There’s a lot of discussion in the innovation community these days about social innovation — the process of harnessing social media to “crowdsource” innovation by drawing in ideas from a wide range of people. Doing so doesn’t have to be hard, however; you can gain many insights from your existing social media activities, if you know what to look for.
Use social media to see what your customers are saying about your company, your products and your services. To start, all you need to do is simply observe what customers are posting, tweeting and sharing about your business. Notice not only the questions and concerns that arise, but also those that come into your business by phone, chat, e-mail or any other way customers contact you.
As you read and listen, consider:
- What customers like about your products or services. Can you come up with related products or services, expand on the products or services that are especially popular, or add new products or services with similar features and benefits?
- What customers dislike about your products or services. How could you improve the features that aren’t meeting customers’ needs? Should these products or services be eliminated and replaced with something entirely different?
- Common questions are customers asking about your products or services. If lots of customers repeatedly have problems understanding or operating what you sell, you’ve pinpointed an area where further innovation is needed.
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