Customers who live with your product every single day can be a great resource of market research and product development. Social media offers an opportunity to improve your company’s products or services by tapping into customers to understand how they are using the product or service. To learn from requests or comments what other features you might need to add to your products. Pay attention if people are saying they wish your product or service could do this or they hate when it does that. That’s great intelligence about what you can do on future releases or enhancements to your product.
You can even use your community for beta testing and gaining feedback. If you have a product you’re about to launch into the market and you want to get good user perspective, your community of followers on social media is a great place to test it. Another part of using social media for product development or product improvement is to listen to your customers talking about your products and services and invite them to join a group or forum about making improvements.
It will make for a great group on Facebook or LinkedIn to act as a forum for a community discussion. The whole purpose of that forum is to come up with ideas to enhance and make your product better. While the majority of this book will offer strategies, tactics and advice on how to use social media to grow sales, we can’t forget the other benefits that social media can offer your company. As you read on, you will see how in reality all of the points made in this chapter are really interwoven in the way you will turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into evangelists.