Market research can be an expensive and time-intensive process.
However, many businesses have begun to turn to social media as a cost-effective and intensive tool to gain insight into their customers, markets, brand presence, and other important market research aspects.
The key to using social media for market research is to understand the benefits and create an appropriate research plan.
These six tips provide easy to implement methods of using social media in your market research methods for better, measurable results.
1. Track Trends with Social Media for Real-Time Insights
Most social media platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, provide many ways to analyze trends and conduct market research.
By just searching for the latest posts and popular words, you can gain insight into emerging trends and see what customers are talking about in real-time.
An example of this is searching the hashtag on Twitter.
By setting up some searches with hashtags related to your brand, industry, or product, you can get information about customer, customer, or competitor keywords.
2. Learn the Language of Your Audience for Improved Marketing Appeal
The words and factors you use to track the success of your product or business may not always align with the customers that customers find most important.
By analyzing social media exchanges about your product or service, you can find out what factors customers use to determine the value and the way they think about your product, service, or brand they speak.
By using these factors and conditions within your own marketing, you can talk directly to consumers and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
By building customer-centric definitions of price, quality, and other key terms, you can help create a brand or product image that is unique among competitors and speaks directly to your target market.
3. Use the Real-Time Aspects of Social Media for Quick Research
Traditional market research methods, such as surveys or study groups, can take months to plan, create, and execute.
With social media, research can be conducted in a matter of minutes or hours.
This makes it possible to use market research to follow increasingly specific aspects of your marketing efforts.
From product launch to follow-up marketing, each part of your marketing plan can be independently analyzed for better results for the entirety of your marketing plan.
Instead of spending months developing a marketing research plan, and possibly just as a trend to acquire outdated information, you can use social media for market research right now.
4. Use Social Media to Broaden the Scope of Your Market Research
Social media is increasing the popularity of both businesses and consumers, with demographics being present in virtually every market.
A report of social media claims that approximately 80-percent of people with Internet access utilize social media. (Source)
This makes it possible to conduct market research with an audience that is many times larger than that provided by almost any other marketing or media source.
The casual nature and easy access to social media also help to promote user interaction, engagement, and participation.
This improves your chances of obtaining useful, accurate, and honest data from your efforts.
5. Discover Unnoticed Trends and Insights by Engaging Instead of Leading
The biggest weakness in most marketing research methods is that they are motivated by questions.
To get the proper information, you must know in advance what to ask. At the same time, simply re-entering a question can result in vastly different answers.
This means that your market research is only as good as your questions. With the broad scope and interactive nature of social media, information is obtained through information exchange and observation.
Instead of leading the discussions, you can simply see or join as an equal.
This can result in a variety of answers and discoveries that may be hidden using other research methods.
6. Harness Social Media Research for Improved Cost Efficiency
In most cases, using social media for market research is simply a matter of investment time.
Free tools exist for almost every social media platform to help gather information and use it to obtain useful information.
When the focus panels, discussion groups, studies, and surveys are compared, the cost difference widens considerably.
Through user engagement and discussion, your social media research also serves as advertising, brand building, network building, lead generation, and provides many other improvements for your business or brand.
When planned and implemented properly, some market research tools provide the cost-efficiency and overall benefits of social media research.
Social media provides powerful ways to optimize the market research efforts of any business.
Best of all, social media research provides many ways to interact with your market and build your business.
Conducting market research is as simple as signing up for a social media service, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, and using their built-in search features. Within minutes, your business can start analyzing trends, improving your marketing strategies, and working towards achieving your desired results.