Monday, September 6, 2010

Social Voice Strength on the Web and Implications to Changing Business Models

In August 1991, Sir Timothy John Berners Lee put the first website online. The first consumer web we recall were the likes of: AOL, AMAZON, eBAY, and Yahoo.

Little did we appreciate the impacts new models like: PayPal, TicketMaster would have on revolutionizing and creating the transactional web.

The new era we are in is the Social Era as solutions like :Facebook, MySpace, Ning, Orkut create a more faciltiating, engaging and rewarding social experience. It's now all about self-expression, naked conversations, relationships, user affiliation, trust and user generated content.

The Social Web is now called Web 3.0 or the Semantic web.

Larry Weber in his book, Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build your Business, says that:

" The social web is the online place where people with a common interest can gather to share thoughts, comments, and opinions. It includes social networks such as: My Space, Gather, Friendster, BlackPlanet, Eons, linked and hundreds more. It also includes branded web destination sites like: Amazon, Netflix, and eBay. It also includes enterprise sites such as: IBM, Circuit City, Cisco, and Oracle. The social web is a new world of unpaid media created by individuals or enterprises on the web."

The real job of the marketing professional in the social web is to aggregate customers. You can do this in two ways:

1.)Providing compelling content to create a pull factor to return again and again and spread the word to others to create a following by creating retail rich media experiences, and
2.) Visibly becoming an influencer in the public arena and actively participating in the conversations.

Brian Solis, Founder of Future works says:

Social Media is no longer an option or debtable. It represents a powerful, and additional channel to first listen to customers, stakeholders, media, bloggers, peers and other influencers and in turn build two way paths of conversation to them.

Yes conversations are taking place about your company, product and service right now with or without you. This represents priceless opportunities to build relationships and shape perceptions at every step. In the process, you become a resource to the very people looking for leadership, expertise, visions, and also solutions.

The most important driver for outbound and proactive online relationship is that's its measurable and absolutetly tied to the bottom line. Much in the same way that Web marketers integrates calls to action and dedicated splash pages to direct responses, successful conversations can also benefit from strategically carved inbound and interconnected paths that can be tracked and measured.

From listening, participation to analytics, social media creates new opportunities to make deep and meaningful connections, forge relationships, and influence without manipulation. And, in the process, we also earn a place within their network as a trustworthy resource."

David Meerman Scott lists three uses of blogs for marketing and PR:

1.) To easily monitor what millions of people are saying about you.
2.) To participate in those conversations by commenting on other's blogs.
3.) To begin and to shape those conversations by creating and writing your own blog.

Social professional niche networks abound and they will continue to flourish. For example, Art Cloud for the Art world, Inmobile for the wireless industry, MarCom Professional for Marketing communicators, Sermo for Physicians, etc.

In summary, Cluetrain Manifesto proclaimed:

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering, and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter - and getting smarter faster than other companies.

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny, and often shocking. Whether explaining, or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can't be faked."


Every Canadian business should have a cleared defined digital social media strategy in place and reaching out to the world for new growth connections. If you cannot afford to hire FT engage PT professionals from outsourcing Social media solution providers, a growing trend globally as marketing professionals and business recognize being social is a skill and a core competency.

Helix has a new offering on social media outsourcing solutions. Want to hear more reach us at

1 comment:

Stu said...

Also, the marketing professional should have intimate knowledge of the competition - know what you are up against!!

Stewart Higgins
Intranet Expert
Intranet Software

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