How Facebook Helps Brands Co-Create with "Prosumers"
Companies are striving to find tools to co-create with their fans, which leads to better products, a better user experience and a more engaged fan base. Social networks have the potential to be effective channels for companies to interact with their customers and get real-time feedback on their products. Currently, Facebook pages provide a way for casual interaction between a brand and their fans - a company posts a photo, which fans can comment on or share - but lacks methods to gain insights into providing a better user experience or what a company could be doing to best serve their most loyal customers.
Most brand and businesses know the value of their customers in the product ideation process. While focus groups have been standard practices for marketers to test out new products, there haven't been efficient methods to co-create with their social media community. Co-creation through social media builds meaningful relationships with customers, increasing customer satisfaction, generating brand advocacy and increases social media ROI.
Brands recognize that their Facebook fans are valuable customers, for both their purchase value and referral value. A recent Forrester Research study found that Facebook fans are 79% more likely to purchase than non-fans. Social amplification is significant as well: 74% of fans are likely to recommend the brand to their network compared to 38% of non fans. Another study by Bain Consulting shows that an Apple fan is worth about 90% more to Apple than a non fan.
Who are these valuable customers? They are social prosumers. Prosumerism blur the line between consumption and production, changing the way that consumers interact with brands and how they make purchasing decisions. Prosumers are early adopters and are often connecting to brands through multiple devices.
This emerging category of consumers is extremely influential and valuable. They are members of the social web, producing and distributing content at a rate that brands are struggling to keep up with. Businesses are no longer in complete control of their brand image, products and overall message. Social media technologies give brands a valuable listening tool to understand the wants and needs of their customer base. Now, these technologies have evolved so that brands can not only listen to their customer, but co-create with them as well.
Involving customers in the production process provides a sense of ownership, contributing to overall brand influence on social media and building brand communities. Co-creating using the tools of social media can speed up the production process and engage social prosumers at the same time.
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