Any business thrives as long as it can identify and attract clients. For this reason, market research is something any marketer or business owner should do. However, since you do not have the budget to hire a specialised company, you have to rely on your own efforts. In this article we will show you how to use Facebook for market research.
Can You Really Use Facebook to Perform Market Research?
You may be incredulous, but Facebook can yield tons of useful data for your marketing activities, if used correctly. Facebook is not just about socialising and connecting with potential customers. It is the social network that knows almost everything there is to know about its users.
Instead of paying for demographic statistics and other types of market research materials, you should spend some time on Facebook and doing your own research. Don’t worry, you do not need any specific expertise and know-how. And it won’t take you more time than you usually put aside for your digital marketing activities.
Getting Started with Your Market Research
First of all, you need to determine a clear objective for researching Facebook for market insights. For instance, if you run a new business, you want to find out how big your potential market is. If you are an established business, you want to research new product ideas. And if you want to rebrand your business, you want to find out how your clients will react to this change.
The results will totally depend on your approach in using Facebook for market research. So, make sure what you want to know is relevant for your business or for the immediate purpose for which you need the data.
These being said, here are several effective ways to use Facebook for market research:
1. Create an Ad Audience to Estimate the Size of Your Market
Ready to launch a business? But not sure if you will have a viable market for it? Then look no further than Facebook to see how many persons are interested in your product or service.
First things first, you need to have an idea of your ideal customer profile: age, sex, income, education, etc. With this information, plus the geographical area where you want to run your business, you have the basic demographic size of your potential market. But that’s not all, of course.
You also need to go to the Interests section and select Facebook users who expressed an interest or bought your product. Facebook will then adjust the overall audience size to give you an idea of how large your market may be.
2. Promote a Survey with Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads
Another way of using Facebook for market research is creating a survey and promoting it on the social network. With so many powerful survey platforms available, such as Survey Monkey, you can easily create your own, with relevant questions and a wide selection of answers: single, choice, multiple choice, written answer, etc.
With proper promotion on Facebook, you will receive a sufficient number of replies to form an opinion as to your potential clients’ opinion on the respective topic.
3. Expand Your Customer Personas by Analysing Your Followers’ Demographics
Do you know who your customers are? Do you REALLY know all the relevant customer profiles? One look at the demographic details of the followers of your Facebook page may offer a lot of surprises.
This is a cost-free way of using Facebook for market research. You may have a clear idea about who buys your products. But people are always surprising and have ever changing tastes. Thus, you may note that elderly people like and follow your Facebook page for sportswear. After all, doctors recommend exercise for a long life and good health. If their number is significant, you should definitely start creating offers and marketing materials for this specific age group.
4. Perform A/B Tests
A/B tests are the only way of gauging the reaction of the audience to your ads. When it comes to using Facebook for market research, you can test the reaction of your audience to specific aspects, such as:
- A new package design
- A different tone of voice corresponding to a potential rebranding
- A different approach (advertising for busy moms vs. busy career women).
5. Research Groups
Last but not least, you can use Facebook for market research by looking at groups. How many groups are dedicated to your product or niche? What is the average number of users per group? How active are these groups? You should also join some of them with your personal profile and evaluate the way users interact and what they talk about (products they wish they could find, ideas to improve an existing product, etc.). These are valuable insights to help you craft your own products and marketing strategy.