Why Social Media Marketing Requires Marketing Research
Social media marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing currently available. From its low-cost to its ease of use, businesses are turning to social media more than ever to drive business. However, without proper implementation and research, many of these businesses will see little return from their social media efforts. Even worse, it could be costing them more than they are gaining. By utilizing market research in your social media marketing, you can avoid many common social media mistakes and maximize returns for your efforts.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
To understand why marketing research is essential to social media marketing, you must first understand some basics to social media marketing. In essence, social media marketing is the process of promoting products, brands, services and other items through social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Benefits of social media marketing include:
Brand building potential
Viral marketing opportunities
Direct access to your market
Finding Your Niche
While a major benefit to social media marketing is its potentially viral nature, these successes are rarely a matter of luck. To maximize the spread and impact of your social media endeavors, you must target your interactions with precision.
By getting to know the concerns, problems, thoughts and common vocabulary of your market, you can increase the efficiency of your efforts substantially. Best of all, while you are researching, you can compile a potential list of contacts for when you launch your efforts.
Determining the Best Platforms for Your Marketing
Different marketing formats will perform differently depending on the social media platform that you choose. This is due largely to the interfaces and tools available on each platform. Common platforms for specific media types include:
Images: Image-centric content, such as advertisements or infographics, are best suited to networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Though Twitter is improving its image integration, images are often small or engulfed by other text content.
Short Texts: For short entries, consider Twitter or Tumblr. These sites are optimized for small bursts of information.
Long Texts: Long texts are supported by most social media platforms. If using Twitter, consider teasing your content in your post and linking to another social media profile within your tweet.
Video: Few social media platforms have yet to offer in-depth video sharing capabilities. If you are utilizing video marketing, consider using your social media platforms to link to self-hosted videos or videos uploaded to popular video sharing sites, such as YouTube, for optimal results.
Of course, finding the best media to use in your marketing efforts is again a matter of conducting technology based marketing research. As mobile adoption trends continue to increase, customers are consuming more information through visual mediums. By determining your markets’ media preferences, you can ensure that your social media efforts are noticed.
By conducting market research, you can also determine which platforms hold the most potential for your audience. Many social media users are loyal to only one or two platforms. This means that interest in your market could be light on Google+ but go viral on Facebook. With social media marketing, quality trumps quantity in most cases. This makes your choice of platform essential to success.
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Determining the Best Times to Market
With the fast-paced nature of most social media platforms, timing is essential. Even a highly optimized social media post can be lost quickly under the deluge of other posts entering your followers’ streams. Conducting market research about the best times to interact with your customer base will improve engagement, conversions and interaction dramatically.
Identifying your market and analyzing their social media activity and behavior will help to determine the best times and platforms to utilize. To help with the process, most social media platforms include detailed analytics for engagement and activity. Third-party tools, such as Tweriod, can also provide valuable insight into your markets’ preferences and behaviors.
With all of the buzz about social media marketing, it can appear that signing up and posting randomly is enough to instantly propel your business to the front of the pack. This is simply not true. When it comes to social media marketing, conducting proper market research will help to improve your chances of success and maximize returns. By identifying your market, choosing social media platforms properly and focusing your activity during the proper times, you can improve engagement, sharing and interaction.
This article is a collaboration between Ray Nelson and Willie Pena. Ray Nelson writes specifically about market research. Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer who specializes in writing about topics like social media marketing, marketing research and SEO. You can connect with Willie on LinkedIn.Author's Google+