Monday, October 13, 2014

The Value of Social Media in Market Research

People are sharing a wealth of information online.  You don’t need to be data mining like Facebook Algorithms. All you need is a little knowledge of platform’s search functions, a little bit of time, and sense of adventure!

We worry ALL THE TIME about what the government knows about us, but we don’t often stop to think about the endless social media stream. We dive into it , we are a part of it, but as a business owner if we really stop to think about it: it’s a marketing gold mine.

First, find the groups. What groups are you a part of on LinkedIn and Facebook? Do you follow any of these conversations or do you let the email alerts build up in your inbox thinking, “I’ll get to those someday.” Well that someday should be today, or at least set aside time once/ week to cull through this treasure trove.

Second, follow the hashtags. What tags, words, mentions are you actively watching? Do you take a moment to see who is talking about subjects related to your business or just letting the fast moving stream float right by? Taking you and gems of info with it.

What should you be looking for?  Be “looking” and “listening” for pain points expressed, frustrations shared, concerns voiced.  These are your future clients and those words are a future sales page, email marketing pitch, or twitter campaign. Or possibly a new service you create just to solve their particular problem. Listen and be rewarded.

We all know the way of the internet is moving toward amassing basically everyone’s personal brand. What we say, how we say it, what we comment on and the visual media we show, all form one big personal brand of each of us.

How you use this brand information and what you choose to research is less analytics driven and more big picture. It’s the creation of your ideal client and finding them over and over again as they brand themselves online.

You already have this picture in your head (or you should). What your client is talking about, where they shop, what they look like, what they say and how they say it. You already know why they need you, and it shows up, over and over again. But YOU have to connect with THEM.

Are they posting pictures of epic travel on Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook? Then you might want to be visual too.

Are they continually posting questions about business processes and systems? Then you might want to have advice ready.

Do they ONLY enjoy no-nonsense news? Then you might avoid the fluff.

Are they enthusiastic commenter, often connecting with strangers online? Then you might reach out to them directly in a message.

Try one interpretation then try another. If their message is unclear, be MORE clear.

Dissect what your prospects say, then sit back and LISTEN. They really will tell you what you need to know.

Karen Yankovich is a social media brand strategist, business consultant and speaker, and the CEO of Uplevel Media.  Having “been there and done that” in the arena of losing (and then re-finding) a focused approach to business and life, Yankovich now offers coaching and consulting for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Her unique specialty blends her “get it done” attitude with a passion for authentic connection in her personal services and online workshops. Social media and LinkedIn Evangelist, Yankovich guides entrepreneurs to creating wealth by combining smart business practices with simple proven systems that develop and maintain strong customer relationships. She offers results oriented and expert conversational marketing strategies that position her clients to bring in instant results. Yankovich’s background includes over 30 years in the fields of information technology, marketing and customer relationships, making social media her ideal niche.

No comments: