Learn from Social Media Community

Source: flickr.com/photos/choconancy

As an extension of this month’s ebook, Building Stronger Customer Relationships: Making Your Brand More Personal With Social Media, we are sharing one social media rich idea each day for the next 30 days. Here is Day 15.

Jason Falls reminds us in No Bull*hit Social Media that asking for feedback and gathering knowledge from your social networks is empowering. To paraphrase Jason: when customers feel empowered they become vested to a degree. The logic is circular; the more you engage, the more empowered your social networks feel. The more empowered your social networks feel, the deeper the connection forged between your brand and your customers.

There are a many different ways to gather information from your customers. Let’s take a look at two.

The direct appeal

Many brands use social networks to crowdsource information from their fans and customers. Let’s break them down.


McDonald’s #LittleThings campaign stemmed from tweets about the company’s coffee and the little things people take stock in. In many ways this provided excellent word association insights. These “little things” people discussed while sipping their McDonald’s coffees represents a treasure trove of customer feedback.

The Corporate Blog

Blogs provide a space for companies to communicate about numerous topics from breaking news to exciting product information. It has also become a bit of a “fire line” for brands engulfed in crisis communications. BioWare provides an example of a company managing a brand crisis while inviting feedback.

It is also an opportunity to capture community input and increased web traffic, either by leaving comments on the page or directing people to other avenues of communication.


Facebook Questions lets you poll to your community in an open or controlled format. You can set the questions or leave it open-ended. It is innately viral: when someone answers the question, it will appear on all of their friends’ feeds, increasing your potential reach.

Being proactive: social media monitoring

By using social media monitoring platforms, it is possible to gather knowledge 24/7. GNC collected important insights from the social web by monitoring conversations around the products they sell. They can get a sense of popular items, questions, as well as the in-store experiences. Gathering this knowledge enables GNC to engage in these conversations, enhance products and offer customer service.


I cited a couple of examples of brand’s actively seeking knowledge from their community, but what did I miss? Feel free to let me know of any examples you think should be added in the comments section below! Check back on Day 16 when we’ll discuss offering to help offline. For an overview of all 30 days, don’t forget to download the free ebook.