Nowadays, Web 2.0 has revolutionized the way that we do business. Unlike Web 1.0 focusing on the companies’ use of social media, Web 2.0 has developed a new way of communicate and engage with their audience. This article will primarily talk about the concepts of Web 2.0 and then will focus on the development strategy of businesses under Web 2.0 in the new era.
The concepts of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is a notional concept that is used to describe the second generation web-based communities and hosted services that are available on the World Wide Web such as social networks (O’Reilly, 2005). Wikipedia and its communication system that has provided the opportunity for online audience participation can be a good example for O’Reilly’s definition. In this case, the Internet has moved to a platform for interaction between people. In theory, Web 2.0 is essentially a platform, a ‘delivery technology’. It is the network that allows conversation to take place between producer and consumer. Also, social media is considered as its expansion (Anderson, 2012). It is also good to add that web 2.0 is a user-focused businesses model that came after the Dotcom crash and where the audiences are not just consumers, they also are participants to personalize and create content (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013).
The Strategy of Business in Web 2.0 era
As Web 2.0 focuses on a two-way communication system, the business now has put its product information on Web 2.0 based websites and audiences or consumers can review, comment and share their experience with other consumers on the products they prefer. Dellarocas (2003) emphasized that data from consumers’ feedback may contribute to the improvement of business’s marketing strategy, which can lead to an increased sale and customer satisfaction. More businesses also have developed a community portal to interact with their audiences online using the social and community elements of the Web 2.0. Murugesan (2007) believed that the use of Web 2.0 in the businesses could improve their efficiency and productivity. Yelp can be a good instance to show the case that business development under the context of Web 2.0.
Yelp is a free online tool through which users can create public reviews of restaurants, movies and anything else they like to review. It also has its homepage showed in the picture above. Other users can find kinds of helpful information based on the public reviews, so does the businesses, which may help them determine which products or ideas can be continued or discontinued (Campesato & Nilson, 2011).
However, business development not mainly depends on a greater number of audiences and their feedback, as the majority of online audiences are passive (Crawford, 2009). Then, the company-initiated engagement is a significant factor to motivate audience’s participation. For example, the brand can make responses or comments on the audience’s post or reviews or provide after-sales service to increase audience’s loyalty and love, which may contribute to a long-term relationship between the business and its audience. It is a human relation that the Web 2.0 embodies through the Internet (Stephens, 2009). Zappos, the US online fashion retailer, has delivered its website customers happiness for its active engagement on customer service.
Zappos has a very healthy and active Twitter following, and it engages with its followers with a great deal of verve and helpfulness.
It has a timely response to the customers’ inquiries, even though this isn’t necessarily set up to be a customer service channel, the team here responds to customer care related queries and helps rather than just fobbing them off to the ‘right’ channel (Chaffey & Smith, 2013).
In short, business strategy to further their development under the Web 2.0 needs to take both of the audience participation and business-initiated engagement into account, as the Web 2.0 emphasizes interaction between the audiences and businesses.
The relevance of Web 2.0 concept to my social media campaign
The emphasis of Web 2.0 on the interaction between audiences and businesses can be regarded as an easier thing to accomplish for small business because of the scale of the communication and the way you do it. Compared to large business, small business has a less audience, which actually makes small business know its audience better through the limited comments, likes or dislikes of the audience. Once small business has a general understanding of its audience, its active initiated engagement activity can be adjusted based on the data collected from audience participation. That is the way that I have used in my social media campaign.
During this semester, I have conducted a social media campaign for a small application Match Box. To promote its key message, I mainly posted or shared different kinds of contents from the APP through two social media platforms in which audiences reacted diversely. The way I promoted shows the Web 2.0 characteristic: read-write, which is also the two-way communication. During the process of my campaign, I applied the strategy above which focuses on the combination of audience participation and business-initiated engagement. I collected data such as the audience’s likes or dislikes and analyzed in a specific time. Then I would make an adjustment towards the contents audiences liked based on the data reflection. I also gave response to audiences’ comments by expressing good wishes or encouraging them to download the application if they showed great interest on the contents.
Although I got a limited data outcome during the 3-week social media campaign, it did turn out to be an impressive experience to promote a small business under the context of the Web 2.0. The interactivity of Web 2.0 emphasizing the engagement of both audiences and businesses through the platforms can be the main point of business development strategy.
Anderson, P. (2012). Web 2.0 and Beyond: Principles and Technologies. London: CRC Press
Crawford, K. (2009). Following you: Disciplines of listening in social media. Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 23 , 525-535.
Campesato, O. & Nilson, K. (2011). Web 2.0 Fundamentals: With AJAX, Development Tools, and Mobile Platforms. London: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.
Chaffey, D. & Smith, PR. (2013). Emarketing Excellence: Planning and Optimizing Your Digital Marketing. London and New York: Routledge.
Dellarocas, C. (2003). The digitization of word of mouth: promise and challenges of online feedback mechanisms. Manag SCI, 49 , 1407–1424.
Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding Social Media. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Murugesan, S. (2007). Understanding Web 2.0. IT Professional, 9 , 34-41.
O’Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0. Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html#__federated=1
Stephens, R. T. (2009). Empirical Analysis of Functional Web 2.0 Environments. In M. D. Lytras, E. Damiani, P. O. Pablos Web 2.0: The Business Model (pp. 15-17). New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.