Have you ever Googled your own company? You likely found variety of information—and whether you’re the SEO specialist or not, it’s good to know what people say about you or your business.
How many times a day do you log in to Facebook? How about LinkedIn or Twitter? Chances are you are in the habit of checking in to your favorite social media websites on a regular basis, and in the process create your own content about what you like, buy, eat, etc.
But to be useful for companies, the key is to find relevant web chatter and then appropriately analyze it to create new business opportunities or answer pressing questions.
Using social media to proactively measure public sentiment in real time is one of the best ways to develop a research initiative that is highly relevant to your company’s needs. Online customer conversations cluster around topics such as customer satisfaction, dependability of products, where the best value is located, and more.
Keeping the science in social media
Fusing the rigor of market science and the power of social media can optimize a variety of market research objectives. Maybe you want to know which products have the highest quality according to customer reviews. Maybe a new plan for targeting a particular demographic is needed. Using social media mining can inform and improve:
- Qualitative research (which translate into targeted marketing messages and keywords)
- Developing and executing analytical, quantitative plans (customer satisfaction surveys or concept tests)
- Segmentation studies (find new customers that are as ideals as your most loyal ones)
Rather than putting too much emphasis on past research designs or making assumptions about the market, social media mining is a way to keep your consumer hot spots fresh and accurate.
Company D was able to leverage social media mining into a new customer segment. Read more about what they did in our new case study.
What you can do
Social media is not going away, so treating these online conversations as informal focus groups makes it that much easer to anticipate consumer needs and values. Keeping your business and research projects socially oriented keeps you in the loop.
Here are a few beginning steps to make social media mining work for you:
- Make sure you have a continuously updated marketing strategy for converting new consumers into loyal customers.
- Track consumer interest in your company’s online blogs, news articles, press releases, or product descriptions.
- Track consumer sentiment around your brand and relevant keywords. There are a number of tools out there, such as Tweetdeck, Facebook fan page analytics, and Bit.ly, that make tracking engagement easier.