Powerful Conversational Community in Web 2.0

Key words

Web 2.0, User-created Content (UCC), social media, community, social media marketing, ‘produsage’, Word of Mouth (WOM)

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.42.23 pm

Source: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/prince-dead-at-57-report/news-story/dd669dc072fc063bdfb028a2338437db

When I checked out my phone this morning, some breaking news popped up – pop star Prince just passed away! The way I heard about the news was not from the television news, instead, was from my Facebook feeds. Barack Obama has made a huge statement on his Facebook public page, and the main message he expressed was – ‘a strong spirit transcends rules’. What really fascinated me and helped me relate to this course is that: this is the power of Web 2.0! So in this article, Iím not going to talk about how sad it is to lose an influential singer, but will discuss more about how we can navigate the íaudienceí from the marketing point of view in the new era of web 2.0.

The common characteristics of Web 2.0 is that the conversation is no longer in a monologue – it is in a dialogue. (Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L., 2013) Audience have more ‘control’ over the Internet. However, there is a big problem for marketing folks, specifically for people that were trained in traditional marketing theory. It is about t decentralisation. Traditional marketing focuses on crafting a really strong brand, but the problem of it in the Web 2.0 area is, you want to have complete control over every single thing that is communicated. When you are looking at viral messaging, once you release it, you don’t have complete control. Your audience received the tip of your message and then they can interpret it in their own ways. Once the message delivered, it all depends whether or not you can trigger their interest to spread the Word of Mouth (WOM) or even help do the content management work for you? (Constantinides, 2014)

A great example of Polyvore – a new way to discover and shop things people love online. Surprisingly, all its content is user-created. It has a fun and addictive drag & drop tool that you can use on your mobile devices. Simply grab real products, and then you can pull together your own collages of diverse items. The community powered social networks enable the users to share their ‘sets’ within and beyond the community. Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.08.04 pm

Polyvore also gained traffic from those people who created the collages. For example, people post their ‘sets’ on Tumblr, their followers or readers will be highly likely led to click back on Polyvore. Conversational Web 2.0 facilitates businesses with unimaginable flexibility and freedom to step up in a much smaller amount of time than the traditional Web 1.0 where the communication are more limited within ‘broadcast’ and ‘receive’. (Carlson, A., & Lee, C. C., 2015)

Another problem that Polyvore has fixed: how to combine content, community and commerce together to boost sales or business performance. According to Zingale (2013), the ‘produsage’ phenomenon has gone crazy in Web 2.0 era – more collaborative work keeps emerging in the social networking sector. 

If you want someone to buy your product, you need to put it into a context that inspires them for their everyday life. (Constantinides, E., 2014)  I used sets in my Instagram posts as well – shoes with other matching accessories or outfits so that women know exactly how to make the best of the products that they buy form us. 

Web 2.0 enables users to have more participation into the production of the content in the Internet space. (Bird, S. E., 2011). Content needs community – particularly a key step for retailers or brands selling massive types of products. Because community, by building content, makes it a much more efficient for a business than trying to do all by themselves. 

To scale the market, community is incredibly powerful. In Web 2.0, communities help you create different views for your products. For instance, there are over 6k items on Polyvore. However, to create all the relevant content about these items is highly impossible due to the limited labour budget. What Polyvore did is that these 6k products in one month resulted in over 1000k pieces of content. They call it ‘sets’- a collage of products that you can buy, all created by their community. Even Instagram and Pinterest are cannot generate more average order value than Polyvore. You can imagine how successful its unique social marketing strategy is! 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.49.54 pm

Related back to my sown Fiabelle leather shoe social communication campaign, I generated interactive conversations into my social network platforms by providing catchy shoe products that we collaborated with other fashion brands. Through @other_brands, their followers on Instagram and Facebook can be led to our page and generate new followers by commenting on our posts. I learned how to write more interesting posts that can drive people’s interest to keep reading and landing on our website. It is the conversational Web 2.0 gives us small startups more opportunities to lead traffic to our website and drive our sales as a result.


Bird, S. E. (2011). Are we all produsers now? Convergence and media audience practices. Cultural Studies, 25(4-5), 502-516.

Carlson, A., & Lee, C. C. (2015). Followership and social media marketing. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 19(1), 80.

Constantinides, E. (2014). Foundations of social media marketing. Procedia : Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148, 40-57.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Social Network Sites Understanding Social Media (pp. 32 – 54). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Okoro, E. A., Hausman, A., & Washington, M. C. (2012). Social media and networking technologies: An analysis of collaborative work and team communication. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER), 5(4), 295.

Zingale, N. C. (2013). The phenomenology of sharing: Social media networking, asserting, and telling. Journal of Public Affairs, 13(3), 288-297.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s