Many businesses have begun to turn to social media as a cost-effective and in-depth tool for gaining insights into their customers, market, brand appearance and other important market research aspects.
Traditional market research methods, such as surveys or study groups, could take months to plan, form and execute. With social media, research can be conducted in a matter of minutes or hours.
But any kind of market research cannot be effective without having a clear defined bespoke strategy and plan of action. You need to know what you want to know and achieve by using social media. And you need to find out which social media networks to use in your market research.
Besides Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, there are hundreds of other social media networks, general and also niche and/or location focused.
Be where you audience is
Using the right social media networks is key to your market research because you need to be where your audience is.
So, before deciding which networks you should be, you need to search them in order to understand where your audience is, after all the basics of marketing is all about being where your audience is, online or offline.
This means it can be choosing Facebook and Twitter, but it can also mean choosing other networks like Pinterest, Linkedin, Foursquare, Instagram, and even other niche networks like specific discussion forums where is more easy to reach your audience to conduct your research.
What do you aim to achieve?
Choosing the right networks also needs to take into consideration what you’re trying to achieve, in terms of market research goals.
Is it national and local or is it an international research? Will it make sense to use paid media to be able to target a more local audience?
Don’t start your market research thinking that you should only use the most known social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. You might be surprised if you do a Google research and find out there’s a niche discussion forum where your audience is active and interacting daily, providing you with great insights.