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Leveraging Social Media for New Product Ideas

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an interesting article detailing how small businesses are increasingly using crowdsourcing via online communities to get quick advice or feedback on new ideas and products. The story highlights some businesses who are asking customers what they think via questions or polls on their Facebook, Twitter or blog sites, while others are using fee-based services such as Eyeka, Hypios and Jovoto to get ideas from freelancers, often using contests.

I’m a big proponent of leveraging communities to achieve goals, but I would suggest bringing in a professional researcher to help decipher the comments and structure the conversations if you plan to make significant changes to your products or services. While all input is helpful, having someone who can put it into context is an invaluable investment in your business and products.