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Few Tips on How to Use Social Media for Market Research

When Dove launched its #SpeakBeautiful campaign in 2016, it relied heavily on social media market research to compile the data it needed for its social media strategy.
They analyzed over 5 million social media mentions on Twitter and found that approximately 80% of female users online had experienced negative body shaming comments.

What happened next was one of the most effective online marketing campaigns of the 21st century:

36% decrease in body shaming comments on Twitter
63% increase in sales
168,000 mentions with the hashtag in a year
What Dove and Twitter used to their advantage, businesses are now turning to in droves – using social media for market research.
Social media market research is the process of gathering quantitative and/or qualitative data from social media platforms to understand social, consumer, or market trends.

Other forms of market research can also be effective – such as surveys, focus groups, online polls, etc., – but are costly, time consuming, and inconclusive.
Social media market research is a better business investment as it:

Has a higher ROI
Gives immediate and/or historical data
Returns results from independent environments
There are a variety of different methods, tools, and tips you can use to uncover market insights on social media, which we’ll cover in this post.

Establish Goals

Every social media market research campaign has to have a clear goal in mind:

Do you want to conduct market research on your brand, products, online consumer behavior, consumer insights, customer service, or competitor insights?

Do you want qualitative or quantitative data or both?

If so, what measurements will help you define this?

What social media channels do you want to mine data from?

Establishing a clear goal will help you plan and execute the way in which you attain your information.

Define Your Target Goal

Researching consumer insights on brands and/or products has long been a staple of social market research.
To define a target goal, you must first definitively state what your business wants information for:
Product research
Product launches
Behavioral insights on target consumers
Customer service
Defining buyer personas

In social media monitoring, this takes place on a more granular level; you can parse through each mention and gather feedback as you would an open-ended survey.
On a social media listening level, you can aggregate insights to establish trends and data in quantitative form.

Identify a target demographic (adult women) and their pain points (beauty / body image).

Recognize the places (social media platforms) where their target demographic is most confronted with these pain points (body shaming).

Undergo intensive research on how target consumers are affected in these places (social media market research).

Create a campaign that gets to the heart of the issue by having the target demographic assess the problem organically (women choosing which door to walk through).

Publish the data (research findings) in tandem with the campaign (visual content) via the medium or place where the target demographics experience the pain point the most (Twitter).

The end result was a viral campaign that really began with understanding social behaviors on social media.

This is just one example of a brand relying on social behavior to market its products, but there are a variety of ways social media market research can be used to boost business.