There’s plenty of enthusiasm regarding social media channels as a way to get your message out to consumers, but have you considered the power of social to listen and involve people to help you develop better products and services? Communication today for brands is two way and by that I’m not just talking about customer service. Using a multi-channel approach with plenty of cross promotion, you can do even more than engage your audience, you can involve them and their feedback can reduce product development costs and mistakes.

  • Use email and other social channels to ask your customers what you are doing well, what you could improve on and what they want from you


  • Test product ideas with your most engaged fans before you roll them out to the market


  • Generate ideas for products and services you may not have thought of


Who needs to go to all the trouble of formal focus groups or other traditional methods when you can talk directly with your biggest fans and get their feedback? It’s not just the feedback which is gold either. It’s also projecting the message that you want your customers involved in what you do and our listening to them and taking their concerns seriously — that is a very powerful and positive message. Don’t forget to offer incentives to participate and recognize those people who contribute too.

Take a look at this report from WaveMetrix with examples of companies who’ve leveraged social media to test the waters with consumers successfully and some who haven’t.