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ProTip of the Week 2/15/12

The Web used to be isolated and anonymous.  Now it is social and personalized.  Facebook and other social networking sites seem to have figured out the Holy Grail every business has been seeking to replicate online with their customers - trust and engagement.

Once again, we are this decade at the cusp of a massive paradigm shift.  We are moving from technology-centric applications to people-centric applications.  We are improving the World Wide Web of information with a World Wide Web of people and relationships.  The social Web is enabling a fundamentally new Web experience that enables us to bring our online identities and friends with us to whatever site or application we choose to visit on the Internet.  It is the end of the anonymous Web, and it is already transforming the way we work, learn, and interact across every aspect of our lives.

- Clara Shih, The Facebook Era

We have all come to understand the power the new social networking era has over our personal lives, even if we don't participate in it directly.  This impact is spreading swiftly throughout the business world, too, with new methods for reaching out to customers being devised all the time.  The best of these efforts target the two areas Clara Shih highlights - trust and engagement.  Consider the Web and social media connections your company has available to customers.  Which specifically build trust?  Which specifically engage your customers in your product/service/company culture?  If these are difficult to pinpoint, it may be time to reconsider which Web and social media features may be the best use of your company's time and energy.

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