Most businesses of any size have a web presence. However presence doe not equate to engaging with your market rather it is simply a billboard. The term “engagement” has changed and business must learn the new meaning or loose their customers.
The tools of the social web advance weekly and now the movement of “open source” applications has gone mobile. The process of communicating, connecting and engaging with “markets” has shifted and the dynamics are still unknown to most businesses, both the big and the small.
UMass Dartmouth University recently released numerous studies about all this “social stuff” and their consistant theme for businesses was “if you don’t engage you may not survive“. McKinsey, the premiere consulting firm of choice by the Fortune 500, is now consistently releasing thoughts and ideas around the innovation of all this “social stuff”. The wave of demand for businesses wanting to “get in on the changing landscape” is and will continue to increase as more people adopt the new tools of the web and use them for personal and professional reasons.
What Could a Business Do?
Lots of people talk about the future but business leaders want the here and now. Lets start with your web presence and what you could do now to propel your organization and its people into all this “social stuff”.
First dump your old web site and have it redeisgned to include common functions and features available today which can provide significant value to your business, your employees, suppliers and most importantly your customers. Your new web site will have the following 15 critical functions and features:
- A social network to connect your employees, suppliers, customers and the markets you serve
- A blog or a number of blogs
- Automated press release engines
- A virtual exhibit hall
- An online educational forum for all the people you serve
- Chat rooms
- Live and on demand video
- RSS feeder
- News as well as event announcement and online registration
- Integrated “shopping mall” with your products and services and others that compliment your offerings
- Integrated SEO tools that insures your “ranking”
- Libraries of topic matters of interest to your markets, your people and the community at large
- Social Media Sentiment Analytics to provide you and your community periodic assessments of the vital few conversational issues
- Groups or sub-communities, both private and public, designed around organizational and market developments
- Total integration with chosen public social networks and social media communities
It is No Longer Could but Can and Must followed by How
Does all this sound alien to you? If so then step into the future and you’ll find millions of people who consider this “social stuff” an everyday experience and they have become the experts. Experts at engaging, connecting, expressing and collaborating one to one to millions. If you don’t engage and adapt soon you’ll be a part of a ghost town because your people have left for a more interactive experience and they are in control of your conversations to the markets you once persued.
All of the functions and features of the business web site defined above are readily available today and guess what, most of them are “free”. Business 3.0 has developed all the modules required to take your business virtual. All you need to go from could to can and do is the will to step out from the past and enter the future today.
BTW, after you totaly redesign your web site you’ll have to do the same for your organization.
Get it? What say you?