When it comes to Web 2.0 technology, the potential benefits to businesses are endless. We get some expert opinions on why organisations need to investigate Web 2.0 technology and the steps to take when implementing it.

How Web 2.0 can work for you

According to Mark Hornung, senior vice president at employment marketer Bernard Hodes Group, Web 2.0 is a tidal wave of blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and other applications. And as this 'tsunami' approaches, employment marketing is being re-shaped in fundamental ways that are more disruptive than the shift from print to online media ever was.

With this in mind Hornung was among 8,500 attendees at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, which is geared at business and IT managers, senior executives, developers, marketers and entrepreneurs. Like him, many attendees were interested in learning how Web 2.0 technologies are infiltrating workplaces.

Prior to the Web 2.0 revolution of online communities and user-generated content, employers could still control their brand and their corporate message via their sites, online ads and email communications. No longer, according to Hornung, whose company helps clients promote their employment opportunities.

"Now you have the universe of prospective employees talking and connecting with each other, and that creates a whole new dynamic because now the employer doesn't control the message," Hornung said.

"It's much more difficult to maintain a consistent brand image because you have people defiling it on the one hand and overly building it on the other. It's a fundamental shift."

"The message I'm taking to my clients is that you can no longer control the message, you can only influence it," he added.

Indeed, how to take advantage of Web 2.0 has become an increasingly loud and common conversation within companies. A recent Forrester Research survey found that Web 2.0 adoption is a priority at 56 percent of European and US enterprises this year.

"It's safe to say that at just about any enterprise, somebody is thinking about Web 2.0 tools. It may not be the CIO, CEO or CMO, but someone is looking at these tools and to see if they can be used to solve long-standing business problems, and in many cases they can," said Oliver Young, a Forrester analyst.

While the opportunity that Web 2.0 offers for improved communication and collaboration with employees, partners and customers is clear in general, each organisation must figure out its approach to choosing and implementing these tools, Young said. "The biggest question is: How do we use them properly?"

NEXT PAGE: Identifying where Web 2.0 technology will work in your business

  1. How Web 2.0 can work for you
  2. Where Web 2.0 technology will work in your business
  3. Why understanding confusing technologies eventually pays off

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