Customer research is one of the keys to success in online advertising. There are many companies that provide extensive consumer insights, but most of them are expensive and don’t always give you the information you are looking for. Did you know you have some of the best consumer research tools right in front of you in social media? Oh, and they are free. Your customers are there and they are talking, all you need to do is look and listen.
Using social media to conduct research you can quickly figure out what questions your customers have, what problems they have with competitors, how you can solve their problems, what is important to them and much more.
Below is a list of social media tools you can use quickly and effectively to get valuable information for free.
Quora – It’s the ultimate answers platform. Your customers are in there asking questions and getting answers. You can get some excellent insights by going there and typing in relevant questions about your product or service. When you type a question in the search bar, you will see a list below of other similar questions. When you search, there is a column on the right of related questions. This is a good way to see what people are asking so that you can provide relevant information to your customers. Next, type a topic in the search bar, click on a relevant result and look through the questions and answers available there. It’s an outstanding source of real world customer discussion and thought.
Linkedin Answers – For B2B research, check out Linkedin answers. Go to the answers page and you can either ask questions and get answers, or go to the advanced answers search and really drill down by keyword search, checking questions and answers that are relevant to your product or service. Again, your customers are in there talking, you just need to actively listen.
Blogs & Forums – Find relevant blogs by searching for them. If you look closely at some of the more popular blogs you can find relevant articles/posts that your customers would read and leave comments on. Those can be pure gold. There are also many sales pages now that have comments enabled for social proof, scan those comments and see if there is some information there. Forums are obvious. You can search for relevant topics and also take part and ask questions of your customers. You might be surprised what they will share.
Twitter – The search box on Twitter can be used to search for discussions and questions related to your product or service.
Pinterest – Does your product or service fit into one of the categories? Search in there to see what people are interested in and look around, the comments on pins can give you ideas on how people relate to a product. Also, searching for your keywords will uncover some great insights.
All of these are good options and used together, will provide a ton of useful data, but keep in mind, it might take some time to get all of the information pulled together. Set aside some time daily to do some research on social media and you will be glad you did.