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Monday, February 23, 2009

Maximizing the insight from your health and healthy lifestyle online community

Some online communities are specifically built and managed as insight tools, states FreshNetworks in a recent post Maximising the insight you get from your online community.
However, all communities can be useful sources of insight, as companies are able to observe and learn from the unfiltered, real conversations taking place among community members.
Here are eight ways that FreshNetworks describes how companies can learn from online communities:
Profiling data: to help you understand the demographic and lifestyle make-up of the people who comprise your community
Focused discussions: that can be built around priority areas of interest, which can then provide rich insights for research and development
Learn their language: by observing how members talk about your market and products, you can gain rich insight into their lives and priorities and your messaging and outreach 
Rating and voting: asking members to rate or to vote on ideas or content provides input for you in turn to be more relevant and meaningful to them 
Photo uploads: can reveal what people are thinking and feeling beyond words alone; and are often an easier vehicle for people to express their ideas
Photo activities: by asking members to upload photos that they believe reflect a specific topic or a response to a question, you begin to learn how they see the world 
Discussion events: can be focused on specific issues important to the company; at times that reflect the usage patterns of your community
Quick polls: are easy to put together, and provide a tool to gather quick, directional insight about specific topics of interest

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