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4 Ways to Use Social Media as a Market Research Tool

by Team Caffeine · 1 comment

Market Research Social

Social media makes market research easier, cheaper and quicker than ever before.

If you’re not yet making the most of social media in your market research, here’s are four ideas for what you could be doing.

1. Check What People Are Saying About Your Competitors

This is a great strategy is you’re a small company looking to find your niche. Run a Twitter search for your big name competitors and see what their customers are saying.

You’ll find out:

  • What your competitors are doing right, and receiving praise for (so you can do this too!)
  • What they could be doing better. Noticing this creates your niche. Being great where others are falling short will make you stand out from the crowd.

2. Find Influencers in Your Niche

Part of market research is discovering the people who have the biggest influence over your potential customers.

Connect with these influencers, and they could soon be pointing customers your way.

To find influencers, you can use:

  • Twitter. Search for anything on Twitter, and you’ll be shown the “top tweets” related to your search term. These give some indication of who is likely to have the most influence.
  • Topsy. This is a social media search tool that makes it super easy to find Twitter influencers. Just type your industry into Topsy’s search bar, then click the “influencers” option in the side bar. You’ll immediately discover who you should be connecting with.
  • Klout is perfect for digging out the influencers in your current circle of friends.
  • Google Ripples will show you whose content is getting shared the most. Check out our tutorial on finding influencers with Google Ripples here.

3. Get an Ear for the “Voice” of your Customer

Have you ever met a musician who can hear a piece of music, then just play it? Annoying right?

Most musicians need to see a piece of music written down before they can play it. Then they need to practice.

Likewise with writing copy targeted at your customer. Some marketers have amazing instincts and can just do it (like those annoying piano players).

For the rest of us, it’s important to get to know our audience. We must find out how they speak – in the exact words and phrases they use – so we can craft copy that connects.

Social media gives you immediate access to the voice of your customers, at any time of day. So put it to good use!

4. Spread the Word about Your Market Research Polls

Not all market research can be done on social media. Sometimes you need to get an in-depth view of your customers.

Fortunately, this is easily done through polling. You can create a poll for free using tools such as SurveyMonkey or Google Docs.

Once you’ve created the poll, use social media to spread the word. You can ask your loyal follows to retweet the poll. Use relevant hashtags to make it spread as far as possible.

Your Call

How does your business use social media for market research? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Lori R Taylor is the founder and executive editor of Social Caffeine. In 2009 she started her own direct response focused social media agency, REV Media Marketing LLC, coining the phrase given by her young son, “You bring the rain, we’ll make it pour.” Follow Lori on Twitter.

David is our acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joao Romao November 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I’d add one other important strategy. Finding social influencers within your own website.

Simply put, at the moment I’m writing this, already 32 people tweeted this article. I think that connecting those tweets to specific goals (eg. request ebook) is what matters at the end of the day. For an eCommerce website it might be sales, for a B2C operation perhaps signups.

On a side note, for market research efforts I think that testing ‘shareability’ and/or social proof is something to go for.



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