If you haven't figured it out yet, social media is not just a trend or fad. Social media has become a daily routine for many people and is not going away anytime soon. Popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are now at the top of every advertisers list to place an advertisement. However, advertisements are not the only way businesses and organizations can benefit from these social forums. Investing money in social media research is vital to gain deeper insights about brand identity, brand awareness, competitors, psychographics of your target audience, product flaws, etc. Check out these 6 ways to use social media to your advantage by fellow researcher Annie Pettit.
1. Measure An Advertising Campaign
Track the campaign from launch date to finish. Measure any changes in conversation volume of either positive or negative comments. Is the anticipation building or burning out?
2. Discover Hidden Competitors
Pay attention to who users are comparing your brand to. It is easy to pick out the well-known competitors but what about local or small businesses?
3. Identify Product Flaws
While some consumers may look up your business's Facebook page in order to thank you, others have had a problem with your product and want to complain in a fashion that is easiest for them. Take into account what issues are being brought up and remember to RESPOND. Social media forums will never fully replace traditional call-in customer service, but ignoring their questions or complaints will only make you look poorly.
4. Learn About the Psychographics of Your Audience
Lets say your product is fashionable rain boots. Social media research can show you more about these people like: what types of cars they like, sports they watch, clothing stores they hate and what they grow in their garden (based on pages they 'liked', posts they 'retweeted' or text analytics)
5. Identify Celebrities That Should Sponsor Your Product
Again, this goes hand-in-hand with psychographics. Who does your audience follow and want to see in nothing but fashionable rain boots?
6. Build on Traditional Research
The best surveys are no more then fifteen minutes long which means any questions that go beyond that time frame have to be cut. But if you haven't got space to ask consumers a specific question on your survey, chances are people are already talking about it in social media. Your data isn't gone. It's just somewhere else.
Check out Anne Petitt's full 12 tips at http://12most.com/2012/10/19/important-uses-of-social-media-research/.