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Using Facebook Feedback for Progress in 2012

‘Tis the season for soapboxing. I would like to jump in with my two-cents and propose “Facebook Feedback for Progress” in 2012… for brands, that is. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about asking Facebook fans for feedback in order to build strong relationships with consumers. Napkin Labs’ CEO, Riley Gibson even wrote an article for Mashable explaining common faux pas that brands make when they want to use social media for progress. But the act of asking for this feedback becomes even more valuable for your brand when it’s actually used. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to hold a town-hall forum for hearing ideas if people’s suggestions were never acted on, now would it?

The good news is that using your fans’ comments to drive change is easy, and the rewards are huge. Here are a some tips for turning feedback into progress at your brand:

Assign a person to relay the feedback
A lot of brands have feedback come in on Facebook that goes completely unnoticed. Don’t ignore this goldmine of ideas! Make sure someone is assigned the responsibility of monitoring your brand’s Facebook page for feedback, then passing on the feedback to the appropriate department. Having this switchboard is a super efficient way to get the right information to the right place.

Kill the stigma that feedback is negative
There are worse “F” words than feedback. To start using feedback for progress, you first need to accept that it can help your brand grow. After all, without feedback, how would you know if your brand is on the right track? Kill the stigma that feedback is negative by encouraging your team to discuss feedback in a realistic way, rather than treating it as an elephant in the room or personal criticism on hard work.

Make discussing feedback a part of weekly meetings
Put consumer feedback on your weekly agenda. Talking about feedback as a group may ignite a conversation that can turn ideas into immediate action items. Discuss why feedback does or doesn’t fit into your brand’s larger objectives, why it might be an option down the road, or if you need more information to make a decision.

Try it out
Make it a point to act on one suggestion from a Facebook fan on a regular basis. Some brands receive enough feedback to do this weekly, others monthly. Even if this is something you already do internally, rotate the responsibility of choosing then implementing one suggestion through your team. Soon, your brand will start thinking like its fans, and the feedback-to-action process will become faster and faster. As a brand, you’ll also learn at very early stage why some feedback is troubling, and what the challenges you’ll need to overcome to bring about change.

For brands that act on fans’ ideas, progress is on the horizon. And if you really want to take it a step further your fans, make sure they know when feedback is being turned into a reality. Post updates on Facebook about ideas that are being implemented regularly. Once your fans realize you’re acting on their feedback, they’ll be excited to engage with your brand on Facebook again!

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