Despite industry hype over Web 2.0 throughout the last few years, it seems many small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) are still missing the point. Web 2.0 can be loosely defined as a series of principles that enable companies to leverage new media to convert their marketing into conversations, and their workflow protocol into collaboration. For a more succinct definition, check out the first part of our series, What is Web 2.0 Content Management? In a recent poll conducted by Mediasurface at Internet World, over 60 percent of SMEs reported feeling their websites don’t reflect the company brand, with 52 percent unaware how often their websites are updated. Even more alarmingly, 11 percent of small businesses surveyed don’t even have a web presence.
That’s right. 1 out of 10 small businesses apparently don’t believe it’s worth their while to invest in a website, or even an online listing of some sort.
A website is often the first means of contact for a potential customer and can serve as a virtual shop window showcasing the companies products and services. That means these companies are missing out on a crucial business element.
Also, a full 41 percent of people surveyed are unaware of Web 2.0 altogether; of the companies who are aware, only 37 percent believe that it will impact their business.
One correlation supports the taken-for-granted notion that dynamic, up-to-date websites are crucial for online success: Although 61 percent of smaller businesses feel that their sites don't accurately reflect their brand, only 37 percent of companies update their websites more than once a week. It could very well be that the 37 percent of companies that frequently update their websites are also among the 39 percent of companies that feel websites accurately reflect their company brand.
If nothing else, the stats show that there is still much work to be done before SMEs fully embrace the potential that Web 2.0 offers them. It seems that while it is effectively understood and utilized by larger businesses, potential to expand the concepts of new media among SMEs remains rich and largely untapped.
A similar study was recently conducted by Intranet DASHBOARD, which found, among other things, that 25 percent of enterprises plead lack of interest in social networking technologies and other components of Web two-dot-oh. If you're among the firms that seek to get savvy, however, solutions like Social Platform and Central Desktop can help.
Learn more about this study, and what it might mean, at www.mediasurface.com.