Social Media and Web 2.0 for Business

An example of a social network diagram.
Image via Wikipedia

In the mid-1990s, business owners were realizing that they needed to understand the Internet and have a presence on the World Wide Web. Today, web sites are a given for almost any business. Now there are blogs, social networks, wikis, RSS feeds, widgets and a slew of other online sites and tools that are considered part of Web 2.0.

This post is the first of a series of posts designed to help business owners understand social media and Web 2.0 tools to enhance their online marketing efforts.

What Is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 refers to a more enhanced version of the Web we all know. Web sites that reflect Web 2.0 facilitate collaboration, networking, content sharing, and social interaction. Social media refers to any type of online media that has an added social aspect to it. Social media empowers others to share your message.

Blogs Are Social

For example, blogs are considered social media. While blogs started out as sites where anyone could easily publish text and images, they eventually included a feature allowing readers to comment on the blog posts. The comment section on blogs such as this one can become online communities where readers not only comment on what they read from the blogger but also communicate amongst themselves. Blogs are much more social than web sites that contain static text.

Social Networks Changed Everything

Social networks launched an entirely new way for web sites to operate. No longer was there a central publisher for content on a site. With social networks, every member of the network can become a content publisher. The real power of social networks, however, rests in the ability to link to other people through a process called “friending.” No longer does the word “friend” mean a person who you know. These days, a “friend” could also be someone linked to you through a social network where you have connected based on shared interests.

Learning More About Web 2.0

I’ll elaborate more on the many social media and Web 2.0 tools out there, but I’m sure you are wondering: what does social media mean for you, the business owner? By utilizing social media tools, you can have a wider reach, tapping into the power of networking and content sharing.

Any savvy business owner knows that one of the most effective marketing tools is positive word of mouth. Imagine being able to provide your fans and loyal customers with the tools they need to expand their word-of-mouth efforts on behalf of your company. That is what social media and Web 2.0 tools can provide.

Another valuable aspect of Web 2.0 tools is collaboration. In future posts, I’ll introduce some of the latest Web-based applications and services – both free and fee-based – that can help you perform regular business functions more efficiently and cost-effectively.

this post original appeared on Wyoming Business Report.

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