Chapter 11. Implementing the OnTrek Social Network

  • How do you establish a social network including users, friends, and profiles?

  • How do you connect members with community groups?

  • Can you use dashboards as personalized portals of information?

  • How do you stay up-to-date on members' activity streams?

  • What is the purpose of micro-messaging?

It is no exaggeration to say that social media has fundamentally changed the way businesses operate and engage with customers. Changes are happening to the way corporations are doing business as a result. Information is being shared regularly through many different online venues. Organizations that listen and participate in such conversations gain an advantage over their customers by increasing sales, extending marketing opportunities, and increasing customer loyalty through improved support and public relations.

Prior to the age of social media, businesses were used to communicating directly both with customers and employees in one outward direction. This is no longer the case. Customers talk about the brands with which they interact in open forums on the Internet; employees blog about their company on personal websites and ask questions around the virtual water cooler. Businesses can no longer ignore the comments that people have. Communication is at the core of social media and if you are not engaging in the conversation on your own website, the conversation will happen elsewhere.

Social media is not just for external communities; it is also relevant ...

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