Social media and social networking sites have been the symbol of a generation. Although these sites aim to bring people together and to make us more connected than ever before, they have also been used many companies to shape research and development strategies. So just how are sites such as Facebook and Twitter being used to develop and design new products and services for businesses all over the world?

Social networking sites offer friends and families a way of communicating with each other instantaneously, but they also create a direct line of communication between companies and their audience. Although this can be beneficial for a client base, as it acts as a platform to file complaints and to gain answers to questions and queries, it is also a platform for the business to gauge opinions and ask for feedback. There are few better ways of developing products and services than shaping them around the opinions of a target demographic and audience base, so by engaging with your client base directly, the answers you receive will be organic and genuine, ensuring that any new projects are tailored and targeted towards the needs and wants of your specific audience.

Your audience is not the only source of inspiration, however. Sites such as Pinterest and Instagram provide thousands of moodboards and images at the touch of a button for companies to draw ideas for products from. Social networking sites are becoming image-based at an increasing rate, so for e-commerce companies, social media is a hub for innovation and creation.

Above all else, social networking sites allow businesses to create more of a community with their audience. The more a company engages and interacts with its client base, the more likely an audience is to engage and interact with honest opinions and organic answers. Using social media sites demonstrates to your audience that there is someone behind the keyboard, so from the perspective of a potential or returning customer, a company with a strong social media presence creates the impression that any complaints are being heard and that the company truly cares about their audience. In terms of research and development, companies need to devote the right amount of time, effort and energy to their social networking sites to reap the rewards; if a business has been inactive for months and all of a sudden they are appealing for reviews and feedback, the responses will likely be few and far between. To give your research and development programmes a quick and easy jumpstart, log in to your social networking sites and start engaging.

Social networking sites may offer businesses an array of benefits, but there is always more help available. randd uk offer businesses of all shapes and sizes help and guidance with their research & development tax credits claims and applications. If your business is in the research and development sector and needs help with its R&D tax credits application, contact randd uk on 01332 477 070 today.

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