Mario Sundar's Speakeasy

Spero Ventures. Early LinkedIn, Twitter. These are my thoughts on tech, brand, marketing and community.

3 easy ways to find user feedback in social media

As someone who’s actually seen companies (from agencies to Fortune 500 companies) first go, “Social Media, Why?” to How? It’s interesting to see a global voice arise echoing “Social Media. Now!”. Particularly since the chorus comes from a slew of senior marketing executives world-wide. Nice.

Senior marketing executives in several countries agree that the use of social media for corporate, brand and product marketing is not a passing fad – with nearly half saying it is a vital component – according to research sponsored by TNS media intelligence/Cymfony.

What I found most interesting was the broad range of social media activities that companies are willing to commit to. Take a look.

It was also heartening to read this:

The potentially most effective use of social media, selected by more than 50% of respondents, is creating a user community of bloggers to provide user experience feedback.

Well, listen up. These days there are quicker ways to get user feedback right when the user experience occurs. Yes, check out three examples (and you may have heard it from me already).

1. Blogs

Or, a community of bloggers as your marketing executive expects. What’s more important is for you to actually converse within that medium. I think Jeremy says it well when he blogs:

That means getting to actually know the community, getting to be a part of it, reading blog posts – and meeting the people. It doesn’t mean using the community…

Participation and Listening are keywords here. First get your marketing teams participating in the social media world (be it blogs or other sites such as the ones mentioned below) and then you can move into the ROI phase.

2. Twitter

Want immediate feedback – go to Twitter. (What is Twitter?) First off, your community guy/gal should get a twitter account and start tracking conversations about your company on twitter. Easiest way to do that would be to tweet (yes, that’s the official verb form) “track company name”. And, voila he/she’s following all tweets about your company.

Best part is, the community person can then respond to the user right away. Check out my experience responding to Steve Rubel’s LinkedIn error on twitter. And, this can be done not just by a single individual but by everyone in your company who cares about your company and its brand!

Catch me on Twitter

3. Friend Feed:

You knew I’d bring it up. Didn’t you? For those who haven’t heard about it, FriendFeed is a social media aggregator. Here are the first two steps ,if you’d like to get great user-feedback – as it happens, on FriendFeed:

1. Why should I use FriendFeed? CONSOLIDATE all your social media activities into one place, which you can then SHARE with your community. For e.g. here’s my friend feed page. Go ahead, subscribe to me (User id required). Currently 29 social media sites are available – from Twitter to YouTube.

Follow me on Friend Feed

2. SEARCH for relevant information related to your company from there. Consider this a super-group of all social media actions that have mentioned your company. For e.g. somebody twittered a bad user experience to somebody who created a video on YouTube to let the world know how great your latest feature enhancements are!

Here’s how you can search for your company mentions on Friend Feed

If you have any questions on the above three ways to track user experience feedback via social media, just let me know by leaving a comment on this blog post.

Filed under: Business Blogging

6 Responses

  1. tom obrien says:

    Hi Mario:

    Nice post – not too surprising that TNS/Cymphony published a study revealing that social media matters – it’s their business! But it has the benefit of being true.

    I have a BIG disagreement with what 50% of the respondents said was the most effective use of Social Media – setting up a user community.

    NEWS FLASH – if it is even a mildly interesting and involved subject the user community already exists. If you build one, good luck getting them to come. If they are not discussing your brand – well they won’t naturally start discussing it just because you “build a community”.

    I would argue that the most effective (first) use of social media is listening. In most categories there is a large and vibrant conversation going on out there – and you are allowed to listen – and even participate.



  2. Lee says:

    Hello Mario,

    Within LinkedIn, wouldn’t the ability to “tag” a connection be an effective tool for managing the vast quantities of contacts?


  3. […] evangelism and the new crop of social media tools that facilitate them (Read my earlier post on the triumvirate of customer feedback sites). As I mentioned at our SXSW panel, increased speed of response to customer complaints is one of […]


  4. Gisel says:

    Hi Mario!

    I would like to know how could a Nonprofit organization use the social media, to impact in the community?



  5. […] 1. My response to Steve Rubel 2. My colleague Steve Ganz’s (LinkedIn) response to Erica O’Grady (via Twitter) 3. ComcastCares’ response to Arrington and other Comcast users on […]


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