Tag Archives: web 2.0

Go out there and manage your brand!

Yesterday, I attended a networking event.  The main lesson from this event was to pursue your passions, be excellent at it, and be full of energy and tie this with your strengths and be able to use this to help others. This lesson can be applied to an individual who is interested in building their personal brand, or to a business that is interested in developing their brand.  I came across this motivational talk by Gary Vaynerchuk some time ago.  I think he has a great message of pursuing your passions and stop doing things that you do not enjoy.  If you for even a second do not believe in what you are doing, get out, now.  He said “Look at yourself in the mirror and ask what do you want to do for the rest of your life, and pursue that.”  With these passions and patience, one can find a way to monetize it.

It is extremely important to build brand equity in yourself and in your business, too.  Finding methods to leverage one’s brand equity can be accomplished through a variety of social networks such as Facebook, Jaiku, LinkedIn, MySpace, Technorati, Twitter, etc.  Whenever, there is a social utility out there, take advantage of it.  You can be accessible anyhow, anywhere, anytime and as often as you can. Interactivity with customers is extremely important.  Building personal and company brand equity can be accomplished through conversation amongst the web users and spreading this message around.

The essence of this talk is that there is no substitute for hard work.  When people are coasting, that is the opportune time to work diligently to surpass the competition.  Gary at one point responded to 700 to 1000 emails a day, as a trailblazer in leveraging social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) to interact with customers.  Listening to customers is effective, but caring about them is much better.  Reading customers concerns, suggestions, ideas is listening, but responding to emails, interacting with customers through social media is caring about them.  Legacy is greater than currency.  Whatever output occurs, ensure it upholds one’s legacy.  This solidifies either one’s personal brand or business brand, and it will enable future positive returns on investment.  The best way to succeed is to be transparent, and your legacy is all you have.

I have written about the importance of social media in business here and here.  As individuals and businesses are increasingly using these tools, it is imperative to be apart of this.  Adapt or be left behind.  I agree with Gary’s assertions that passion, hard work, patience are keys to success.  The lessons from this inspirational talk were very similar to the networking workshop I had attended yesterday.

Advertising and Social Media

 

How are businesses marketing their products/services?  Are they still broadcasting at their audience? David Cushman, wrote an interesting article about the change from traditional method of advertising to being able to engage and listen to the business’s audience in the social media world.  As mentioned in a previous post, the internet has evolved, where many companies are utilizing and implementing web 2.0 tools.  As mentioned in a previous post, the web is increasingly being fragmented, where users are able to select the what, where, when, who, why and how of experiencing the internet.  Since the user is in full control of his/her experience, how does a marketer reach his/her target audience?

Mr. Cushman, has stressed users control the conversation made to/from them, and 70% of their purchase decisions were made through recommendations.  Websites such as Amazon.com display online reviews from various users as well as from experts.  Other than setting up online forums, questions/comments page, how else can businesses listen to consumers?

This post has a wonderful example of how Twitter is used to listen to what users are saying about the business’s brand. Going to search website that enables anyone to listen on any conversation about any topic.  Some companies such as Comcast, Zappos.com, and Dell regularly monitor Twitter to handle any customer-related issues.  

Mr. Cushman explains that widgets, which are tools that allows marketers to advertise their product/service, yet, allows consumers to share, discuss and collaborate using these tools amongst themselves.  Effective widgets need to have the following traits: 1) Marketers need to relinquish control of the marketing message; 2) These toolkits need to be user-friendly; 3) Allow users to be creative.

Since this is user-generated content, users are more apt to share and market this content among their friends. As discussed earlier, content is now owned by the user, he/she is able to generate conversation as a result of this.

The traditional broadcast model is still valuable, but, this emergence of the social media cannot be ignored. Companies need to adapt to be effective in embracing this form of advertising.

50 uses for Twitter for business applications

 

How does a business listen to its customers? Is it through the customer service department?  Call center operations? This is an interesting article about how businesses can incorporate Twitter as a web 2.0 tool.  I had discussed in an earlier post about the benefits of Twitter to enhance friendships, but this post will be about using Twitter to enhance business to customer relationships.  

Chris Brogan has listed fifty uses of using Twitter for businesses.  It is quite the insightful read.  Mostly, it is used for connecting business to its customers through its interests, its insights, customer service and customer opinions.

What are some future ideas for web 2.0 applications?

As more websites are increasingly becoming more social and adopting web 2.0 technologies, what will happen next?  Currently, most of the websites that offer these technologies exist in silos.  For example, users may have friends on separate social and business networks.  I have friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, and StumpleUpon.  I need to login to each of those websites to connect with different friends.  What if I was able to engage with my friends anywhere on the web?

 

Yesterday, I had discussed about the usage of web 2.0 tools on the internet.  Today, I will discuss the future of social networks and the usage web 2.0 tools.

 

 Joe Kraus Interview

Wharton school of business interviews Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google.  This fascinating interview discusses how Google has developed a solution to enabling the web to become more social.  There are two pieces to the solution:

 

 

 The first piece is called OpenSocial, which is an open-source API for social applications across multiple websites.  Many of the social websites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that I described in my above example, have their own API platforms, and similar to Google OpenSocial all are open source development.  Google is striving to make OpenSocial the common API that can be utilized by most sites.

