More and more companies today are using social media research as a powerful research tool for their business. Research from and industry report from social media examiner, found that using social media for marketplace research and insight ranked as the third most valuable benefit of social media with 72% of those spending 11 hours per week using social media for researching reported seeing benefits. They also found that 78% of companies are planning to integrate social media data into marketing campaigns moving forward. It is important as ever to recognize the value of social media for marketplace insights and research.
Because of the growing demand for social media market research, Insights In Marketing has put together a useful guide that covers the major do's and don'ts of social media market research. In the guide they list the most common marketing uses for social media. Some of the common uses include brand analysis, campaign tracking, competitive analysis, owned/earned media analysis, product launch and purchase intent among other uses. They also found that 85% of marketers don't know what tool is the best for managing social media marketing. This shows that while there is a high interest in social media marketing, there is still a high need for education on the subject.
To get the most out of your social market research there are several do's and don'ts to follow. First let's cover the do's:
- Define your goals and objectives early (this will help you separate useful data from useless chatter.)
- Budget enough time to clean the data collected. (60-80% of the total time spent in the campaign should consist of data cleaning.)
- Use social media to complement other methods. (social media can be used to measure the number of mentions certain brands before a survey, helping to narrow the scope.)
- Keep an open mind (having access to your audience's thoughts and opinions is an advantage that shouldn't be overlooked.)
- Take the time to refocus when needed (move from goals based on gut-feelings to goals that are data-driven.)
Now that we've covered the do's to follow, let's cover the don'ts of social media market research:
- Don't go into social media market research campaign saying "let's see what we find." Instead, use it to test a theory or assumption (developing a social media strategy is one of the most challenging aspects of social media marketing.)
- Don't try to measure everything.
- Don't over rely on social media market research and exclude other channels (social media may not always be representative of your target audience.)
- Don't overly focus on looking for a "viral idea" (doing this can lead you down a narrow path and potentially pass up valuable market insight.)
- Don't get discouraged (sometimes not seeing the results that you were hoping for is inevitable.)
Use this guide to do your social media market research more effectively in 2016. For more takeaways check out the graphic below.