Earlier today, I posted an article form Gartner about how companies could use Web 2.0 to better their business. This afternoon, I came across a post on Click Z cautioning corporate sites against trying to create communities when it doesn’t make sense.
I think there’s a middle ground. The key is simply knowing your audience and engaging them in the right way.
In the aforementioned Click Z article, Jason Burby, makes a good point, “more corporate sites are looking to create communities and leverage Web 2.0 technologies in ways that make no sense for their audience. They’re caught up in the buzz. Companies are creating community types of content people are interested in with no long-term consideration.
Many times, managers or departments get caught up in buzz. They hear about something that is all the rage online and want it, without understanding what it is or whom it makes the most sense for.
The truth is RSS doesn’t make sense for every site. Podcasts fit a certain type of content and aren’t useful unless they have an audience.
And social networks only make sense if the there is a reason for the community.
Too often, companies go into these projects with an attitude that “if you build it, they will come.” This simply isn’t the case. If you build it, you must promote it. You must engage your community members. You must identify key community members and engage them first.
But, that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t use Web 2.0 tools. On the contrary, they should use them, as they are excellent tools to help with marketing, promote products and connect customers.
What organizations must do is think about the Web 2.0 tools that best fit their business and what their audience will use. And, they must commit the resources to developing quality Web 2.0 content, promoting it and continuing to help it’s growth.