Monday, February 11, 2008

Web site reviews: A real benefit of online social networks

You've probably read all the usual stuff about the marketing benefits of joining a social network like Linkedin. But recently I spotted a very practical reason. Free advice in the Question and Answer section.

NCR 's (the big computer company) creative manager Colleen Swanger posted this question in Linkedin's question and answer section.

"If you were going to redesign this B2B web site to make it fresh and more dynamic, what would you do? " she wrote, asking about her company's own site, http://www.ncr.com/. " Would you add more dynamic content? Change the color scheme? Rework the navigation? Layout the homepage differently? What's missing? "

Within a few days, she'd received practical, detailed and useful advice, including how to get more organic search results and improve the design, from a bunch of people including,
Victor Prince, an internet marketer with experience at Bain & Co., Capital One, Webs.com, Wharton and the CIA, and Akshay Jain, CEO Vinfotech.

NCR's Colleen Swanger wrote back, "Great input - thanks to all! This was an excellent way to validate some of my ideas, and get some insight from an outsider 's perspective."

Linkedin's answer section doesn't always work as well as in Colleen's case. In many cases, people will post answers and questions to publicize businesses or pad their resumes. But very often there's very useful info to be had for free. Many of the other social networks have similar Question and Answer pages like Yahoo's Answers.

BTW, Colleen, great question. We do site reviews in each issue of the Internet Marketing Report print edition, which we load online on this blog.

We've taken up your challenge. You can see a review of your site in our next issue. We'll send you one for free.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report editor, Julie Power, on Monday, February 11, at 10.20 a.m.


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