Why wait? Web 2.0 is here to stay.

My colleague Tim and I recently attended an intensive one-day course in Montreal on the subject of social media marketing and Web 2.0. It was instructed by Mitch Joel, Owner of Twist Image (a digital media company in Montreal), and social media guru. I thought it was extremely well presented, and the content was a perfect mix of explanations and examples. I emerged at the end of the day feeling energized and excited to share all I had learned with my coworkers, not to mention, the rest of the world ;)

Web 2.0 seems to be all we’re hearing about these days - and rightly so. Mitch explained that this industry (marketing, advertising) has changed more in the last 2 years than it has in the last 20. He gave some startling statistics on web use – who is using it, how they are interacting with it, what they are doing and why. The hard numbers make it all very difficult to ignore, and hearing it inspired me to make a point of absorbing everything I can on the subject from here-on-in. Did you know that in 2006, Canadian online advertising exceeded $1 billion?! (
IAB Canada)

Here's a brief list of things that I feel are definitive of the Web 2.0 concept, and what social media marketing is all about:

- Hands-on (user-generated content ie/
YouTube, and virtual worlds ie/Second Life)
- Blogging
- Podcasting
- Wikis
- Syndication
- Tagging (ie/
- Social Networking (ie/
facebook, MySpace, Linkedin)
- Viral Marketing
- Mobile devices

Participation, as opposed to push or pull, is the name of the game. Consumers want to feel a part of your brand, and so by allowing them to contribute by creating - they are helping to shape it. This also prevents your marketing campaign from fading into the background and from fading too quickly – if people are interacting with it you can be sure it lives on!

If there was ever a time that cookie-cutter approaches fail - it's now - today and tomorrow. We all must start to embrace Web 2.0 and make the necessary transition in the way we approach marketing our products and services.

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