10 Ways to Use Social Media for Market Research
If you’re yet to adopt social media for your brand’s market research, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Social media has almost replaced traditional market research methods, and rightly so. With over 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide, it’s easy to understand why marketers prefer it to a traditional market research method. Apart from cost savings and access to a large data pool, social media is vital for brands looking to reach a global audience or serve a multilingual market.
This article discusses the benefits of using social media for market research and the different ways you can do it effectively. But first, how vital is market research to the success of a brand?
The Benefits of Market Research to Brands
Market research is vital to launching a brand, product, or service, as it determines to a great extent the success that would be achieved.
Before launching, smart businesses conduct extensive market research to understand their target audience, competitors, and the industry they’re to play in. This gives them insights into what their prospects want and how their competitors already provide those needs. The insights gained become useful in helping them develop their products, structure their services and position their brands to take advantage of the opportunity gaps in the market.
Furthermore, extensive market research helps a brand understand the risks associated with new product or service launches, marketing campaigns, or market expansions. Once insights are gained into the risks in the industry, the brands make plans to mitigate them and determine how successful their product could be.
Beyond getting insights for product and service launching, brands also use market research to understand the public perception of their products and services, enabling them to make corrections without losing customers’ trust.
Advantages of Using Social Media for Market Research
Social media has streamlined the market research process for brands, as you can gather the most vital customer information without stepping foot in the market.
While the traditional market research process has helped brands succeed in the past, it has limitations. And social media addresses these limitations effectively in a lot of ways.
With over 4.2 billion social media users, brands have access to a pool of data that is not easily accessible using traditional market research methods. This enables them to capture a good percentage of their audience’s interests and optimize their processes, products, and service delivery to meet them.
Social media provides a cost-effective way of market research, as brands can gather relevant customer information with just a button click. Through surveys, polls, and audience monitoring, brands can gather substantial data quickly, enabling faster decision-making and timely response to market trends. Brands also save costs by targeting audience reach, and narrowing their research down to specific demographics, interests, and locations.
Furthermore, competitive analysis is made easier with social media, as brands can easily monitor the activities of their competitors.
Now that you understand the advantages of using social media for market research let’s look at the different ways you can use it.
10 Ways to Use Social Media for Market Research
1. Gather Demographic Data
Social media platforms provide brands access to a wealth of their audiences’ demographic data, from names to age, gender, location, and interests. These platforms have built-in analytics tools that you can use to access this information.
With your target audiences’ demographic data available to you with the click of a button, it becomes easier to refine your target market and segment them according to their order of importance. This enables you to channel your production and marketing efforts into satisfying the section of your target market that fits well into your buyer persona.
2. Gather Industry Insights
Knowing what’s happening in your industry is vital to the growth and success of your brand. With social media, you can gain valuable industry insights, such as industry trends, opportunity gaps, and competitor information, enabling you to position your brand as an industry authority.
This is an effective way to use social media for market research, as it’s easier to identify major industry drivers and the problems top businesses in the industry are focused on solving. Social media makes all this information available in real time, giving you the time to implement and become a go-to resource for industry-related solutions.
3. Conduct Competitor Research
Competitor research has become much easier, with almost every business establishing an online presence, especially on social media.
Social media platforms provide the tools to monitor competitors’ activities, marketing strategies, and product and service delivery methods. You can also gain valuable insights into their conflict resolution methods, customer engagement tactics, and the best channels that work for them.
Monitoring your competitors consistently also gives you insights into their best-performing content. You’d identify the types of content their target audience (your target audience) engages with more than those they ignore. The information gained will help you identify gaps in the market and develop a competitive advantage in no time.
4. Conduct Surveys and Polls
Surveys are among the most effective traditional market research methods available to businesses. However, with social media, they’ve become even more effective and valuable to businesses.
Creating surveys and polls on social media allows you to gather qualitative data and opinions from your target audience in real time. This is vital to handling customer complaints and improving your products and services urgently without losing customers’ trust and loyalty.
5. Monitor Audience Conversations
Market Connections reports that some customers would rather talk to themselves about an experience with a brand than complain to the brand. If left unattended, this can have a damaging effect on the reputation of a brand.
Social media presents brands with the avenue to follow discussions from their target audience about their operations, products, and service delivery. With social listening tools, you can understand your audience’s pain points, needs, and sentiments toward your brand. You can also monitor their opinions about your competitors and use the information gathered to improve your products and services.
6. Identify Content that Resonates with Your Audience
Content is king in marketing. Brands are investing heavily in producing all kinds of content, from text posts to infographics, audio, short videos, long videos, and other forms of content.
You must understand the kind of content your target audience likes to consume and why they do so. This gives you insight into what attracts your audience’s attention and how you can produce content that does the same.
Social media gives you access to various forms of content from your competitors and other industry players, enabling you to recreate them and use them to drive results for your business.
7. Identify Industry Influencers
One of the perks of using social media for market research is that it helps you identify the top influencers and thought leaders in your industry. Identifying these people is vital to understanding your target audience, competitors, and industry.
Monitoring and understanding the opinions of these influencers and the ways they share them would give you insights into your target audience’s needs, pain points, and expectations. Through their promotional content, you’d also understand how your competitors are providing services to your target audience. Even more, these influencers and thought leaders will give you valuable and untapped industry ideas that, when executed, give you a competitive advantage.
8. Analyze Customer Feedback
After delivering products or services, it’s important to understand what your customers feel about them. And the best way to do this is by requesting genuine feedback on their experience. Most customers will provide this feedback through your social media handles through reviews, comments, and complaints.
The information gathered from the feedback can help identify areas for improvement, discover more of your customer’s pain points, and find ways to enhance customer satisfaction.
9. Engage with Customers
Another effective way of using social media for market research is to engage actively with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions.
By communicating with your target audience, you can get them to discuss their pain points, needs, and preferences. With the information gathered, you can improve your processes, products, and services to meet those customer expectations.
10. Learn How Customers Use Your Products
Your customers might use your products to solve a different problem than the one you had in mind at the time of development. Social media platforms allow you to discover these customers and how they use your products. This allows you to discover new product markets and possibly widen your target audience.
Social media platforms like Quora, Reddit, and other knowledge-sharing platforms are vital for this research.
Social media has become an inevitable tool for extensive market research, as it doesn’t just give you a wealth of information but also does it in real-time. Understanding the different ways you can use social media to conduct market research is vital to the growth of your business. Hopefully, this article has provided you with the needed insights.