There should be an image here!A lot of people use social networking services to connect with friends and family and don’t want to be bothered by interactions with companies in any way, but then again, more and more people are willing to communicate with brands on social networking services and are even proactively communicating with them. These users are a big help to companies because they can provide feedback and spread the word through their networks. A lot of the time companies have to track these consumers down, but a site called Smile.ly provides a community of people who want to try new products and talk about them.

As you can imagine, the value is pretty clear for companies because they get a social focus group of sorts, and for the community members, they receive incentives for doing what they do best — trying new products and discussing them. These community members are also usually some of the first people to experience these products and offers, so bragging rights are a part of the process. You can’t say every company doesn’t want to hear from the public.