Using the Power of Social Media to Enhance Product Innovation

Using the Power of Social Media to Enhance Product Innovation

Bookmark and Share


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Researchers at the University of Maryland and Ozyegin University in Turkey have developed a framework for companies to track and incorporate social media influence into product innovation – resulting in better products that more effectively meet the needs of consumers. The finding could guide marketers to mine a social network to get to know a consumer's range of preferences and incorporate them in the design process for better products that can reach a larger market share. The researchers developed a mathematical technique -- a genetic algorithm based on Darwin's theory of natural selection -- to optimize product design for maximum market share. They used the algorithm to simulate product design phases, with and without accounting for social network effects. Results showed "ignoring social network effects in the design phase resulted in an inferior product; that is, one with a significantly lower market share," said S. Raghu Raghavan, professor of management science and operations management at UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "Peer or social network effects haven't been taken into account by product designers, but we believe it to be a looming, natural convergence of social networking platforms, online shopping sites and product design," Raghavan said. "The trigger would be a social network such as Facebook and an online shopping site like Amazon cooperating to produce the analytical data." Users of both Facebook and Amazon can link those accounts, and many other online shopping sites encourage Facebook account logins. "It's likely a matter of time before a shopping site will identify you and tell you how many of your Facebook friends have purchased a particular product," said Raghavan. The framework is developed in the working paper "Integrating Social Network Effects in the Share-of-Choice Problem" co-authored by Raghavan and Dilek Gunnec of Ozgegin University in Turkey. The model, moreover, incorporates the effect of peer influence within share of choice analysis. "Designers already account for the degrees to which consumers value product attributes such as color, size and fabric," Raghavan said. "We further take into account that we, as consumers and friends, tend to listen to one another when it comes to trying a new product." Companies also can engineer these influencers to help draw more buyers of their products by targeting the influencers with price discounts. This "least-cost incentive" approach would minimize discount pricing losses.

Related Articles:
UMD Astronomers to Analyze Surface of Comet as Spacecraft Drops Robotic Probe on It
Dr. Puett’s Research Examines How Exercising Outdoors or Indoors Influences Mental and Physical Wellbeing
Can Diseased Lungs and Positive Thoughts Deter Smoking?
Diversify the Faculty, Transform the University
UMD, NIST Announce Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science
Emerging Disease Could Wipe Out American, European Salamanders
Campus boosts support for Open Access Publishing Fund
UMD Researchers Formulate Cyber Protection for Supply Chains
UMD Professor Receives $1.9M to Study Cell “Glue” Important in Disease
UMD Alumnus and CEO, Brendan Iribe, purchases liscensing rights to UMD-founded Company

February 21, 2014


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Call for Proposals: UMD-TEC Seed Grant Program

University of Maryland Ranks Among Top 100 Worldwide for Patents

UMD Awarded $6 Million NIH Grant for Structure-Based Design of a Hepatitis C Vaccine

University of Maryland Joins Grand Coalition to Support Paris Agreement Climate Action

UMD-Led Research in Bloodless Worms Reveals How Organs Communicate Their Status of Life-Giving Heme

HUD Housing Assistance Linked to Improved Health Care Access

Gravitational Waves Detected a Third Time

UMD Names Laurie E. Locascio Vice President for Research

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts

Connect

social iconsFacebookTwitterLinkedInResearch News RSS Feed
Office of Technology Commercialization
2130 Mitchell Building
7999 Regents Dr.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301-405-3947  |  Fax: 301-314-9502
Email: umdtechtransfer@umd.edu

© Copyright 2013 University of Maryland

Did You Know

UMD's Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, which simulates weightlessness, is one of only two such facilities in the U.S.