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Today’s digital world offers a variety of benefits, especially for businesses. Social media platforms, in particular, allow companies the opportunity to market their goods and services to consumers across all times and places, rapidly circulating their brand messages of choice so that their visibility increases and (hopefully) consumer interest in their offerings grows.
But social media accounts aren’t just a convenient way for businesses to advertise their products; they can also be a creative tool for mining market data. The main advantage of social media is the ability it has to foster the quick exchange of information, disseminating, as well as accumulating data so that all involved parties reap the reward. Thus, savvy companies don’t just use social media to publicize what they want consumers to hear, they use it to listen, request feedback, and serve them. Here are four tips for performing social media market research that yields meaningful — i.e., actionable — results:
Good research has a goal; its purpose is clearly defined. Think about what you want to accomplish with your social media market research. Do you want to identify general demographics for your ideal customer? Investigate interest in a potential new product? Better understand your customer's path to purchase? Gain feedback on your customer service? It could be anything, but you need to pick one problem to focus on before you start thinking about anything else.
With an objective in mind, determine the type of data you need: quantitative, qualitative, or a mix of both. Social media market research can provide numerical information, such as how many “likes” or “shares” a post gets, the number of comments it elicits, or the number of subscribers you have; it can also yield qualitative feedback concerning how and why consumers feel and act in a certain way. A lot of the time, monitoring social media platforms will reveal consumer interests and needs that you can then follow up with quantitative pursuits, creating a well-rounded research approach that delivers even better results.
More information isn’t always better. Choose to conduct your social media market research on only the social media platforms capable of providing relevant results. You’ll also need to consider the language and values of consumers within your market so that you are able to choose the right keywords to use and monitor in your social media market research approach. Finally, you must commit to carefully organizing and pruning collected data points. Too often, companies conduct social media market research only to be bombarded with so much useless data that it stymies their ability to draw meaningful conclusions.
Social media market research is meant to inspire action. Don’t forget to create a plan for moving forward with the information you’ve gained. Reflect on your original research objective and use the data you’ve collected to develop a strategy for improved productivity in the future.
Social media can be used to harvest information, as well as distribute it. To learn more about conducting social media market research to improve your business operations and, ultimately, your ROI, please contact our team of skilled experts. With decades of experience helping clients garner actionable results, we know we can offer valuable advice that gives you the advantage and even saves you money.