Social Media & Market Research – A Complementary Partnership.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in Blog, Social Media Strategy | 0 comments

Social Media & Market Research – A Complementary Partnership.

“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.” – Dan Zarrella*

Market research is a road map for businesses. Simple directional research can tell you whether to turn left or turn right, saving your business essential time and money.


In this guest blog, Alison Bull, a director at Tandem Agency, explains why there is much to gain in going beyond basic demographics and delving deeper to understand consumers’ motivations and drivers, behaviours, attitudes and values.

If there is one thing you can do to transform the power of your brand, it’s to understand more about your customers.

Social media offers a valuable opportunity to identify, understand and engage with consumers in a way that complements other, more traditional approaches to market research and consumer understanding.

So, what are the benefits of using social media in market research? Here are just 14 to get you going!

1) Real-Time Information

Gain insights into emerging trends and see what consumers are talking about in real-time.

2) Understand Your Audience

Discover real time marketing opportunities, uncover niche interests or country-specific opportunities by understanding who the people are that discuss your brand or products online.

3) Reach an Engaged Audience

A social media environment promotes user interaction, engagement and participation, which is ripe for research.

4) Learn the Language

Social media exchanges will reveal the specific language consumers are using, the questions they are asking and the key conversation drivers.

5) Have a Global Conversation

There are estimated to be more than 3.4 billion social media users globally! At the click of a button gain access to both individual responses and aggregated data on a global scale, and in markets that can be unreachable or cost prohibitive via traditional methods.

6) Quick Delivery of Insights

Quickly and easily mine thousands of conversations about your brand. Identify and explore trends and opinions for instant decision making or track and measure the performance of a product launch or marketing campaign in real time.

7) Competitive Understanding

Understand what people are saying about your competitors. Identify and understand competitor activities more easily. Align with off-line activities for a full picture. According to Social Media Examiner, 65% of business owners state that marketplace insights are the most valuable benefit of social media.

8) Discover the Power of Observation

Discover a bank of knowledge by observing and interacting with consumers rather than being led by set questions.

9) Affordable Insights

Uncovering insights through social media channels can offer a more affordable approach to research for those who have previously found it cost prohibitive.

10) Discover Trending Content

Listening to real time conversations, and analysing the trends, will allow you to deliver fresh, relevant content quickly.

11) A Different Perspective

Use social media to identify other topics outside of your brand and even your industry. Discover what else your audience is interested in to generate a full rounded picture.

12) Manage Your Company’s Reputation

Social media plays a pivotal role in research programmes, such as customer satisfaction and brand / sentiment tracking, providing the real time platform to gather feedback and engage in response.

13) Fresh Sample, Fresh Insights

Social media provides an alternative to panels and list recruitment, allowing you to find fresh participants for research based on real behaviours sourced from across the spectrum of social media channels.

14) A Complementary Alternative, Not a Replacement

Social media is not there to replace the more traditional approaches but it can provide focus, additional demographic data, and some exciting and complementary ways of engaging with consumers.

Clive Humby says it well. Clive is chief data scientist at Starcount, one of the founders of Tesco-owned data company Dunnhumby:

“By really drilling down into social data, you can use it to understand and predict consumers’ buying habits and brand preferences.”

Clive says social data “is behavioural rather than attitudinal, making it very useful for highlighting customer groups that brands may not have previously considered, along with their differing motivations for shopping.”

I believe social media gives market research a dynamic platform that helps promote user interaction, engagement and participation through constant exposure to organic opinions, time stamped data and conversations between users in real-time.

Social media simply delivers a cost effective opportunity to discover audiences, find trends, analyse competitors and discover the right path.

So think about it when you want to know more about your audience!

*an award-winning social, search, and viral marketing scientist at Hubspot.

Alison Bull is a co-founder and director of Tandem Agency, a specialist network of senior professionals, which includes Status Social director, Mark Saxby. Alison has worked in market research since 2003, helping some of the UK’s largest companies achieve their objectives.

Find out more about how social media research could help your business by talking to Alison on 01332 608243 or getting in touch with Status Social on 01332 776910 or 0115 824 8242.

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