As today was designated Recycle a Blog Post Day, I decided to go back to my very first post, which was written to explain web 2.0 as a digital trend to a traditional advertising agency I was working for at the time. The only thing I’ve changed is the title and added and substituted “social media for web 2.0 in the post
One of the first questions people ask me about digital trends is “What’s so great about social media?” The easiest way to describe it is to use the 30 second elevator speech.
Web 1 was about pushing information to people – a bit like getting on a soapbox and ranting at people. The soapbox guy was too busy talking to notice/see how many people were listening or indeed whether anyone was there.
Social Media or web 2.0/web 3.0 or 4.0 (or whatever you want to call it) is all about collaboration, its a two way dialogue, having a conversation. If you are the website owner, you are the initiator of the conversation, so you start talking, but this time, you are keen to listen to what your audience is saying back to you.
They can do this via features such as forums on your website, responding to your blog, generating content for you (if you ask them to) or emailing you via a good old fashioned email address. See a stack of fantastic web 2.0 site features at my favourite online magazine site http://nymag.com/
If you give users a range of ways to feed back to you, they will be more inclined to offer their opinion, and depending on the type of website, they will be more engaged, and spend more time with you. The more time they spend with you and enjoy the process, the more they will buy into the whole experience, and as a consequence you will build some fans.
Social media is a fantastic opportunity for user engagement – which translates to building brand advocacy via virtual communities. More on that later… stay tuned