Companies Are Asking Facebook Fans For Ideas

By Justin Lafferty 

Want to tell a company its product would be great if it just did one little thing differently? Just tell the company on its Facebook page. It’s listening.

Napkin Labs CEO Riley Gibson wrote a piece for Business Insider, detailing how companies have incredible power to reach customers through Facebook. However, he cited an Advertising Age study that said only 1 percent of fans engage with brands.

What can companies do to bridge that gap and reach out to the 99 percent? (No, not that 99 percent). Collaboration: By reaching out to users and allowing them to submit ideas by posting to their Facebook pages, brands can make everyday people part of the conversation.

Gibson knows what he’s talking about when it comes to social crowdsourcing. He cited the success of “American Idol,” which lets viewers vote for singers.

Gibson showed how those same principles can work for a Facebook page:

But collaboration offers benefits way beyond just building a loyal following. For example, asking for feedback provides a scalable way to engage a Facebook community. Since one-on-one communication with fans is unmanageable for almost any business, cultivating a community that empowers sharing is the next best alternative. The My Starbucks Idea is a great example of this type of collaboration. Starbucks encourages customers to submit ideas, comment, rank, and work with others to make each other’s ideas better. While there’s minimal engagement needed, Starbucks is still able to provide an engaging social experience for consumers.

Apparently, companies are learning that turning the microphone to their fans can help. Earlier this month, Nissan announced that it is tapping into its Facebook and Pinterest followings for ideas to improve future cars.

Erich Marx, Nissan’s director of interactive and social media marketing, told AdAge why Nissan is so willing to engage its fans in this manner:

We want to take our social media engagement to the next level. We have all of these people following us who are obviously interested in what we’re doing and where we’re going. The next level in that relationship will be to get their input on where we should go.

Readers: How often do you offer feedback or ideas to a company’s Facebook page?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.