There has been much discussion in the consumer and B2B marketing research circles about the use of social media as a research stream. No doubt there is good information to be found in the unstructured data that social creates. Leveraging that information is a topic for another discussion. However, marketers can benefit from survey research to help guide their social media efforts. This will be today’s focus.
Through web analytics we can track the number of views our various social efforts create, but we often do not know how someone comes to find our social efforts. This is where a survey can be useful. The type of information useful to social marketers includes:
- The social channels a follower uses to engage with the brand (e.g. Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- An assessment of the current level of social participation
- The degree to which social media impacts a follower’s decision making
- Types of content a follower deems relevant
- The preferred format for said content (e.g. articles, podcasts, webinars, PDFs and other downloads, etc.)
For example the question below highlights respondent’s thoughts on Acme’s level of social participation. This type of data can be useful in guiding both acquisition and customer retention efforts. If we view our research as a guide then we can provide our internal clients with the data needed to build their content on and set their level of activity. This is how research can drive smarter marketing.