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Online Media:  Blogs, Message Boards and Social Networking SitesHow Such Forms of Media Are Used in the Business World<br ...
Many Business and Media Professionals Now Refer to the<br /> “Web 2.0” Trend.<br /><ul><li>“Web 2.0” has been described as...
Recently, many businesses and media outlets have been integrating elements of  “Web 2.0” into their business, marketing an...
Yet using “Web 2.0” in business practices is different for each company or media entity, and doing so sometimes is success...
Tony H., an Information Technology professional who works for the United States Census Bureau in Washington, D.C., offers ...
“…We are also using YouTube and iTunesUniversity to allow the public access to our audio and video files which describe ho...
Many companies are now monitoring blogs and message boards!  This is being done to obtain an insider’s view of how the “av...
Business Owners Who Use Online Media to Market, Promote and/or Research Their Businesses<br />Eric P., is a Western New Yo...
“At my last position, (Marketing Director for a software company) we looked at our client base and redesigned our web pres...
“Instead of spending a few hours on some collateral and shooting it out in the mail and waiting for a response to go to th...
“…We also added a user forum to our site and restricted it to our customers with support contracts (people who were paying...
“At my new position at a tech hardware company we actually decided not to do any social networking. The decision was made ...
“As an FYI, in both instances we threw the idea of Facebook and Twitter right out the window. Mainly because if you're goi...
Louis Capizzi is owner and lead stylist of the Louis Anthony Hair Salon in the Town of Tonawanda, NY (personal communicati...
“…As a small business owner I was hesitant to see a real need for this application in our line of work. My wife and many e...
Eric P., Western New York marketing professional, continues:<br />“I can see how for boutique shops ([or] small companies,...
Eric P. also adds:<br />“Honestly, there's a lot more to [social network marketing] than [simply putting up fan pages], bu...
“But, in a lot of cases the medium just doesn't make sense for the product, or (in our case) the resources aren't there. T...
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Online Media: Blogs, Message Boards and Social Networking Sites How Such Forms of Media Are Used in the Business World

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Online Media: Blogs, Message Boards and Social Networking Sites How Such Forms of Media Are Used in the Business World

