Social Media – the “cheap” source for Market Research!

Why not benefit from the obvious?
social-media

Source: Future Market Insights 2015

When it comes to market research, gaining information and spending money is usually closely related. How convenient, that most of us use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook right after the wake-up call and spread lots of important information in the worldwide web.


Using social media is more popular than ever and became part of the everyday routine for most people. Finally, more and more companies recognise the value of social media: about 78% of the companies already use or begin to integrate social media data into marketing campaigns (Insights in Marketing 2016). Easily and cost-effectively accessible for companies – social media constitutes an attractive modern market research method for improved marketing results.

Traditional market research methods

research methods

Source: Guan Tho n.d.

Traditional Market Research Methods use two different types of research to gather data: Primary and Secondary Research. 

Primary research includes data that is collected by the company itself or a hired service provider to assemble a collection of information directly suited for the company’s needs by using e.g. focus groups and surveys.

Secondary research on the other hand means searching for existing data that was originally gathered for someone else by using libraries or the internet among others.

Apart from that, market researches either use quantitative researches which are concerned with numbers and have a statistical nature or qualitative researches which focus on a small number of people that are part of the target audience of interest without giving statistically robust findings due to the small sample size.

Discovering new opportunities

Traditional market research can be very time-intensive and – even more important – costly process. Consistently, companies are steadily searching for cheaper alternatives that still provide the same insights into important market research aspects like their customers, market or brand appearance. As a result, more and more companies recognized social media platforms as an useful tool to gather the needed information and save money at the same time.

As Nelson (2013) states, understanding the benefits of social media and creating a solid research plan is key to properly utilise the collected data for market research. Accordingly, companies should pay attention to the following three aspects before they start using social media research.

  • Strategy
    Focus on a creating a social media research strategy first which helps to separate important and useless data
  • Time
    Budget enough time since the collected data needs to be cleaned and reviewed
  • Additional tool
    Use social media as an addition to other research tools to get the best results
    (Insights in Marketing 2016)

Click here to get more information about the do’s and don’ts of social media market research.

Benefits of Social Media Market Research

Once decided to implement social media into the company’s marketing strategy, companies can benefit of the gained knowledge.

Real-time insights

Using social media allows companies to gain real-time knowledge instead of spending much time on waiting for the results from traditional focus groups or surveys and develop real-time business intelligence (Zacrep 2015). Due to advanced settings and search options most of the social media platforms offer numerous ways for companies to evaluate current trends by searching for latest post or using hashtags (Nelson 2013).

Improved cost efficiency

Unlike huge expenses for traditional market research methods, the use of social media usually does not cost any money and just requires time to gather all the needed information.

Interactivity

Apart from that, social media research enables companies to interact with its customers or market which is an important step in understanding it’s audience and utilise the collected data (Zacrep 2015). In this context hashtags are not only a helpful tool to track trends but also to search information that are directly related to the company/industry. Companies become social listeners and observers who utilise the given information which might be even more representative and honest since people feel not pressed to give certain answers as some might feel during surveys or focus groups.

Social media – the useful addition

Marvel and phenomenon social media (platforms): dearly beloved by millions of people around the globe, responsible for thousands of breakups, love stories, fights and addictive disorders. And apart from that, powerful tool for companies to reduce costs, uncover hidden trends and improve the marketing approach. But lately just an addition for the solid and reliable good old traditional market research to combine the profound knowledge of detailed surveys with the topicality of real-time monitoring and trend tracking!

So stop ignoring this strong opportunity, carry your business to the next level and benefit from the obvious!

posted by Ronja Naudorf (rnaudorf -215466308)


References

Future Market Insights 2015, social media platforms, image, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.futuremarketinsights.com/page/social-media-research.

Guan Tho, K n.d., market research methods, image, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/Mail-Op/Market-Research.html.

Insights in Marketing 2016, ‘The do’s and don’ts of social media market research’, Insights in Marketing, 11 January, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.insightsinmarketing.com/resources/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-social-media-market-research/.

Nelson, R 2013, ‘How to Use Social Media for Market Research’, Social Media Today, 19 March, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/how-use-social-media-market-research.

Zacrep, K 2015, ‘How market researches can effectively utilize social media analytics’, Market Research, 5 March, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://blog.marketresearch.com/how-market-researchers-can-effectively-utilize-social-media-analytics.

 

 

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