It’s been established that with the introduction of Web 2.0, one-way communication has become a thing of the past. Consumers now hold the ultimate power, with the ability to share their thoughts and opinions about a product, service, or company, without even moving from in front of their computer screens.

In my previous post I posed the question: how are organisations coping? Will they turn a blind eye to Web 2.0? Or will they man up and strive to take advantage of this new and exciting form of communication.

This blog will aim to uncover why some corporation’s are reluctant to break into the social media bubble, and the implications involved with remaining an outsider of Web 2.0.

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Why the resistance to change?

It shouldn’t come as such a surprise that some corporations are having a hard time adjusting to the new set of dynamics that follow widespread social media use.

Social networking is essentially horizontal and open, in contrast to that of the traditional social architecture of corporations being vertical and closed. For the corporations accustomed to rigid hierarchies and top down management, the idea of power moving downwards towards employees and consumers is a scary one.

According to C.K Prahalad, the introduction of social media means “Consumers are increasingly engaging themselves in an active and explicit dialogue with manufacturers of products and services.” But the problem for corporations is that they no longer hold control over the dialogue. Consumers have the freedom to actively seek out information about an organisation, and initiate discussion about it, demonstrating that “They have moved out of the audience and onto the stage.”

Implications

Whilst these companies might not want to believe it, sooner or later, adopting Web 2.0 won’t just be an annoying noise in the background, but rather, a crucial step in determining the success or failure of the company’s communication strategy.

Rather than view Web 2.0 in a negative light, companies should see it as an opportunity to connect with their consumers. Companies failing to engage in widespread social media use, are missing out on the use of a powerful communication tool, and overlooking a great source of consumer feedback.

It’s time for the organisations to drive this change, by breaking into the social media bubble and joining their consumers in using the shiny new tools of Web 2.0.

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