What happened: A key to any successful brand marketing program is the ability to know what end-users, customers, clients and constituents want from the brand being promoted. Market research is often beyond the budget and reach of small to medium size companies and quick “gut instincts” are almost always a poor substitute for strategic research.

Why it matters: Using a social media channel such as Facebook can provide a company with immediate access to its closest confidants and make more objective decisions about its products and services. What used to cost thousands of dollars for a formal focus group project can now be accomplished nearly for free. By simply taking a photograph of your product including a description of purpose, use, benefits, features, etc. and asking for feedback will provide you with useful information.

Apple’s new Facebook page is setup like a portal so it can measure the interest for particular apps among other information. One of the primary benefits social has brought to B2B marketers is an effective way to both market to customers and gain their valuable feedback about your brand.