Facebook Has Valuable Information
With the increase growth of social media, research and developers can use it for two different ways: social media monitoring and directly seeking customer feedback. Even small businesses can use this method without a research and development budget. Social media can be one of the best resources for companies to get data from a larger group of people with higher response rate.
As mentioned by Shelly Kramer, social media has grown so much that if Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world. Between 2010 and 2011, Twitter’s tweet per day had a growth of 252%, from 27 million to 95 million tweets per day. 71% of the companies use Facebook, 59% use Twitter, 33% use YouTube, and only 6% use Myspace. From 2007, the number of companies that use corporate blogs has increased from 16% to 43% in 2012.
With the number of people that are active on social media, it makes it easy for companies to gather information about your company, a product or service, and even competitors. Erik Deckers, author of ‘No Bullshit Social Media‘, said by listening to the online conversations that customers may be talking about, they can gather information that can assist them in their decision-making and to produce a better product.
There are free websites such as SocialMention.com to monitor it or a more sophisticated website such as uberVu for $40 a month. Similar to Google Adwords, those websites can be used to search for relevant conversations from users around a certain geographic location. If a phrase was mentioned multiple times talking about their needs, they have just collected a new idea from the web.
The second approach is to use social media to build relationships and connect with customers to turn them into their focus group. Companies can simply post a question on their status asking about the product, fans that “liked” their page will reply to the question. This is a non-formal technique that companies are using to gather free information.
Other social media platforms such as Twitter and Google plus have yet to prove to be as helpful in gathering information as Facebook. It is due to Twitter being a constant flow of information and updates that the tweet will be buried before fans could see it. It makes it difficult for any company to gather information. Google plus has yet to be fully developed as Facebook, but in the future, it may be just as useful and engaging as Facebook is in collecting data for future developments.
I am a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, with majors in marketing and management. I am expected to graduate in May of 2012. I would like to pursue my career in the field of research and development.