Handing Over Control
Shared by Another Idea from HEILBrice Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So you’re tweeting, blogging, talking, laughing, and sharing, but are you researching? An often overlooked part of this wonderful social world is the ability to collect information, learn about the consumer, and make your brand better.

Sure, you can talk and talk until no end and you can be very successful at that, but why not use social platforms to start learning something more about your consumer. GM has recently implemented several programs that revolve around social media and are designed to get instant feedback from consumers on everything from concept models, to accessories, to the automobile lifestyle. The idea is that consumers can connect with the GM products and give input into the development of these products over time.

We’ve said in the past that to be successful in social media, you’ll need to begin to hand over some control to the members of your social communities. This can mean allowing them to share honest views and opinions of the company, creating their own ad parodies, making home videos using your product in unconventional ways, or even allowing them to help develop product ideas.

Vans, Fox, Apple, CNN, along with many others have reached out to their consumers via social media for feedback and suggestions on how to make their products better, more useful, and to meet needs more effectively. Vans has even created contests on the web that allow consumers to make their own commercial and the winner’s work would be presented on national television. Frito-Lay has carried out similar strategies as well, allowing consumers to truly become part of the brand.

By handing over some control to the consumer, you’re letting them know that you trust them and that you want them to be involved. This is a great way to build brand loyalty and to create a lasting connection with social communities as a company that is so interested in their consumer that they are actively allowing them to make the brand into what they want.