We all know people who have strong opinions and are not shy about sharing them. We also know people who are much more comfortable with various technologies than others.
So, if you are using social media tools to engage members of your target market, how do you ensure that the results you see are not dominated by those who are technologically savvy AND strongly opinionated?
Consider a product targeted at older people, would they be likely to provide you feedback via Twitter, Facebook, or the like? I doubt it. As my mother says, “If I can’t talk to you on the phone or in-person, I’m not going to talk to you at all.”
What about a product targeted at young adults with young children?? Would they have the spare time to provide you with the quality feedback that you need? Perhaps, but only if you make it very easy and simple for them to contribute — because “spare time” is something that young parents never have enough of.
And let’s not forget those people who aggressively post comments, suggestions, complaints, etc. on a semi-continual basis. How can you know whether they represent a small, potentially negligible, segment of your target market or whether they are really the voice of your “silent majority”?
Bottom line — I think that social media is a good tool for collecting immediate feedback from your target market, but it is only one of many “feedback collection tools” that you should use. You need to carefully select the right “tools” so that they match the characteristics of your market and cross-reference all of your inputs — so that you are not misdirected by strongly worded responses from a few, avid target market members.