In a prior post, I provided a definition of social web. Some may read that post and ask the question: "But are real companies actually embracing the social web?"
The answer is an unequivocal: Absolutely!
Let's take a look at the Jeep Community for example. Jeep has devoted a section of their Jeep.com website to engaging their passionate member community via the social web and doing so in a wide variety of ways.
Scrolling down the page reveals much more:
In the above pictures you can see that Jeep enables their community to interact with a wide range of social applications: picture sharing, video sharing, games, special offers on merchandise, Jeep event calendar including marketing events such as “Jeep King of the Mountains”, and a ton of links to Jeep groups on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Flickr, YouTube, etc.
Jeep is clearly a posterchild for how to effectively engage a community via the social web. Their Jeep Community site is effective since it enables their community to rally around their PASSION. And Jeep has done this in a way that increases the value of their own web property (Jeep.com) as well as taps into the power of the large social networks such as Facebook.
What's the bottom-line benefit to Jeep? Customer loyalty, word of mouth referrals, and increased brand equity.
Why Build Social Applications into a Website?
Why Develop a Facebook Application?
Social Media: Rent or Own?
Search Advertising vs. Social Applications
You can find even more recommended reading in the Social Business section of the Ringside Networks website.