Knowing the interests and attitudes of your target market and customers can be the difference between staying afloat and generating significant profit. There are many ways you can “audit” their tastes and preferences, but at My Social Biz we’ve compiled our top three ways to survey our audience. Take a look at the following, and see which ones can be applied best to your business:
- The obvious: Social Media
When your business uses social media, you create the potential to increase customer engagement. To engage further, you can answer customer questions, you can place engaging information on your site,and this increases the potential for them to engage across your platforms.
However, there can be some concerns with those conversations you are not a part of on these channels: Do you butt-in or just listen? What do you do if they are saying bad things about your company and your brand? Being aware about what people are saying about you is critical to reputation management.
It’s important to be aware of what people are saying about you. Hopefully you have a designated department whose role is to review, analyze and potentially respond to various social media posts (both positive and negative) across platforms.
- The gamble: Feedback and focus groups
This is typically an option for firms with large R&D budgets. Whether you have a huge financial allowance for focus groups or are sending around an online survey, the information that you receive can be very valuable to your business. There are many benefits to asking your customer directly about how much they will pay for a product or service, how they feel about your brand or marketing tactics, or if they really do like your newest offering or idea.
Depending on what you are trying to achieve, this type of market research can get you great insight into what your customer is thinking. Focus groups and surveys can get you useful data about your products and services and how it fits within the daily lives of your customers. However, it’s important to balance customer feedback with your company’s mission and vision so you can have a product/service that your organization can stand behind and that people also want to use.
- The nerdiest way: Data analysis
Data analysis can help you understand your customers more than they understand themselves. It can be used to look at trends and relationships that aren’t necessarily obvious. Data analysis doesn’t have the emotional bias of social media, nor the moderator bias of focus groups. It’s just numbers and interpretation.
How do you understand data? Understanding data means interpreting the relationship between things: if something changes, what is the result? Interpreting data is a daunting task as financials and major business decisions can rest upon it.
The hard part of data analysis is understanding what it’s saying, instead of manipulating it to say what you want it to, and there are also a growing number of studies showing that data collected and reviewed by AI can still have bias.
So, what’s the main point?
- Listen with social media(and forums) to see how people feel about you
- Listen through focus groups to see how people feel about themselves and your product
- Listen through data to uncover trends in purchasing and behavior
Simply put: if you make the effort to listen, you’ll know more about your customer. This will help you:
- Market to them more effectively
- Create products that they want
- Increase their loyalty to your brand because you “get them”
Your customers might not always be right, but their thoughts and preferences will be dictating your business strategy for the coming years. If you still need guidance on how to create the perfect social listening strategy, reach out today to My Social Biz for your free consultation!