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Last week I heard this interesting piece on NPR about a new children’s book targeted at tired parents:

Image courtesy of NPR

While the idea of a book with profanity has horrified some people, there has been an overwhelming acceptance of the idea as well.  There are many who identify with a weary parent who has read the bedtime story umpteen times! It is No. 4 on the Amazon Bestsellers List despite the fact that the actual publication date is June 14th. The buzz around the book is immense.

In the NPR story, the line that caught my attention is that it all started when author Adam Mansbach posted a Facebook update, “Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the [famous four-letter expletive] to Sleep,” after a particularly tough night trying to settle down his kid. Mansbach noted the innumerable people who responded to his update and realized that this is an emotional landscape not addressed by many – frustrated parents who are fond of their children but feel at the end of their tether about parenting chores. He had accidentally hit upon the magic formula, that blend of complex emotions with a heavy dose of humor, and his book was born!

And so here is another interesting element of a social media campaign: A Facebook page can be a wonderful focus group, which can lead to new product and service ideas. Take the time to listen to what ideas resonate with consumers and take note of the ones that get dismissed or ignored. By investing the time and energy needed to establish a strong following for a Facebook page, you can have a 24/7 focus group at no extra cost! It may save time, energy and expense in helping you decide which ideas are really worth pursuing.