Social Media Tools and Market Research

Social Media tools are very useful in Market Research. Since today’s customers blog, comment, tweet and talk to others online, social media networking sites offer massive potential for market research.  The advantages are

  • They are real-time in updates and the search
  • They are short in process
  • Search includes text, audio and video
  • Multiple in-put and out-put possible

You can do your research in many ways using social media Tools.

Research by searching 

You can search for conversations around topics of interest. There are places to search and tools to search.

There are social search engines that are available to do organized search by blogs, news, networks, videos, images, forums, tags, social mentions, reviews, podcasts, documents, micro blogs, wikis, bookmarks etc… In some of the services, there are also rankings based on criteria like mentions and you can also subscribe to search results via RSS.

You get a great wealth of information by such searches. Such a search gives you inputs from many sources, stability of data and also a good representation of samples.

Asking people

You can research by asking your questions to specific community or to a mass audience.
Examples include : Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, Twitter, Facebook and other exclusive forums depending on your research subjects.

Following/Monitoring Trends

You can do research by following trends. You can monitor with a time-line and also drill down to specific details with leads.
Examples of tools include : Google Trends, Twitter trending topics, Hashtags, Trendpedia etc…

Researching on competition

You can find about your competitors or what kind of experts are connected to them, what they say, who their employees are, their profiles, their hiring practices etc. Examples of tools include : LinkedIn, Jigsaw, Crunchbase, Glassdoor etc…

Doing Surveys

You can do online surveys using social media networking sites like Facebook invitations, or set up a online survey  and use the link to invite people to take the survey. you can incentivize them or reciprocate in a good manner to encourage.

When we use Social Media Tools for Market Research, many a times you may see unmet needs of customers and that could bring a huge business opportunity. You can also monitor opinion and feedback. You can understand niche markets better. You can gain a lot of competitive intelligence and can be ahead of the competition.

In this age where changes are happening faster than what anyone could predict, Social Media tools helps us to cope with the unexpected  and respond with speed and clarity. Welcome to the power of informed decision making using Social Media.

What are your thoughts? Do you want to experiment with a Market Research using Social Media Tools for your company? Take the risk of benefitting from Social Media tools.  Feel free to buzz me here.

Originally posted on http://blog.varadh.com
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