Social media is generally thought of as a tool for marketing and customer service. However, its value runs much deeper than this. If you want to take full advantage of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms, you should use it as a method for gathering customer feedback.
Tips for Gathering Customer Feedback on Social Media
Social media offers a treasure trove of information, yet most businesses do little more than scrape the top layer of insights. When you understand just how powerful social media is – in terms of data – you’ll suddenly realize how much potential there is. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of the opportunity to gather customer insights.
1. Monitor Inbox Messages
When it comes to following businesses and brands, customers like the way social media creates a direct channel for communication and engagement. They especially enjoy the ability to send direct messages.
Monitoring and responding to as many direct messages as possible will help you understand what your customers are struggling with and/or enjoying. But make sure you’re keeping an eye out for those hidden “message requests.”
“When you don’t follow a person who wants to send you a Direct Message (DM), the message goes to the hidden inbox. This is Instagram’s way of filtering out spam messages,” digital marketing expert Hugh Beaulac writes. “As you try to promote your business, it’s nearly impossible to follow every potential client on Instagram. Thus, you should keep an eye on the inbox.”
2. Share Surveys and Polls
One of the more valuable aspects of social media is its reach. No matter how small your brand is or what mitigating factors you face in terms of visibility and exposure, social media provides a powerful outlet for reaching hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people in one fell swoop. You can take advantage of this by creating and sharing surveys that are designed to gather specific insights on topics and issues that your business finds important. Using this feedback, you can then instigate positive tweaks and changes.
If you’re looking for feedback to very simple questions or issues and want to attract as many respondents as possible, a simple survey may be adequate. Social platforms like Twitter actually have survey features built in to help you gather actionable data.
3. Monitor Brand Mentions
Did you know there are a number of tools specifically designed to let you know when people are talking about you on social media? Known as social media monitoring tools, these solutions help businesses gather quality audience data, take relevant actions (based on the data), and save time through greater efficiency.
Some of the best social media monitoring tools include Keyhole, BrandWatch, Buzzsumo, Glean.info, and Digimind.
4. Use Live Video
When social media platforms first started releasing live video features, there was considerable speculation regarding how brands would use it and what sort of role it would play. And while it’s turned out to offer unique benefits in a number of areas, it’s ultimately proven to be a useful solution for gathering customer insights.
With live video, you’re able to engage followers in real time. As you stream, you have the opportunity to tear down barriers, ask questions, and receive feedback. While the feedback won’t be as objective as the data gathered in a survey or poll, it’s equally as powerful.
5. Engage in One-on-One Discussions
There’s something about social media that makes people more comfortable opening up and engaging with businesses. So while you may have trouble gathering honest feedback from a customer when they’re in your store, social media provides the opportunity to engage in one-on-one discussions that yield transparent insights. This can happen through direct messages, comments, reviews, and any number of other avenues.
Maximize Your Social Media Presence
As powerful as social media is, it’s unfortunate that so many businesses underutilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. While certainly useful as tools for marketing and branding, social media platforms are equally as powerful when it comes to gathering insights and collecting customer data. Try implementing some of the tips and techniques that have been laid out in this article. With a few simple tweaks, you can generate some pretty astounding results.