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Social Media: A new age market research platform

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With 95% of adults (aged 18 to 34) following a brand through social media channels, there’s no doubt that social media plays a crucial role in understanding the brand’s audience. To dive deeper into social, consumer, or market trends, social media can prove to be an effective market research platform for gathering qualitative as well as quantitative data.
As social media is constantly evolving and businesses are preferring it over conventional market research platforms, it’s important to uncover certain aspects like:

  • Social media for market research: A bane or a boon?
  • Roadmap for uncovering market insights on social media
  • Conducting Market Research with the right social media platform 

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This video gives you a summarized view of the article and why you should use social media as your market research platform. 

Social media for market research: A bane or a boon?

  • Gathering data is quick
    As approximately 3 quarters of Facebook users and 6 out of 10 Snapchat and Instagram users regularly visit each site, more than half of users access different social media platforms on a daily basis. Thus, social media makes it easy for businesses to quickly gather insights. As per a study, social media is three times more efficient in tracking customer feedback than other communication channels like email.   
  • Better savings on research costs
    Most social media apps feature various tools like polls, emoji sliders, etc. that streamline the process of collecting data for market research. So, brands end up saving a lot on costs associated with research panels.
  • Doesn’t work for everyone
    Social media cannot be considered a viable source for market research unless there are millions of followers on the social account of the particular brand under consideration. In case a company generates 20 responses via a poll, that quantitative feedback is most likely to mislead them. To move in the right direction, entrepreneurs should focus on qualitative methods for creating rich customer personas (even with fewer responses!)
  • Staying alert of herd mentality
    As users are highly prone to impulsive behavior on social media, they often model others’ behavior and copy their actions too which reduces data accuracy to a large extent. However, using social media as a market research platform comes with dual benefits – It helps to gather data while establishing an emotional connection with the customers. As customers express their views, it gets easy for brands to strengthen an emotional bond with them. According to HBR, customers that are “fully connected” with a company can be 52% more valuable.

Roadmap for uncovering market insights on social media

Social Media A new age market research platform 05
  • Start by defining your target goal
    Gaining insights into customer perceptions about brands or products has always been a staple of market research. It’s important to define what your business needs information for – product research, product launch, buyer personas, or behavioral insights. On using social media as your market research platform, you can easily parse through each level and gather feedback accordingly using open-ended surveys.
  • Select your Social Media Channel
    Choosing the right social media channel for data mining is the next crucial step in conducting research and acquiring insights. Based on the region and behavioral norms, different social channels are known to offer different demographics. For instance, the results of social media market research on Twitter will be completely different from those on LinkedIn.
  • Pick up the right tool & keyword
    Most businesses prefer a tool that helps them to:
    • Mine a huge volume of mentions from the required channels
    • Clear the necessary data to fine-tune results
    • Gather actionable as well as conclusive data using advanced metrics.

      While some tools are accustomed to monitor a single channel, some are built to do a multitude of social media channels, news, blogs, etc. So, you need to choose the one that gives you the most relevant data as per your goals. While conducting social media market research, it’s imperative to understand which keywords will help to gather the data you need and ignore the data you don’t need. However, try being generic with search terms to gain a wider view.
  • Don’t forget to clean data
    Once you have successfully gathered data, cleaning those data sets is crucial too. In this stage, you need to recognize misleading or irrelevant parts of data and rework the parameters for ensuring data accuracy. This process is time-consuming but it helps to uncover trends contributing to unwanted data.
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Conducting Market Research with the right social media platform

  • Facebook
    According to a Hootsuite’s report, 97% of B2B and B2C companies leverage Facebook to conduct qualitative research via polls, call-to-action posts, contests, and brand mentions. While creating a poll helps to gather valuable data within less time and effort, running contests (& the chance to win) can motivate users to provide their email addresses, give product feedback, or share some user-generated content like testimonials. Also, brand mentions on Facebook posts can trigger an avalanche of feedback. As 96% of users discuss brands online but don’t really follow them, valuable insights usually come from those who are not your followers.
  • Twitter
    Having a 280-character limit, Twitter is an incredibly useful platform for conducting market research. With social listening, it lets you monitor digital conversations to seamlessly observe customers’ behavior for understanding their thoughts related to a product/service. Twitter also offers polls that help to engage users while conducting research. These polls are time-bound (can end anytime between 5 minutes and 7 days after being live) and display the results publicly (with winning choice highlighted in bold).
  • Instagram
    With 1 billion users including business accounts for 25 million companies, Instagram has certainly become an influential market research platform. Instagram offers question stickers, which are one-question polls specially created for stories (that vanish within 24 hours). Since these succinct stickers come with a short lifespan, users pay more attention and take action faster. As posts with emoji’s have a 15% higher interaction rate, Instagram offers an emoji slider that helps to append an emotional touch to customer feedback.  

Leveraging social media as a market research platform can empower businesses to gain insights into their target consumers. However, social market research may not be ideal for all and that’s where the need for an agile market research platform will arise. Voxco’s market research platform offers best-in-class Omni channel solutions to ideate, manage, and analyze your market research needs. 

Voxco is trusted by Top 50 Market Research firms, Global Brands & Universities in 40 countries. Voxco offers full omnichannel capability including CATI, Predictive Dialler, Online surveys, offline CAPI, and Panel Management.
Sahaj Sharma

Sahaj Sharma

Sahaj Sharma is a content marketer at Voxco. Owning a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering, he loves exploring digital industry trends and creating content to help businesses shape their market presence. Apart from content creation, the other three things that vie his mind share are fashion, food, and travel.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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