These days, it’s hard to consider a world without social media. Our lives are so digitally interconnected that existing outside that vacuum often leaves the few Luddites who remain out of touch and out of reach, unaware of what the rest of the world is doing and saying. In fact, many of us are now so reliant on what we can get from the Internet that we hardly ever stop to consider how we could maximize our experiences if we only turned in the other direction. Instead of using our social media accounts to mine new data, what if we used existing data to better inform our social media accounts, in essence maximizing outcomes and generating more meaningful results for ourselves and the companies we manage? It’s like JFK’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” If we stop and consider our own input, the Internet’s output multiplies tenfold, benefiting us individually and collectively as we manage our personal lives and businesses. Consider the following ways market research can increase accuracy, relevancy and revenue when it’s used to inform our social media practices instead of when it’s used to solicit them:
Good Research Identifies the Right Audience(s)
Businesses use social media to reach people. They tweet and host Facebook pages and oversee domains. But when there are literally billions of people out there on the web, reaching them all is a futile endeavor. Better that businesses narrow their focus to only the people who matter: the ones who have made or who are likely to make purchases. It’s a lot more productive to focus on a smaller, but potentially more lucrative, audience than it is to try to reach and please everyone.
Good Research Determines Content
Too often, companies believe that any content is good content. In actuality, good content is only good when it’s relevant to the people reading it. A robust research project can help companies fully grasp how consumers search for information, as well as why they click on links. They can then use this information to formulate and use the keywords that optimize search engine algorithms for maximum exposure and avoid the ones that don’t. It’s a task that is not nearly as intuitive as many think since Google and other search engines use a sophisticated and automated process to rank search results and don’t solely push to the top of the list those with the most expensive ads or those using the most keywords.
Good Research Identifies the Right Platform(s)
Good market research prior to a social media campaign enables companies to focus their resources and energy on creating and using only the social media platforms that are most likely to garner the right kind of audience(s). It’s a waste to set up only an FB account if most of your customers rely on Yelp. You can learn this by using market research methodologies like phone surveys, interviews and focus groups to ask consumers where they assemble and how they like to be approached. A little preparation can ensure that your social media presence is on point, effective at attracting consumers at the right time and in the right places and generating sales!