The World of Web 2.0

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Delicious, Tumblr, LinkedIn, blogs and wikis – the list goes on, but you get the idea. There have never been more ways to connect with others. The online explosion of user-generated content begs the question – how do you, as a business, harness its power?

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It’s a concept that many organizations have been toying with. The Ontario Association of Career Colleges waded into the world of web 2.0 a month ago, with a new blog and accounts on Twitter and Facebook. So far, the experience has been positive. Our small base of followers is slowly growing.

Many organizations have jumped to include social media in their communications strategy. A recent survey done by Sage North America found that 88 percent of U.S. and Canadian nonprofits are using some form of social media, although less than half of this number have been using the channel for more than a year.

According to a 2008 survey done by agency Com.motion and Pollara, two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) who use social media say social media tools are important for learning about products, services, organizations and brands, up from 59 per cent in 2007. Nearly four in five Canadians (79 per cent) say they have used social media tools. That’s up from 71 per cent in 2007.

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This all spells potential for savvy marketers. For private career colleges, the most obvious benefits could be in student recruitment – it could be a direct channel to people considering going to school.

So tell us – what has your experience been with social media, professionally or personally? Does your business have a blog? A Twitter account? A Facebook page? What are the challenges with using social media? How can private career colleges use it effectively?

Social media has emerged as a topic of interest to OACC members. Several respondents requested a speaker or workshop dealing with online marketing and social networking for OACC’s conference in April. What would you like to learn? Could you suggest a speaker?

Let’s start a discussion…

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