How to Choose the Right Web 2.0 Tools for Your Business

Adam Boyden, President of Conduit
garden_tool.jpgFor the small business owner, now is not the time to silence your marketing programs. Your audience needs to know that you are there — or you are in danger of being forgotten. Luckily for today’s entrepreneur there are many Web 2.0 tools available that are either low in cost or completely free that can help companies connect with customers and improve retention rates. The only challenge is wading through the gamut of choices.
In an effort to save you time and frustration, I have included three key questions any small business owner should consider when seeking out the right Web 2.0 tool for their business.
Does it reflect your brand?

Every marketing tool or channel must consistently and accurately reflect your brand. If not, you run the risk of appearing disjointed, or worse, your customers may not recognize you.
Every tool should look and function like an integrated element of your online marketing presence if you want it to help with conversion and retention. Marketing tools, such as WidgetBox’s Blidget allows you to do just that by giving users the opportunity to easily brand and control updates.
Does it promote community?
The most successful business examples of late have been “relationship marketing” programs where businesses are using social media tools to better understand what their customers think, and to connect directly with them. By doing this, you can create a sense of community and build brand loyalty. A great example of relationship marketing at work is Zappos who is using Twitter as another vehicle for connecting with customers on a personal level. The result is zealous, loyal fans.
Services like Twitter or Conduit’s toolbar creation platform can extend your reach and syndicate content while also creating a community. But this isn’t just feel good stuff; case studies like Zappos’ clearly demonstrate that this relationship marketing has a direct impact on revenue generation.

Will it keep them coming back for more?

Finding tools that will cultivate new relationships and transform one-time buyers into repeat customers is the key to a successful business. It is a well-known fact that it costs more to acquire new customers than to hold on to existing ones.
By following these guidelines to help you determine the right Web 2.0 tools for your business, you will be on the fast track to staying top of mind with your customers and building a strong community without breaking your budget.
Adam Boyden is president of Conduit, a provider of website syndication solutions for businesses of all sizes.