Nurturing and monitoring online interactions will allow your company to collect the honest, straightforward opinion of the consumer audience. The fact of the matter is that it is not only your fans that you want to hear from.
Even if you aren’t putting out a message, the first thing that you can do with social media is find out and understand why people like or dislike your brand. This is like having a focus group—a focus group that’s not sitting in your office, getting paid by you while you’re looking in their face for them to give you an answer. You actually get to see the reality of what people think about you. And at that point, you have enough knowledge to make the proper adjustments. It’s very hard to cure something if you don’t know the ailment. Social media is a great acid test. – Daymond John
The Decline of Traditional Surveys & Research
The top research executive of Procter & Gamble Co., likely the world’s biggest research buyer, said that he expects “surveys will significantly decline in importance by 2020.” Furthermore, he recognizes the rise of social media as the major contributor to the decline of traditional surveying methods. The Executive VP-Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of Coca-Cola Co. echoed similar sentiments, suggesting that he’d like to “do away with counting impressions in marketing in favor of counting ‘expressions’ from consumers.”
Do away with counting impressions in marketing in favor of counting 'expressions' from consumers.Click To Tweet
Not only is social media listening replacing some traditional market research already, but Procter & Gamble suggests that it is changing the willingness of consumers to participate in research studies; as well. Likely this can be attributed to the fact that there are several other, more effective methods – like social media, for the audience to convey their sentiments to a company or major brand.
Social Media Versus Traditional Outlets
Social Media makes it possible to conduct market research with an audience that is many times larger than nearly any other marketing or media source. Moreover, the unintrusive nature and easy access of social media also helps to promote user interaction, engagement and participation. This improves the likelihood of collecting useful, accurate and genuine information from your efforts.
One of the biggest weaknesses of most marketing research methods is that their success is determined by the queries. To obtain the correct information, market researchers must first know the right questions to ask their audience. With the broad scope and interactive nature of social media, information is collected through community engagement and passive, unintrusive observation.
Recognizing the Value of Social Media Insight
In the last couple of years, major brands have begun to realize that social media is a cost-effective and in-depth tool for gaining insights into their customers, market, brand appearance and other important aspects.
I would gladly pay a lot more money to our agency partners in the research area if they delivered for us that game-changing insight … Absolutely, where do I sign up? -Joe Tripodi, Executive VP-Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of Coca-Cola Co.
This benefit is not exclusive to big brands. There are similar opportunities for small and medium-size businesses to use social media monitoring to improve the data presented in their market research, as well. Listening to what the Internet community has to say, will help companies gain a better understanding of their consumers, through a deeper, more authentic insight into consumer behavior and expectations. In doing so, marketers will be better equipped to communicate the most powerful online marketing message to their audience.