Successful companies continuously invest time and resources into researching their customers' ever-changing needs and wants. However, traditional market research techniques are no longer effective enough. The digital era we live in requires brands to adopt novel strategies such as social media research.
Over the past decade, social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives. In 2020 — for the first time in history — more than half of the world's population is on social media. Started as a space for personal interactions, social media channels have now transformed into a product research space, where consumers innately exchange their opinions on brands. According to research by GlobalWebIndex, 54% of users are actively browsing social media to find reviews and recommendations. Just like them, you, as a brand, can tap into this world of undistorted consumer insights data to build a better understanding of your target customer.
Unlike old-fashioned market research methods, such as surveys and focus groups, social media research, thanks to innovative customer insight tools, is not limited to any specific geographical location or time-frame. For instance, YouScan — a social media intelligence platform – collects and analyzes past, as well as real-time data, from the whole world.
Undertaking studies based on social media data allows brands not only to discover consumer pain points but also identify future trends and adapt their marketing efforts accordingly.
Now, let's take a closer look at the specific types of actionable insights that can be found through social media research.
Social media research can provide a deep understanding of specific categories, consumer segments, newsworthy topics, and hot trends.
You can identify opinion leaders and brand advocates in your specific niche, as well as profile the key groups discussing a brand and category. As an example, below, you can see the consumer insights report generated by YouScan containing October's top influencers by engagement rate in the US for the H&M brand. Since they already genuinely like H&M fashion, it might be a good base for further commercial cooperation.
With social media analytics, the reach of your online and offline campaigns, user-generated content, and mention dynamics are available at your fingertips.
Social media sites are full of opinions and reviews that are automatically classified by AI as positive or negative. Additionally, tools like YouScan are equipped with a visual insight feature to uncover even those posts that do not contain a branded keyword.
You can always use an individual set of requirements to obtain even more specific and unique consumer insights.
If you want to create products your customers want and love, turning to social media research is one of the best strategies as of today. In turn, social media intelligence tools can help translate unstructured data from multiple platforms into consumer insights in a matter of seconds. Whether you are conducting competitor analysis or expanding to a new market, social media research will complement traditional market research, as well as offer unique insights.