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Using Social Media in Online Market Research

social-mediaSocial media is of course now central to business and personal life with Facebook, Twitter, Linked in and blogs forming the back bone of many companies online presence. Over 80% of the population now have some kind of social media account and over 60% of people use social media sites every day.

When it comes to online market research, social media sampling is fast becoming a hugely influential means to track and evaluate markets. The great thing about social media is that it covers everything you could possibly imagine from Facebook to forums and blogs. This makes social media a gold mine for online market research and allows the careful tracking of current trends, feelings and anticipation of market sifts.

Choose any subject at any time of day and you will be able to find thousands of conversations taking place on social media sites around the world. This relatively untapped pool of readily available information is incredibly useful for online market research as it allows you to formulate strategies, get a feel for existing and potential markets and develop strategies to gather information efficiently and much more effectively than was previously possible. This increases the focus of research questions as well as allowing for the creation of much more effective data collection instruments.

So how exactly does social media make online market research so much more valuable? Initially we can look at the way we can direct avenues of research planning and market development. If we are analysing a market then we need to see what focus the discussions of a certain product and service are that is going on online.

Are people talking about you or your competitors? Are you receiving good social media coverage or poor. If people are not talking about your products and services through social media what kind of impact is this having on your business profile and presence. This initial step is vital in insuring that you are approaching your market in the correct way and should serve as a real world verification of your suppositions or initial thoughts. Validating the existence of a market and refining your initial thoughts or approach based on this information can be central to developing a solid marketing strategy. It can also suggest new avenues of exploration that you may not have previously considered.

When it comes to compiling surveys and targeted research projects, using social media offers you a huge number of advantages. Initially it allows you to validate interest and awareness of the issues/services your project wishes to address but it also serves as a guidance system to make sure your survey or research project is focused in the correct way and at a level that matches the current levels of discourse on the subject. Investigating the language used by people discussing your company and services is essential to understanding how to approach them with market research.

Even if you are engaged in B2B research you need to understand the ways in which your products and services are currently being engaged with in a social media setting. Using your own company’s social media presence forms a useful juxtaposition to discussions taking place outside of the company’s own space. Focusing in this way also allows you to correctly formulate a correct set of closed end questions. Finally it shows you how to access the people that your research intends to target and provides you with a usually willing demographic to target your initial research on.

It has therefore become apparent in recent years that social media is essential to properly formulating and implementing market research in an increasingly online world.

Chris writes about market research companies like Research Now whilst covering various topics such as using social media and online surveys within your business projects.

Posted in Social Networking.

7 Replies

  1. I totally agree! Nowadays, products gets to people through social media instead of people searching for them! it’s a new era! thanks!

  2. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future. Thanks for it.

  3. Great points. I especially like the use of social media to tap into the right kind of people for market research and surveys. The feedback provided by right set of targeted people can give quality insights and can be used for validating a product or service to be launched.

  4. I can never imaging doing market research online without using the social media. With what social media can offer, a lot of entrepreneurs who do social media marketing are now very dependent on social media and online market research is just one of the many helpful ways social media can offer.

  5. I totally agree with this article, we all know that almost all the users make social media sites for business. you don’t need to browse thousand of website just to find the products that you need, people can make use of the social media site called Face-book and Twitter for advertisements.

  6. This is interesting. just a few days ago my friend contacted me, saying that he’s going to do some market research about the using of social media for business purpose.

  7. This post was very nicely written and it also contains many useful facts i enjoyed your way of writing this post thanks you have made it very easy for me to understand.

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