If you sell, design, and/or manufacturer products, the web and social media can deliver valuable insights and ideas from your customers.
You can use “Crowdsourcing” activities, like social media contests, to ask and encourage your customers to provide product feedback and new ideas. The resulting dialogue will also help deepen customer involvement and increase overall customer loyalty.
While big brands and technical innovators have been Crowdsourcing for years, small businesses can get in on the action, too; it just takes a little planning.
This article provides a great introduction to this approach and offers four practical social media contest examples, along with specific advice on how to run each type.
Quick summary of the four suggested types of social media contests:
#1: Ask your customers what they want.
Regardless of whether you’re a retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer, you want to know what to stock and what products to put your resources behind. This type of contest zeroes in on demand.
As part of AUMW’s ongoing effort to provide and disseminate useful, valuable information about Content Marketing, we publish reviews of articles that have stimulated our thinking.
This post reviews an article by Krista Bunskoek on SocialMediaExaminer.com: 4 Ways to Crowdsource Product Ideas Using Social Media Contests.
An example would be a simple voting contest where you show two or more products and ask customers which one(s) they want. You can offer a prize — such as the winning product itself, if that’s reasonable, or substantial coupons towards the purchase of the product.
#2: Conduct research on consumer preferences.
Another kind of voting contest could ask questions focused on details of a product such as color preference, ideas for using the product, favorite features, etc. You could even create an ongoing contest to get regular additional feedback.
#3: Host a “name-the-new-product” contest.
As stated in the article, “The name of your product can make or break its selling success. Engage your customers in an important business decision like this and you will make them feel like they are an essential contributor to your business.”
Begin, for example, by asking participants to submit ideas through comments on your blog, Facebook page, etc. Later, launch a voting contest once you’ve narrowed submissions down a bit.
#4: Ask consumers to imagine a new product variation.
This type of contest takes your engagement to a whole new level by asking for ideas to improve existing products or for entirely new products. Doing this also gets your customers “thinking about the types of products you already have, which increases both loyalty and sales.”
To get started, ask participants to submit ideas through comments on your blog, Facebook page, etc.
There you have it, four relatively easy-to-do, yet potentially very rewarding ideas to help you get the most from your social media networks.
Has your company ever run a social media contest to gain product insights? If so, let us know how it went.