by: Matt Rhodes
Last month I spoke at the Conversations event in London, debating with Jeremy Brown, from Sense Worldwide, the right that brands have to do research in social media. The debate was lively in in ten minutes we managed to pack in a lot: co-creation, why the best ideas come from outside your business, what you have a right to ask people where, online research communities and why people really will talk about washing powder online.
I talk about using research and in particular online research communities as a base for open innovation, and a way to get input from those outside your organisation. We also discuss whether there is a limit to the types of people that will engage with research in this way or the topics that are suitable for discussion. In our experience at FreshNetworks, the answers to these questions are not as clear cut as many may assume. There are a vast range of people that you can engage in an online community who may not typically be heavy users of social media for entertainment. It is also often surprising the topics people are willing to talk about - if you can establish what about the topic matters to them and why they would share and discuss this, you can get valuable insight on a really diverse range of things. Even on washing powder.