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Most companies are aware of how invaluable market research is to remain competitive and build a stronger brand. However, conducting market research can often be an expensive and time-consuming affair. With the evolution of technology and the introduction of social media platforms, companies can now leverage more efficient and cost-effective methods for market research. Social media can give brands insight into their brand image, customer preferences, target market, and other important facets of market research.
In this article, we will explore how brands can use social media as a tool to conduct market research and learn more about their customers and target audience.
Let’s look at three effective ways in which brands can leverage social media as a tool to conduct market research:
Brands can use social media analytics to assess their engagement, likes, comments, and shares on their social media pages. By assessing these different metrics, brands can develop an understanding of the kind of content and products that are receiving the most positive feedback from their target market.
Additionally, brands can also use these metrics to perform competitor analysis by comparing their own social media pages with their competitors’. If a brand realises that their competitors are receiving more likes, follows, and overall engagement, then they can try to employ similar strategies to grow their own page to increase the awareness of their brand and its products/services.
For example, if a brand posts a picture on Instagram and then notices that this picture is being shared more than their average post, then they will get an idea of the kind of content they need to create to increase the reach of their account.
Social listening refers to the monitoring of the conversations and feedback about your company, brand, product, and/or services by obtaining insights from different social media channels. It allows brands to understand what their customers are talking about, what they feel, and what they need from their company. Brands can gather and analyse such customer data and leverage it to improve marketing, operational, and business metrics. Social listening can even be leveraged to analyse what people are saying about your competitors.
For example, a brand can use Twitter to go through ‘tweets’ that have their brand or product name in it as a hashtag. This will allow them to assess the different conversations taking place about their brand to get an understanding of the positives and negatives associated with their brand.
Brands can use social media to conduct polls or questionnaires to help them understand consumer preferences and opinions better. A lot of popular social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, have an inbuilt feature that allows their users to conduct polls.
For instance, Instagram provides its users with a tool that allows them to conduct polls on their ‘Instagram Stories’. These stories are generally viewed and responded to by the user’s following. The user can view the results of their poll, as well as the lists of which users voted for either option.
Let’s take a look at a few key advantages of leveraging social media for market research purposes:
Social listening refers to the process of monitoring and assessing the different conversations taking place in regard to your brand, company, and its products, using insights from social media channels.
Brands can carry out market research using social media in the following ways:
Brand sentiment can be defined as the emotion or opinion expressed in a mention of your brand. It can illustrate positive, negative, or neutral emotions toward your brand and/or its products. It gives organizations insights into what customers think of their brand and can help them track brand health.
A few advantages of using social media for market research purposes are: