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The Rising Role of Social Media in Market Research

In the world of marketing, if you were to ask any marketer about their desired superpower, the chorus would be almost unanimous: “To read minds.” And why not? Knowledge, after all, is power.

The Importance of Insightful Information

For marketers, having a clear, accurate understanding of their target audience is like possessing the Philosopher’s Stone. With the right information, marketers can sculpt products that resonate, craft messages that touch hearts, and nurture engagement that solidifies customer loyalty. Traditionally, this was the realm of market research. But as we’ve stepped into 2023, conventional research methods often feel a tad slow and lack the holistic perspective we yearn for. Enter the dynamism of social media market research.

The Landscape of Social Media Research

Social media market research is not about peeking into what people are sharing on their Facebook or Instagram stories, though that’s a part of it. This form of research dives deeper, tapping into the collective consciousness of specific audiences across diverse online platforms. Beyond the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, valuable interactions also occur on platforms like Reddit, Quora, niche forums, customer review sites, and even personal blogs.

One of the reasons why this research method is gaining traction is the candidness it offers. Offline, in controlled settings, people are naturally reserved. Online? They bare their souls. Freed from the feeling of being observed, they spill their likes, dislikes, desires, and grievances.

And speed? Social media market research is the Formula 1 car to traditional methods’ bicycle. Continuously monitoring social channels and tracking keyword mentions allow brands to gauge the pulse of conversations and swiftly tweak their strategies. A whopping 93% of corporate heads believe that insights and data from social media will become the main pillar of their company’s business intelligence.

The Double-Edged Sword

However, as with anything, there’s a catch. While social media channels might offer unfiltered insights, they also present a hall of mirrors. People, on certain platforms, wear masks. These online personas might not always mirror their real-world behaviors. Hence, while the data is rich, it demands discerning scrutiny.

The Many Benefits

But let’s focus on the silver lining. The granularity of insights from social media research is unparalleled. Here’s what it promises:

Understand audience intent: Social media isn’t just for viral cat videos and online rants! Each platform has its vibe and purpose. For example, individuals flock to Twitter to delve deeper into a company and its reputation before progressing in their purchasing journey. Meanwhile, TikTok isn’t just a hub for amusing dance clips; it’s also a source of advice and insights on different life aspects.

Deep-dive into competitors: Diving deep into social media for market research is like having a spyglass into your competitors’ playbook. Planning a short sprint or a marathon campaign? These insights have got you covered. You’ll decode your rivals’ content moves, gauge the market’s applause,  and figure out where you stand in the grand audience chessboard.

Spotting trends: Netflix was pretty clever with “Stranger Things”. Using nostalgia marketing, the show leveraged 80s nostalgia while casting kids as the main characters to appeal to a broad audience.

If you want similar success, dive into social media and use tools like Google Trends. It’s about understanding current trends and positioning your brand for now and the future. Simple as that.

Partnerships: Social media market research is crucial for pinpointing apt influencers or content developers for collaboration. These partners can significantly influence product development and widen your brand’s exposure.

Case in point, Target collaborated with influencer Tabitha Brown after a successful year-long association. This partnership led to the launch of the distinct “Tabitha Brown” range, featuring items from apparel and accessories to home decor and culinary products.

In a Nutshell

The world of market research is evolving, with social media playing a pivotal role in shaping its future. As marketers, the opportunity lies in harnessing this powerhouse while navigating its intricacies with a discerning eye.

Interested to know more about marketing research? Swing by our blog to explore how market research is the secret sauce to amp up your digital campaigns! 

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