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Go beyond traditional social media practices

Go beyond traditional social media practices

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Published by Crowdsourcing.org

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Apr 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/06/2013

 
 
There’s no doubt that social media is the way for businesses of all sizes to directly
communicate with consumers. Going beyond this interaction, social media doesprovides direct feedback to businesses about their products, pricing, distribution,etc. Obviously, crowdsourcing, or social innovation, can be a powerful tool,
however if you’re in the SMB category, collecting focused, valuable feedback 
from users, managing this data, and then deriving practical action points from itcan be a bit more of a time investment than many have to make.
If you’re the person (or part of a team) that’s responsible for your organization’ssocial media outreach, chances are, you’ve already got a mountain of data sitting inyour Facebook or Twitter stream. You’re monitoring what’s being said about your organization with a variety of tools. Instead of focusing on your output, let’s turn
the tables and see what the output from your following community is. This is the
very first step in crowdsourcing your company’s next move:
Listen.
Listen
 
If you’re doing your social media related responsibilities correctly, you’re acutelyaware of what’s being said about your product, company, service, etc… But
instead of just knowing this information, how about a formalized tracking systemof it? Meaning, if you notice a question or comment frequently occurring, makenote of it. You could create a spreadsheet, mind map, word document, etc. The
format is up to you, so long as you’re actively tracking these questions.
 
Ok, so you’ve got a list of recurring questions, comments, etc., now what? It’s time
to start formulating some responses. Are these questions something that can easilybe addressed through an FAQ? A detailed blog post that you can point users to?Maybe a quick and simple video?
If these comments go beyond the customer service aspect, congratulations, you’ve just crossed over into crowdsourcing. If you’ve got raving customer 
s, how can youleverage this excitement to further the revenues? Are there related products,services, etc. that you can offer users? Are there any areas where you can expandupon your current offerings? Is it time to take a deeper look at this specific productline and expand upon it?
 Now let’s be honest, it’s not going to be all sunshine and unicorns. Users are just
as apt to tell you what they do not like about your product. Seasoned pros take theobligatory 2 seconds to roll their eyes, and then dig into this negativity with a
heapin’ spoonful of, “How can we make this better?” Remember, these negative
comments are just as valuable to your organization as the positive ones. Sure, notin the public light, but in the company strategy meetings, these comments are the
ones that can drive further success. If your product or service isn’t meetingcustomer’s needs, how can future versions solve this issue? Did your engineering
team even know this was an issue? Is it time to start thinking about killing off acertain product or service? Remember that tracking mechanism mentioned above?
 Now’s the time to start looking at those numbers and talking to the right people
within your organization about some change.
Don’t forget about the unexpected. You’re always going t
o have a few (or many insome cases) who will use your product in an unexpected way, modify it, hack it,customize it. Take special note of these innovators, and make sure you keep an eye
on them. Does this modification have traction? Are other’s wondering
how to do
 
the same? Can you build something that will allow users to do the same in the nearfuture?
The Competition
Listening to your own brand and consumers is a good start, but you’ll also want tokeep tabs on your competitors. I’m guessing that your TweetDeck (or similar) has
column set up monitoring any @ mentions of your competitors. Likewise, either
you or your “other” Facebook account are friends or fans with competitors,
keeping an eye on what the other guys are doing.Adding another column to that tracking spreadsheet, keep tabs on what others are
saying about competitor’s products and/or services. Is there
a specific service or
 product that they’re offering that your organization doesn’t? Could your 
organization build upon this offering, putting your own unique spin on it? Can you
“one better” this offering?
 Similar to your own monitoring, what are consumers not happy about with a
competitor’s offering(s)? Does your product fill the void that consumers aredispleased about with your competitor’s offering? If so, you’ve just crowdsourced
your next marketing push. If not, is your organization agile enough to react quicklyand build a solution to capture these unhappy consumers?Coming full circle, what are some common questions that are asked of your
competitor? Are these questions similar to those that you’ve noted? If so, wouldn’t
it be fantastic if you/your organization were the ones to present the clear anddefinitive answer to this common question? Likewise, can your organization build
or produce a product or offering that could simply a process that’s obviouslyconfusing your competitor’s users?
 

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