 

 

The second piece is called FriendConnect, which allows website administrators to utilize the gadgets made from the OpenSocial developer community.  The user can collaborate, share and engage with friends on whatever website they choose, as long as the website utilizes the FriendConnect tool.  The web user goes to any website that has the FriendConnect tool, logs in, and can select from his/her friends from a list that draws from the user’s network from social sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  The web user can invite these friends to participate in discussions, ratings, and other interactions on this website.  This is already somewhat similar with online communities, which on many websites, people do not know each other but share mutual interests.  Being able to combine existing social networks with online communites is key.  The web will become more social by users being able to connect with their friends at anywhere and at anytime.  The benefits from this application include: increasing web site traffic, being able to engage with the customers, customers are able to engage with their friends, and their friends are able to learn about the website.

 

 

So why is Google so interested in developing these two applications?

Google’s interest in these applications is to make the web better for both developers and users.  This will engage more people on the web, which in turn, makes the search engine more widely used.

   

 

Please see the below video for more information regarding the FriendConnect application:

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Examples of Social Media

 

Last week, I had posted about: 1) How businesses are using web 2.0 technologies and engaging in social media; 2) The usage and implementation of this technologies by businesses.  The more frequent the adaptation and usage of web 2.0 technologies, the more likely the businesses would be satsified with it. 

Now, in this post, are examples of how web 2.0 technologies are being used.  Peter Kim has posted a comprehensive list of websites that have incorporated various social network components.  Many of those websites are Fortune 500 companies.   The realization of the benefits of social media has led to the proliferation of this technology.  Tomorrow, I will discuss the future of this social media.  Enjoy.

The Usage of Web 2.0 in business

 

 

 

To what degree have businesses embraced web 2.0 technologies? How have they used this to interact with their employees, suppliers and customers? There was a survey conducted by McKinsey that addresses these two questions.

 

 

Web 2.0 is defined as the ability for users to interact, share, collaborate, and exchange ideas.  The age of user-generated content and ideas aid in the development of Web 2.0; applications of such usage include: Wikis, Blogs, RSS Feeds, Social Networking sites, etc. 

 

 

Findings include that most companies employ web 2.0 technologies to for internal usage, interfacing with customers, and interfacing with suppliers.  Some benefits that can be derived by engaging those three parties include: fostering collaboration within the company and as well as encouraging customer and supplier input in the product/service development process; tapping into a larger pool of experts; improving customer service and managing knowledge internally.

 

 

Since this survey was conducted internationally, different markets ended up having different needs and consequently, having different levels of satisfaction.  For example, in the Asia-Pacific area, the satisfaction of web 2.0 technologies is the highest, and the use of wikis is the highest.

Not surprisingly, the company’s satisfaction of web 2.0 tools is highly correlated with the usage and implementation rates. 

 

 

Some of the barriers for satisfaction for the usage of this tool include: senior management not embracing this technology; senior management not understanding the potential financial return; not having sufficient resources to adopt or experiment with web 2.0 tools; and the IT department not deploying or instituting such technologies.

 

 

The business that reported the highest satisfaction with the usage of web 2.0 tools adopted this technology by business units rather than IT department, whereas, dissatisfied respondents exhibited the reverse, where IT departments chose the tools and delivered to the business units.  Almost 60% of respondents were satisfied with the web 2.0 initiatives, expect these business to be more aggressive in the marketplace with those who are slower to adopt this technology, also, it is inevitable that more investment is being poured into the adoption of this technology. 

 

 

 

 

Companies that understand the intrinsic benefit of adopting this technology need to have all levels of management embrace this, and the adoption needs to be business-unit driven.

Social Revolution of the web

 

This presentation discusses how social media is to unite us, not divide us.  It discusses how the web 2.0 formed, and its significance on society and the way online communities interact.  Some interesting observations include:

 

 

A paradox is used when the user wants to connect with others; he/she must express themselves through their interests and needs.  In other words, users’ become themselves by connecting to others.

 

The web is global and local at the same time and is not democratic.  A small group of people have most of the influence.  There needs to be a movement for universalism.

As the cost for connection on the web drops, being connected to hundreds of people and being cognizant of others’ feelings, thoughts, moods, relationships, interests, and activities becomes much easier.

 

Being connected to numerous people makes a more time-sensitive society. In addition, to multi-tasking and focusing on numerous activities, the partial attention given at any time shortens peoples’ attention span.  This new wave of thinking and doing is quite apparent of the emergence of feeds such as: RSS, Facebook feeds, Twitter, etc. to bring information to the user, and not the user trying to sift through multiple pages.

 

 

A trend that may be pervasive in the future would be balancing the amount of information being sent to the user.  The article uses a great example, at work in the year 2000, most people would read all their emails.  But fast forward to 2010, the amount of emails, feeds and text messages would be so plentiful, users would need to sift through the most important ones.  Well, actually, this has already happened as I have alluded to in an earlier post about the deluge of emails.

 

 

From a personal level, the niches that are created by social media will not fragment society, but rather unite it.  The presentation favors a movement in which all the ideologies that individualize society will diminish.  The social web will facilitate a uniting movement that people will become more humble, modest and respect fellow mankind.