By: Ali Lawrence
Virtually every single business would like to know more about its customers. However, in many cases, businesses take very little action to learn more about those consumers. Whether it’s because they don’t want to harass customers with surveys, they think it would take too much effort and too many resources, or they simply don’t know where to start, many businesses never obtain the advantage of uncovering useful knowledge about their respective consumer bases. Fortunately for those businesses, there is one resource that contains their consumer’s preferences, tendencies and experience ? social media.
What You Can Learn From Social Media
Since the advent of social media, the average person now has the ability to share his or her personal, individual experiences with everyone. As a business, knowing how to utilize social media to monitor your consumer base can give you answers to all of your questions. While surveys can fail because of their intrusiveness or time consumption, social media triumphs because people are already sharing much of the information the company wants to know.
4 Steps to Analyze Your Consumers
1) Since your company should already have a social presence, pick a few of your loyal followers that exemplify your best customers (those that most often purchase from you). You may also want to follow and track social media users who you think should be consumers or even are consumers of competitors.
2) Once you find around 10-20 users, analyze their likes, dislikes and anything you see on their profiles that might impact their relationship to your company. Keep track of what you find in an Excel doc. For example, if you notice those users always share or retweet other people’s humorous posts that might be a sign that your company should create a humorous tone of voice to help their customers relate to the brand.
3) Group your 10-20 users into target audience personas. Do they fit who you thought were your target consumers? If you create content that is specific to a persona send it over to the real group of users that fit the mold and ask them for their thoughts on social media. Rather than a focus group, use Google Hangouts to get a more in-depth analysis of what your consumers think of a particular idea or product.
4) Using social media to analyze your consumers is also a great way to get reviews. Google+ reviews are very valuable for those searching for a company online. One particular company I’ve found who does a great job turning customers into raving fans on social media is Renewal by Andersen. They have over 500 testimonials on their site and dozens of raving fans on social media. Not all reviews will be good but you can use the rough ones to improve your services and even let the person know on social media that you will be working on what they said they didn’t like.
If used the correct way, social media can save a business time and effort by cutting out the question phase and going directly to the information-gathering phase. Businesses have the ability to select a representative group of consumers to inspect their social-media behavior. Those businesses can learn which blogs or websites their consumer base visits most, what other related interests most of their customers seem to have, which of their posts get clicked on the most by those consumers and more.
Ali Lawrence is a content specialist for a web design company and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her articles have been published by Hot in Social Media, Yahoo! Small Business, and Business2Community.