I’ve written previously about how Facebook can be used disruptively to provide souped-up pictorial directories for churches and other organizations, how it can serve as an on-line booster club (complete with video and photo highlights and links to newspaper coverage) for high school and youth sports teams, and other “off label” uses of Facebook and Twitter. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to see how it also could challenge sites like classmates.com or reunions.com, particularly as people of the Stayin’ Alive generation (who have stayed alive) move into Facebook.
Facebook has some market research features that are part of its paid offerings, but there’s another way companies or organizations could conduct qualitative research among current or potential customers or members. These could be either short-term focus groups, or ongoing customer panels.
In my next few posts I’ll take a step-by-step approach to creating these groups in Facebook. I’m attending the Frost & Sullivan Sales & Marketing conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz. over the next few days. I’ll be part of a panel on blogging, and blogging about what I learn there, but I think these qualitative research methods using Facebook that I’ll be describing could be an immensely practical and cost-effective way to interact with current or prospective customers or members.