What is Crowdsourcing?

Have you ever wondered what crowdsourcing is? I have heard of it, but never fully understood what it was. For starters, the name crowdsourcing came from combining crowd and outsourcing. By definition, crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community. Still confused? Well when a company has a problem they usually hire someone to perform the necessary procedures to fix it. Now a company will involve a crowd to help them solve their problem. A larger group of people has a higher potential of finding a better solution than compared to one person. So the basic idea then is to tap into the collective intelligence of a group of people to perform business related tasks.

Crowdsourcing increases productivity, while also allowing to hear feedback from more than one individual. A lot of businesses are using crowdsourcing to gain insight and solve problems. As social media has become the way we communicate, crowdsourcing is becoming more and more popular. Businesses may use crowdsourcing to get opinions on a new logo design, voting on a product design, or rank songs and movies. Crowdsourcing can be used for any purpose a business needs.

Sony used crowdsourcing to get people from untapped audiences the chance to think of new ways to tackle the sustainability challenges we face. This started in September of 2010 when Sony set up an online open forum. PepsiCo also dabbled in crowdsourcing last year when they created their Refresh Project campaign. They asked for customer’s favorite ideas for community involvement and they would fund the ideas that got the most votes. Mob4Hire is one of the world’s largest mobile research and testing companies and they used crowdsourcing to test products.

Crowdsourcing connects businesses with their consumers and produces collaboration. It gives businesses the chance to hear what a group of people have to say to get more feedback and opinions.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

I will admit that I finally signed up for Twitter a week ago, so I am a few years behind. I didn’t really understand the importance of Twitter until I hopped on the bandwagon. I was confused by all the hash marks and other symbols, that I didn’t recognize how powerful Twitter is as a business and marketing tool. Using 140 characters or less, Twitter can help any business promote and share its marketing efforts to a vast amount of people. Since Twitter is one of the largest social media outlets in the world, it has also become a new form of communication. Twitter is used to share content. Businesses want to share content to attract potential customers. So here’s a crazy idea: businesses can share their content on Twitter to attract customers to their company.

Twitter may seem confusing at first, but it is actually easy to use and provides many benefits to businesses.

Here are some of the benefits Twitter can bring to businesses:

  • Free and easy to set up
  • Can impact search rankings
  • Drive traffic to your business website
  • Can be used check competitors accounts to see what they are sharing and who they are following
  • Target the people you want to target in relation to your business
  • Twitter search allows you to follow relevant conversations, trends, and people
  • Hear feedback about your business from the content you share and conversations you start

Those are just a few benefits Twitter provides for businesses and marketers. Twitter also allows you to unleash your creative side. You can customize your profile, add a picture, and create a descriptive bio. Creativity combined with interesting and knowledgeable tweets will allow any business to be successful on Twitter. So the question is: to tweet or not to tweet? I will let you decide.

Blogging for Your Business

I never really knew or understood what the purpose of a blog was until I started writing blog entries. I used to think blogs were just for individuals who wrote about their lives, sort of like an online journal. But little did I know that businesses also use blogs to try to increase traffic and search rankings. Business blogs produce a wealth of information about a variety of topics. They are one of the key ingredients to a successful internet marketing plan.

Business blogs are a form of social media that is a communication mechanism used to create and build relationships. Content is key when initiating a blog for your business. Online users are eager to dive into information that is meaningful and engaging. Blogging also allows a business to have a personality. It gives customers a chance to get to know a business on a different level. This also gives businesses a chance to hear feedback that they probably normally wouldn’t hear. Feedback, whether it is positive or negative, is beneficial for a business because it produces interaction. Businesses need interaction to start the communication process.

Blogs are a fun way to share important content and information to customers. A blog will give a business a personality, express creativity, and produce a positive business culture.