What is Web 2.0? Wikipedia explains Web 2.0 as “The term associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the Internet. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services and web applications.”
These social platforms have in essence provided the community with a plethora of new and exciting opportunities that is perceived to be low cost. They ARE generally free, and if not, come at a far more affordable price to the traditional above the line marketing activities from yester year. However, the underlying costs of a social networking strategy can be considerable and easily understated.
Consider what it is going to cost your business in revenue lost over the long term if managed incorrectly or ignored altogether? Also consider the brand message you are projecting if;
In most large organizations, the web strategy is managed by either the marketing or IT department. This inevitably leads to a turf war, with the web strategy becoming the victim of internal politics and budget constraints.
In reality, the strategy is not particularly suited to either group. The IT department may be excellent at understanding the technical requirements and limitations of a system, but it is by no means is suited to developing a friendly user experience or establishing or complementing the brand.
In these times when prudence is the order of the day you may find it hard to justify establishing a new cost center. The fact is that a successful web campaign truly is a full time job and the need for a dedicated webmaster, who can receive guidance from both departments and spend the necessary time ensuring a solid brand message on the web, cannot be overstated.
A web strategy and correct utilization of the social platforms needs considerable research, technical understanding and more often than not access to your website’s source code. Be sure that your service provider doesn’t fall very short of the mark here and doesn’t suggest and implement solutions which are within their own limitations and not necessarily the right solution for you.
We tend to forget that not everybody uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. And even if your visitor does subscribe to any or many of these services - how much time do they spend using them?
If you commit to a particular social media website, you spend days-months-years loading content to it, and then a better site comes along. What do you do?
How do you decide which social networking site to join? Do you join several and repeat the work?
So rather than putting all your data on someone else's website, you should put your own data on your own website and use the social platforms to drive traffic to your website. This way you will own your content and still get the value of social media.
The cost of an effective web strategy, direct and indirect, lies in the management and administration thereof.
Like pretty much everything - money spent creating it right the first time translates into massive savings and value benefits in the long run.