  1. 1. Online Media: Blogs, Message Boards and Social Networking SitesHow Such Forms of Media Are Used in the Business World<br />LIBS 100: Introduction to Information Literacy and Research<br />Bryant & Stratton College<br />Charlene D. Shotwell BA, MLS<br />
  2. 2. Many Business and Media Professionals Now Refer to the<br /> “Web 2.0” Trend.<br /><ul><li>“Web 2.0” has been described as the “second generation” of Web design and development. “Web 2.0” has a focus on the more interactive elements of the internet, including blogs, online communities and social networking.
  3. 3. Recently, many businesses and media outlets have been integrating elements of “Web 2.0” into their business, marketing and/or outreach practices.
  4. 4. Yet using “Web 2.0” in business practices is different for each company or media entity, and doing so sometimes is successful and sometimes is challenging.</li></ul>Discuss: Have you heard of the term “Web 2.0” before? If so, where did you hear about it and what did you hear?<br />
  5. 5. Tony H., an Information Technology professional who works for the United States Census Bureau in Washington, D.C., offers the following input… (personal communication, July 2, 2009).<br />“The Census Bureau is currently getting ready for the 2010 Census. As part of this, we are utilizing social networking and other ‘Web 2.0’ tools to help let the public know how they can help the Bureau with this count.The Press Office for the Census is using social bookmarking for the press releases that the office sends out (these are the "Share this" links you might see on some sites)… <br />Discuss: Do you use Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites? If you are ever reading an online article from another site and you see the “share” link, do you often post those links to your Facebook, Myspace, etc., page?<br />
  6. 6. “…We are also using YouTube and iTunesUniversity to allow the public access to our audio and video files which describe how and why the public needs to participate in the Census. In the next few months the Census will be opening up Facebook and Twitter accounts so that people can get immediate information about what is going on with the 2010 Census.””<br />Discuss: Do you use social networking sites as a way to also keep up on current newsworthy topics in addition to using the sites as a way to network and communicate with friends and colleagues?<br />
  7. 7. Many companies are now monitoring blogs and message boards! This is being done to obtain an insider’s view of how the “average people” feel about social, political or cultural issues.<br />Heidi T., of Amherst, NY, works as a professional blog monitor for an online research company (personal communication, July 28, 2009). <br />She says… “Companies and news sources are definitely paying attention to what is being said on blogs, message boards and social networking sites.” <br />Discuss: How do you feel about the “general public’” giving their input about newsworthy events and topics on blogs, message boards and social networking sites? <br />How do you feel about news reporters in turn quoting what has been written on such forms of media? <br />
  8. 8. Business Owners Who Use Online Media to Market, Promote and/or Research Their Businesses<br />Eric P., is a Western New York marketing professional who has worked for a number of companies (personal communication, July 21, 2009). He offers the following insights:<br />“Since I'm in marketing, I've done studies for 2 different companies on how to take advantage of this whole 'Web 2.0' thing, and in each case we came up with something different…”<br />
  9. 9. “At my last position, (Marketing Director for a software company) we looked at our client base and redesigned our web presence to be more of a communication tool... but it was quite a process. We discarded most of our ideas, simply because when it comes to diving in to Web 2.0, you need to realize that it's a two way street... you're no longer just throwing ads up on the big old web-billboard, you're communicating back and forth with your clients and your prospects, and that takes a lot of time and commitment if you're going to follow through correctly. You're basically putting someone (or some people) out there to be the face(s) of the company. ..”<br />Discuss: If you were in charge of a business, how would you feel about adding a social networking communication element to your business?<br />
  10. 10. “Instead of spending a few hours on some collateral and shooting it out in the mail and waiting for a response to go to the sales team you're able to (and need to) communicate quickly and openly with the world. We added a project team blog to our site, authored by our developers (and heavily edited by marketing). This required moderation and someone designated to respond, when necessary….”<br />
  11. 11. “…We also added a user forum to our site and restricted it to our customers with support contracts (people who were paying us for our software). This also required moderation from our Support Team and our Customer Service team... We didn't do much more than that, but it was a huge change in paradigm from traditional marketing (for us at least), and our customers really seemed to appreciate it…”<br />Discuss: Do you now or have you ever worked for a company that has an online media communications extension? How has the company been handling that?<br />
  12. 12. “At my new position at a tech hardware company we actually decided not to do any social networking. The decision was made to stay away mainly because the folks here thought the cost (man hours) outweighed the benefits on an 'untested marketing tool'... Yeah... I fought that battle and lost... I'm not _that_ bitter :)”<br />Discuss: If you were a business manager, how would you feel about the use of online social networking as a marketing or advertising tool?<br />
  13. 13. “As an FYI, in both instances we threw the idea of Facebook and Twitter right out the window. Mainly because if you're going to go down the Web 2.0 road you need to commit to it, and I've seen too many empty Facebook 'fan' pages and too many Twitter accounts long abandoned. If I'm going to sponsor something, I want to make sure that commitment is assured and external social networking sites are really easy to ignore.”<br />Discuss: If you use social networking sites, do you link up as a “fan” of your favorite businesses, cultural groups, media entities, etc. ? How do you feel about the information these “fan” linkages present? Do you pay attention to updates, etc.? <br />Note: Did you know that Bryant & Stratton college has a Facebook “fan” page?<br />
  14. 14. Louis Capizzi is owner and lead stylist of the Louis Anthony Hair Salon in the Town of Tonawanda, NY (personal communication, July 24, 2009) . He gives his insights into the current social network marketing trend:<br />“The salon has been in business for over 30 years, and has just this past year taken the step of starting a web site. Recently we also joined up with the Facebook craze. This site relies on people wanting to become a "friend", and then following your daily updates.<br />      I guess everything is still new, and I am figuring it out as I go along. I do see Facebook and other networking sites as a potential to tap into unfound clients…”<br />
  15. 15. “…As a small business owner I was hesitant to see a real need for this application in our line of work. My wife and many employees talked me into this one.  I am not computer savvy and find with Facebook you don't need to be to reach people. There are mostly clients at this point who have signed up to be our friend. My wife runs the site for me. <br />  <br /> I am thinking of different ways to run specials, but have not done so as of yet.  Maybe sales or special Facebook discounts. New/or old clients would be different specials.”<br />Discuss: If you use social networking sites, are you or would you be responsive to advertising on such sites?<br />
  16. 16. Eric P., Western New York marketing professional, continues:<br />“I can see how for boutique shops ([or] small companies, both) could really benefit from [social network marketing], since you're turning a customer into more of a partner. I mean, seriously... you get 'followed' on Twitter, you're 'Friends' on Facebook... that's so much more than being a 'Visitor' to a website. When you participate on a forum, or a blog, or what have you, you become a Contributor, and therefore you have a vested interest in the company (or at least in that topic, or that product).”<br />Discuss: If you link up to “fan” pages on social networking sites, does it cause you to feel more of a connection to those businesses, cultural or entertainment groups, etc.?<br />
  17. 17. Eric P. also adds:<br />“Honestly, there's a lot more to [social network marketing] than [simply putting up fan pages], but not in any legible form. [My companies] considered a lot of other 'Social' networking techniques and rejected them for various reasons. We looked at it from a little more broad view than just social networking sites, and really talked more about how the web works now, and how two way communication was the way that 'a lot of companies are going‘…”<br />Discuss: If you use social networking sites, have you noticed more and more companies, media outlets, cultural and entertainment entities, etc. have been adding social networking campaigns to their advertising or outreach? Do you feel as if this is a trend that is “here to stay?”<br />
  18. 18. “But, in a lot of cases the medium just doesn't make sense for the product, or (in our case) the resources aren't there. To Blog (Podcast, VideoPodcast, whatever) you really need to post regularly, and post more than just your press releases. It’s all about gaining an audience, and to do that you need to talk more about the industry as a whole, or the news of the day and how it effects your customers. You need to commentate, and encourage that participation. In order to do that you need to stay current, and 'put yourself out there'. That's something that a lot of companies aren't ready or willing to do for risk of backlash.”<br />Discuss: Do you think that social media marketing or outreach extensions are better or easier for larger companies or groups? Do you think that such outreach might be too complicated for smaller businesses or groups? Why or why not?<br />
  19. 19. When asked if perhaps some companies consider keeping up social networking advertising sites to be a “chore,” Eric P. answered:<br />“Yeah. I know for us it wasn't really another 'chore', specifically... I just really stressed to them that it's not an overnight deal. It's not like traditional advertisement, you're really fostering a relationship. It's more like account management, or more specifically it's 'client base management'. Once you get going it's GREAT advertisement. Your prospects see you (the company) interacting one on one with your customers, but it's more than that... since it's all open forum you're really interacting one on thousands (or however many people see it).”<br />“My old boss compared it to having a town hall meeting every day in front of the building... except that the meeting never ended, and the front of your building was in everyone's living room. I think the whole thing scared him a bit.”<br />Discuss: How do you feel about online, feedback based social network advertising being “open to all?”<br />
  20. 20. Discuss: Do you have any other questions or comments about the use of online media such as blogs, message boards and social networking sites and their use in the business world?<br />

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