When used correctly, social media crowdsourcing can be a powerful customer research tool. It can provide you with valuable insights on how to optimize various aspects of your business – from marketing and sales to customer service.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can use crowdsourcing for your business.
What is crowdsourcing?
First of all, what is crowdsourcing really?
Simply put, it is the process of collecting ideas, services, and/or content with the help of contributions from a large number of people. The “crowd” in crowdsourcing typically refers to third-party entities that are unrelated to the business that’s conducting it.
In other words, you ask people for ideas and opinions on a particular topic and use that information to feed your product development, customer service, and marketing campaigns. With the large amount of ways to tap into the wisdom of the crowd online, other forms of crowdsourcing like crowdfunding have continued to build the relevance of collective opinions and efforts.
How social media crowdsourcing adds value
When done right, social media crowdsourcing can provide valuable insights about your customers and how they feel about your business. You can use it to identify opportunities for improving your performance.
Here are a few major ways in which social media crowdsourcing adds value for your business.
1. Gain a better understanding of your customers
Crowdsourcing on social media is hands down the most effective way to know your customers better.
Sure you can look at your analytics data to study customer behavior and preferences, but asking them directly provides unique insights and context. You’ll be able to get specific quotes that help put a story behind how users interact with your offerings, and what their needs are that you still haven’t met.
Learn how to ask for feedback from customers so you can understand how they feel about your business, your products, your service or even your campaigns. You can also collect feedback to understand their interests, buying behavior, expectations, content preferences, pain points and more.
Enterprise.nxt, for instance, created a Twitter poll to understand how its followers manage their passwords. It even threw in a handy guide to creating more secure passwords so that they provide value to their audience while getting a better feel for an aspect of their behavior.
2. Improve your product or service
Customer feedback on social media can also help you identify problems in your product or service that you should address.
You’ll be able to hear about improvement opportunities straight from the end users. Since they come in direct contact with your product regularly, they are the best people to point out what needs fixing to build a better product.
An advantage of reaching out to your social media audience is that the group that will respond are typically some of your most engaged followers and users. They can serve as a focus group that knows your brand in detail and is motivated to help you improve them so they can benefit as customers too.
While you can create polls and ask questions, that’s not the only way to collect product improvement feedback. Look at the comments on your posts, direct messages and reviews on your social media pages.
For instance, the following screenshot shows how Pact could potentially identify a product improvement opportunity from a customer’s comment on its Facebook post.
Sprout Social’s social media engagement tools can help you streamline all of this. You’ll be able to manage reviews and filter the most relevant messages for your crowdsourcing efforts.