Social media: the best focus group available?

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By Michelle Norris – EMEA Marketing Manager, Jacada Inc.

We all recognize that the explosive growth of social media represents both challenges and opportunities for today’s customer-facing organizations. Enlightened companies have started to recognize that the opportunities are wider and more significant than merely keeping tabs on (and trying to control) what customers are saying about them on blogs and other web sites that feature user-generated content; instead, these organizations are recognizing the value of gathering this precious feedback and using it to drive real improvements within the organization.

With this proactive approach to social media, businesses can address key customer service issues before they become PR disasters.  In fact, rather than turning a blind eye to this new way of communicating, savvy companies are now providing an assortment of social media touch points for consumers to provide feedback and even interact with one another.  As a result, businesses can benefit from the insights being revealed during these consumer-generated conversations, and can use this information to drive product development and marketing decisions.

For companies that are willing to embrace change, social media users can therefore provide the best focus group in the world.  By engaging with consumers at this level, satisfied customers can quickly become evangelists for the brand, advocates for the company, and will often begin to help one another to solve problems that would otherwise end up with the customer service department.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Stern
Richard Stern is Senior Vice President, Global Marketing for Jacada. Richard brings to Jacada more than 15 years of experience in successfully leading global marketing and new business development initiatives. Most recently, Richard served as Senior Vice President, Growth Telecom for SpinVox, a leading global speech technology company that delivers voice-to-text services for telecommunications providers.

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