alley.
So what does all this mumbo-jumbo means to a normal businessman – a value multiplier or ‘only for geeks’ stuff? Rest assured Mr. Businessman, for all its appeal to the young, the nerds and the wired; Web 2.0 may end up making its greatest impact in business.
And this could well prove to be the one vehicle to usher in more changes in corporations that are already in the throes of such tech-driven transformations as globalization and outsourcing. Indeed, what some are calling Enterprise 2.0 could transcend the whole lot of organizational boundaries, between managers and employees and between the company and its partners and customers.
So how does one go about making Web 2.0 work for his/her business? Let’s see how:
1. Work out a plan
Don’t dive in just for the sake of keeping abreast with the changing world and its technology. Be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish, how and where Web 2.0 can help your business, how much you’re willing to invest and what time frame you are working on. Plan ahead!
2. Good content is the key
Web 2.0 is the social web, but it’s still content-driven. And the control lies in the hands of the users here, mind you! You might think yourself to be the smartest marketing man this side of the Suez but remember, it is the user who would determine how good or bad you are. Lousy content leads to lousy marketing, no matter how flashy it is. Make your content relevant, interesting and real. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, ask yourself questions you would as a customer and answer those with your content.
3. Be information provider not a salesman
Help, inform, educate but do not sell. Web 2.0 is all about people connecting by helping each other. No salesmen allowed! Think education, not advertising. Deliver useful, nuts and bolts stuff or honest opinions they can believe. That’s how you build credibility and trust that lead to new customer relationships.
4. Have a free hosted blog
Wordpress and Blogger both have very useful and simple blogs you can setup for free. Use them to start blogging and get a feel for how it works and how people use Web 2.0. Dip your toe in the water to test it before diving straight in.
5. Do it yourself
Web 2.0 is about being real. It’s real people connecting with each other. Make sure you or your employees create the content and do the work to start with. And when scales demand it, hire a professional company offering strategic internet marketing services. Still keep tab on what they are doing and what they are writing.
Surf blogs, YouTube, Google Videos, Del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Technorati and other social media websites. Get a feel for how they work and who goes there. Become part of some social media communities. Make new friends online. Get in touch with professional web development companies and firms providing internet marketing services well versed in Web 2.0 tools and marketing ways. Immerse yourself in the Web 2.0 culture so you know how it works and where and how it fits in smoothly with your marketing plans.