social media marketing

How to use social media for market research

In the past, collecting data for market research revolved around methods such as focus groups and surveys. Not only was this time consuming, it was also expensive. Today, technology has changed the way data is collected giving marketers numerous means to gain information about a particular audience. Social media, for example, gives marketers numerous opportunities to gain in-depth insight about their audience members. Marketers are able to receive instant feedback from customers, gain clarity on viewpoints and build relationships. Aspects such as age, gender, interests and geographic location can be established. All of these aspects can contribute to establishing which advertisements resonate with a particular audience group.

The tips below give advice on how to use social media effectively in your market research efforts.

  1. Monitor the latest trends

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter are constantly changing. It is imperative to stay abreast with the latest trends as this will enable you to gain the most out of the tools available to you. Staying up to date with these tools can give you vital insight into what your audience members expect and want. This is because these tools can help you monitor the enormous number of consumer comments you receive via social media platforms. Searching for keywords within your industry can also provide you with useful information as you can then see what your competition is doing.

  1. Know your audience

Through social media, information such as age, gender, social groups and hobbies can be accessed. This information can help you establish which demographics support a particular brand. A large percentage of those following your business on Facebook are already customers and the rest could be potential customer’s interested in your products or services. This means that any data collected from your social media audience may give you a liable representation of your target audience. Inspecting your audience’s comments gives your business intimate customer feedback that can help you establish your marketing plan and brand image. So through social media businesses can establish what their audience really thinks about them.

Individuals are often guarded when responding to traditional research methods such as surveys and questionnaires. Social media makes them feel comfortable as it is a platform where they feel they can voice their true opinions. Social media monitoring gives you access to a large number of audience opinions where you can then adjust marketing methods depending on your findings. This is why it is imperative to take note of the feedback you receive via social media platforms.

  1. Engage with your audience

With the interactive nature of social media, you can gain information about your audience simply through asking questions and observing. Asking the right questions is imperative. The type of questions you pose while conducting your market research will influence the type of information you receive. Therefore, you must structure questions carefully in order to obtain the desired information required.

Instead of asking questions you may also want to see what your audience is saying about you and then join in the conversation. This way you engage with audience members while extracting information at the same time.

Through social media you can increase your brand exposure reaching audience members worldwide. Social media platforms offer a variety of free tools that can be used to derive insightful information. While traditional research methods are still valid, social media is a more cost effective and efficient way to obtain relevant research insights about your audience. Social media platforms encourage interaction and engagement among users. This means that data regarding your business can be collected and these insights can enhance your market research efforts.

Read more about a simple and effective marketing and sale plan for your business here.

Over to you

Which social media platforms do you use to gain information about your audience members?

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