Creative thinking that delivers results

21 Jan

Using social media for your market research

Category: Social media
Social medial, social listening, social media research,social intelligence, influencer marketing

We’re all very familiar with the impact of social media as a means to connect and engage with one’s audience, to disseminate key messages and even have two-way conversations with your customers. But how many know it can be a very powerful – and cost-effective tool in completing market research on your business?

We recently wrote a blog about the importance of market research for any business, so we won’t bore you with the details – you can check it out here.

Market research via social

Are you contemplating offering a new product to your customers, changing your pricing, or starting or revamping your loyalty program? Either of these scenarios and many others could provide ideal scenarios where social media could be used to gather some important data.

You could pose the question as a more formal poll or survey question or alternatively as a more open-ended one that encourages your audience to comment on the topic. This latter approach can often be the most powerful given it’s higher level of engagement. It encourages users to respond to your question on a more intimate level, enabling you to have conversations with these people and get to the root of their points!

Social Listening and Social Intelligence

Two more sophisticated ways to gather social media data is through the use of social listening and social intelligence. As the terms suggest, social listening involves capturing and understanding what your audience is saying about you on social, while social intelligence involves a more comprehensive analysis of the data derived from social.

While social intelligence requires the use of marketing software solutions, social listening can be employed in a more simplistic way, including searching for and reviewing the comments and mentions about your brand on social media. This more crude approach can still give you some powerful insights and trends to consider about your brand.

Timely responses

Likely the best part of using social media as a part of your market research is the immediacy of the data. You can literally tweet or post a question to your page in the morning and have a variety of responses, comments and feedback in minutes to consider. And all the while you’ll have invested little time and money in getting this information.

It’s important to understand that market research completed via social media won’t always be comprehensive in nature and indicative of all cases and scenarios. Instead, it should be viewed as a way to get some important and timely insights into your customers and market.

The best way to get started with social listening and research is to just do it! Throw out a fairly basic question to your audience and ask them for their thoughts. Do some searches on social for your brand, products and services and see what people are saying about you.

Of course you can increase the complexity of your social research as time goes on and you get more comfortable with it. What’s important to understand is that there are various tools to help you examine your audience more deeply in order to better understand your customers, brand and business.

If you need help structuring a social listening or social media research program for your business, please let us know. We’d be happy to help you out.