When Peter Parker practices his heroics as Spider-Man, he captivates the citizenry and the press alike. You may not be able to dominate the news cycle like Spidey does, but by emulating his superpowers you too can masterfully connect with customers and followers online. The good news is you don't have to get bitten by a radioactive arachnid to do it.

Wall-Crawling

Soon after his fortuitous accident, Peter Parker found that he could adhere to just about any surface. He could crawl on walls, hang upside down from ceilings, and otherwise use his "stickiness" to his advantage.

The desire to create website stickiness—engaging visitors so that they return frequently and linger longer—has been around as long as websites themselves. Today, however, new tools and techniques are available to you:

  • By using gamification, you can make the experiences on your site not only educational but also highly-interactive, enjoyable, and competitive. "Players" (your visitor/prospects) learn about your products as they collect points and compete against each other for discounts and bragging rights.
  • Create Facebook apps, games, and campaigns to build a community, and keep your visitors engaged with each other as well as you. If you use tools such Lujure, customizing your fan page can be quick and easy.
  • Give your visitors a voice in your decisions by crowdsourcing product ideas, service-excellence nominees, and the like.

Using his stickiness, Spider-Man creates superior vantage points that lead to heightened awareness. You can, too, by making sure visitors stick around and you become top-of-mind.

Spider-Sense

When trouble's about to find Peter Parker, he gets a tingling sensation. With this "Spidey-Sense," Peter can perceive subtle changes in his environment that constitute threats and opportunities.

Similarly, you want to know about threats to your online brand and reputation, as well as opportunities for service intervention or product innovation. You don't have Spidey-Sense, but you still can...

  • Monitor what's being said about you, your service, and your products beyond the confines of your own website and Facebook page with social-media listening tools, such as Radian6.
  • Collect what your customers are telling you by interacting with you online and on the phones. Use that knowledge to customize the multichannel experiences you offer them. The best companies do this in real time (while adhering to privacy best-practices, of course).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave Calibey is the founder of BigThunk, a digital marketing and strategy company that helps its client use websites, email, social media, and local search listings to grow their businesses.

Sky Calibey is an associate at BigThunk, a digital marketing and strategy company that drives business results for its clients via online customer engagement. He will be entering his senior year at the University of Connecticut in the fall of 2012.