Market research can be a costly and time-intensive process. However, 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.
The keys to utilising social media for market research are to understand the benefits and creating a proper research plan which includes identifying and using the right social media market research tools based on your specific goals.
To help you on that task, we compiled a list of the top 10 social media market research tools (paid and free):
- Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free buzz monitoring tool. You can choose your keywords and then receive alerts in your inbox anytime a piece of information becomes available related to those keywords.
Although not free, Radian6 is the best paid buzz monitoring tool available. The tool gives you insight into the conversations currently happening around the brands and keywords you would like to monitor. It also includes sentiment analysis.
- Google Trends
This is a free handy Google tool that allows you to spot trends happening currently in the world. It shows you the hottest searches currently going on and you can also find out a bit more about the trends. This can be really useful to find conversations and engaging in them.
- Twitter Trends
This is a great tool to find the trends that are happening on Twitter. Using the trends that aren’t promoted can lead you into conversations that are very relevant during the moment and can gain you quick insight.
- Compete and Quantcast
These two great tools give you demographic data into a site’s makeup. They allow you to get a feel for ages, genders, referrers, and a lot of other significant data about a site that will better inform your strategy if you should be considering building relationships with them.
AgoraPulse is a cost-effective tool with many sophisticated features. It focuses on Facebook and provides you:
Detailed benchmark with competitors
Fan ranking and qualification
Advanced statistics and personalised content recommendations
Also offer many other great features such as advances stats, automated moderation and even admin rights and workflow management
SproutSocial is a great tool that gives you stats and Twitter and Facebook overviews. You also can do some Twitter account comparisons, schedule content, bring in your Google Reader to watch for content and share accounts with others.
This tool also gives you specific reports on engagement and user performance acros multiple profiles.
Formerly known as Pinerly, this is a great new Pinterest analytics tool. It allows users to pre-schedule pins and view feedback data such as click-through rates and number of repins.
This is a tool that can analyse the links coming into a site and classify them based on the type of sites the links are coming from. What’s great about this tool is that you can compare sites side by side and get a feel for what kind of content is being seen as valuable enough to link to.
- Google Insights
This tool is different from Google Trends. With Google Insights you can choose the terms you wish to compare in trending. This can be really helpful in finding out if one word is used more than another or if a person is more popular than another.
It also gives you a country breakdown of the popularity too.