Experience Design: Web 2.0

After many years of stale websites, the internet grew, and social media sites started popping up like MySpace and Friendster. Internet was no longer just a way to find information, it was a way for teenagers to connect with friends. However, besides the entertainment industry, businesses didn’t really look to monopolize on the social aspect.

Yet Facebook came along and was somehow able to get even adults interested in spending large amounts of time simply looking to see what their friends were doing.

This piqued businesses’ attention, and ushered in the “Web 2.0” craze. Now, instead of throwing their information into their own website, they could give their fans a voice and monopolize on controlling the most effective method of advertising: word of mouth.

But while many businesses got on Facebook and Twitter, and many businesses continue to jump on this bandwagon, there are some critical flaws with this:

  • Static profiles
    Once again, many businesses just took their business cards and brochures and threw it on Facebook instead of their website. But without a continuous stream of content, users stop coming back.
  • Lack of engagement
    Businesses take their historical methods of “push” marketing rather than “pulling” users through feedback and relevant content. While social media is meant to create discussion, businesses continue to have a monologue with users, and just stamping their site with “Like us on Facebook.”
  • Awkward conversations
    Word of mouth, although the best form of advertising, can also be the most effective way to kill a company. Individuals became empowered to be vocal and have a larger platform, while businesses struggle with how to respond to dissent.

And while businesses continue to try to answer these questions, phones become smarter, and more users are on smartphones. How business plays the game of internet no longer relies on just social media, but must also answer the question of the mobile arena.

This post is part two of the four-part series Experience Design. Check out tomorrow’s post, Experience Design: Mobile.

Disagree? Why do you think social media in business is important? Leave your comments below.

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