Lynne d Johnson



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03.09.10 07:11 PM

Using Google Buzz for Research, Insights & Conversation

I've been on Google Buzz pretty much since it was available to me, but I did have some issues figuring out the best use case for myself. Initially, I thought I should use it just like FriendFeed, but I found that to be wrong all too quickly. It's not meant to simply be an aggregator (neither was FF, given how the leading community there ended up using it).

What Buzz is good for, is, well, Buzz. Having conversations and creating Buzz. I've managed to have great conversations there, both in my own Buzz and in other Buzzes, and thereby have gained great insight and feedback and have had richer experiences for it.

One thing that's been great is that folks I've known since I first started blogging back in 2001, are starting to interact with me there and it's nice to be talking to them daily, again. Could I have more feedback? Sure I could. But the fact is I'm receiving quality feedback and conversation that's contributing greatly to projects I'm working on.

Example one: I asked the Buzzverse whether I should review Brain Solis's Engage or Joseph Jaffe's Flip the Funnel for the next issue of the Journal of Advertising Research. The feedback for Engage was overwhelming, to say the least, but Jaffe still wins because I'll follow up with him to do an interview styled book review for my ARF Social Media Insights MediaBizBloggers column.

Example two: I'm leading a discussion at MediaBistro Circus in May about the opportunities and challenges that social media presents, and social media's impact on marketing, advertising and media. So, I asked the community, which issues have they been dealing with or do they most hear being discussed. I plan to use the questions and feedback shared in a post leading up the the event, and it will end up being the basis for how I lead the discussion. I'm not receiving overwhelming feedback there, but the feedback I'm receiving is invaluable.

Example three: I just recently listed this example, so I'm not quite sure what the feedback will be. But in two weeks, I'm presenting a workshop entitled, "Listening to the Multicultural Consumer," at the ARF Annual #reThink10. Since Research Transformation and Listening are big initiatives for the ARF, when we thought about how the mainstream was changing, it only made sense for us to figure out how to use social media (digital media) to listen to the multicultural consumer. I'm working with Uniworld on that project and we've got loads of data, but what we're lacking is case studies--examples of how digital media was used to learn more about a consumer group to either reposition a brand message or product, gain new customers, monitor and track brand health, and all the other great insights that customer insights and market research provide to make marketing goals, customer service, and product development more effective. I'm really not sure how many of those examples are out there, but here's the ask.

Of course, I'm not receiving Mashable-type feedback, but the feedback I'm receiving has been extremely useful and will go into further developments of my current projects. This is only a miniscule experiment that some brands have been successful with on a larger scale, such as Mashable and Read, Write, Web. Nonetheless, the experiment shows that Google Buzz can work. If you are clear about your objectives in this space and give as much as you receive, then the experience can be far more than rewarding.

How are you using Buzz?

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