Do Your Market Research With Social Media!

Alison WheatleyMarket research can be a time consuming and costly process. The good news is there is a cost-effective tool available: social media. Many businesses are beginning to use this tool to gather information on their target market. Setting up a social media page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest is only the beginning. In order to fully reap the benefits of social media and gain valuable insights, you’ll need to utilize social media to its full potential. 

Social media makes it possible for businesses to connect with their current and potential customers- however it shouldn’t be used to only promote products or services. The key to gaining valuable information on your target market through social media is to be engaging with your followers.

Interacting with your followers allows you to gather product feedback and information about your customers and target market. You can use trending topics to see what people are interested in to help you with your promotion tactics.

You can also use hashtags to track what customers are saying about your product, service, industry or brand. The great thing about social media is that you can also see where your customers are coming from, in which geographic area.

This can be useful if you’re considering a direct mail campaign and need to target locations. As you can see, there are many ways to use social media to gain information about your target market.

Here’s how to do your own market research using social media:

1. Determine Your Market Research Goals

First ask yourself what type of market research you are looking for. What information would most help your marketing activities? The great news is that social media is able to provide information about both your customers and your market. Set some goals that will provide measurable and reliable results, then figure out your research questions before conducting your market research.

2. Focus on the Four Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion)

After developing a main goal, do a preliminary search of your product or service in the current marketplace. You can find useful information that will help you determine how your business stands in the industry. Find out what customers think of your product and a competitor’s product.

Scoping out the competition can help you enhance your own products and services. You can do this simply by performing a Google search or looking up hashtags related to your product or service. Do a similar search for price, place (distribution) and promotion techniques.

Conducting research on Price allows you to determine the best price point for your target market. Researching Place will help you determine the best place to launch or distribute your product based on demographics. Lastly, focusing on Promotion will help you see which time of day is best for you, simply by analyzing your target market’s activity online.

3. Use The Right Tools

There are some readily available tools that you can use to improve your online market research. Tools include online surveys, sentiment analysis on blogs, keyword searches, social media engagement, and hashtag tracking.

There are also some social media metric programs available that you should consider using that can help you research your target audience, perform a brand analysis and track relevant keywords.

Instead of spending a large amount of time and money with the traditional route of offline market research, you can use social media to broaden your scope. It provides easy access to your customers that will help you gain accurate and honest information.

All you have to do is communicate with your followers. Remember: social media requires you to be social. In order to gain valuable insight, you’ll need to interact.

This article has been written by Alison Wheatley, President, Route One Research & Marketing Services

About Route One Research:

Route One Research provides exceptional market research services that are structured to help you gain reliable and honest information. With passion for marketing and customers, Route One Research will identify business opportunities that will make you succeed.

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