Yes, the idea hit when I saw a friend throw a question to the air on Facebook, when he was looking for a contractor to do minor civil works on his home. I suddenly realized; this is an RFI (Request for Information). How about asking for quotes or proposals? I think it could work. The thing is who is your audience, who is on the receiving side of this social media platforms. Obviously, to work, it must be different than a group of friends you have met in different points in your life.
To elaborate how about having in one of this media platforms let’s say vendors. That will be neat. They can be vendors you approve or if you want to venture into the unknown, any vendor that is interested. The problem that I can see in that case is that you can lure all kinds of unwanted vendors, or worst cons and weirdoes. On the flip side of the coin you could find new unexplored markets you might not know they existed.
The other issue is how formal or unbreachable can be a quote or proposal be coming from social media? Is it too risky to take as formal or not? Most of the time depends on who is sending and how they might take the whole Request as serious enough.
A great risk factor can come from social media but also a lot of business is happening from this platform. If you think about it, they are too like e-sourcing tools in the sense that information goes from two entities to communicate and to a broader audience.
If you set up a social media platform with the right audience, vendors of certain goods or services for example, people with knowledge of the market or trade experts, it can become a great tool for RFx specially RFI.
If you ask me, I think is an unchartered territory to be explored by the procurement professional, and I will recommend conducting RFI (request for Information) on social media, what a great source! Is like consulting the yellow pages or the Thomas Register back in the 80´s and then some!
To be fair social media RFx will never replace an E-sourcing platform. There is no point in comparison. What an e-sourcing platform is what it should be. I see using social media as a liaison to start on your market research. Never to be used as a substitute to the real thing.
I will post this on my blog and some social media platforms, please comment! I will love to hear your thoughts on this!