According to research by Crimson Hexagon, 93 percent of digital marketing and advertising professionals believe that utilizing social media as a mechanism for customer feedback can be an invaluable resource when it comes to product design development. The bottom line is that social media is an invaluable tool in the development process, providing developers with insight into consumer behavior and consumer preferences. Here is how you can harness the power of social media during the product development process.

Pose relevant questions

Social media can be a highly effective way to illicit valuable customer feedback. For example, in the spring of 2009 airline AirTran asked customers via social media, “What do you think should be on every AirTran flight?” At the time, the company was looking for input on which new services to offer on flights, and subsequently turned to consumers for a bit of guidance. The company collected ballots and tallied up the responses. The answer was clear: AirTran fliers wanted WiFi on every AirTran flight. Today, every single AirTran flight offers WiFi.

Harness social data

Social media is essentially a data mine, and if companies are astute, they can mine social media for valuable insight into consumer behaviors and preferences. However, in order to harness the power of social media, brands need to be tuned into conversations that are going on about the online. Dell, for example, monitors more than 25,000 posts about their company every single day through a social media listening command center. This data is divvied up into a wide variety of reports that inform the company as a whole, as well as its consumer, small and medium business, public sector, and large enterprise and services business segments. Dell also tunes into competitors’ conversations about topics that could affect market issues. Certainly, every piece of customer feedback regarding a brand’s offerings, whether positive, neutral, or negative, is important. But repetition and general sentiment trending about product design topics and service issues can provide insight into overall customer sentiment. It is this data that can show different trends in consumer opinions, trends that can be leveraged during the development process.

Solicit participation

Last but not least, social media can be an excellent way to facilitate consumer participation in the social media development process. For example, when PepsiCo decided to develop a new product for Saudi Arabia, they offered customers the opportunity to name the new product via voting on several different social media sites. Brand engagement soared, and the tactic got customers talking about the new product. Soliciting participation is an excellent way to get customers enthused about new products, which makes them more likely to make a purchase.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.