Social media platforms offer a vast trove of data about consumer trends and how they interact with their virtual network. Applying market research techniques to this data can guide decisions for marketing campaigns that more effectively target demographics and address specific concerns felt among your audience.
How to mine the data from social media platforms is a process itself, even before you develop a marketing campaign. Deciding what type of data you are interested in, how you want to measure that data, and which platform will provide the most relevant data are all questions you need to consider. Here are the steps to get you started on utilizing consumer data on social media for your own benefit during a marketing campaign.
Select the Right Social Media Channels
Social networking platforms have different focuses, so your research interest should influence which channel to mine for data. Understanding the demographics of the various channels helps determine where and how to target your marketing campaign.
Pinterest users are far more likely to be women, for instance, so it might not be the best place to research how men talk about sports. Snapchat is popular among millenials, so your Snapchat advertising strategy should have the interactive and unique content popular among this demographic. Facebook covers a huge array of audience types and behaviors, so this platform might be good for examining overall population trends. Investigate the public information available for the various social media channels to determine their user makeup and how best to market on them.
Start With A Data Goal
As you begin compiling social media data, pick the question that forms the basis of your marketing needs so you’re not researching unnecessary information. For example, are you doing product research to assess the popularity of competitors? Interested in approaches to launching a new product? Assessing customer service gaps?
Choose Numeric or Categorical Data
Numeric data, also known as quantitative data, will give you the hard numbers. How many likes does a product have? How often is an ad shared? How many people talk about an issue over time? These numbers can be indicative of popularity as well as any issue the customer is currently experiencing. You can use both types of feedback in order to improve upon your competitors with your own product or service.
Categorical data, or qualitative data, provides insights about interests. The data gathered is interesting in its context rather than its volume. The insights tell you what people are thinking and feeling about an issue. For instance, are consumer comments showing positive or negative interest in your latest video?
Compile the Data
With all this information available to you, you need to use a data mining software tool to do gather your data. Several online tools are available, and they can be easily accessed with a search for “data mining software”.
Select a data mining tool that has flexibility based on your needs. Does it cover the social media platform you want? Can you refine your searches to the granularity you desire? Is it going to give you the most relevant data for your needs?
Choose the Right Keywords
Keywords are as crucial to data mining as they are to search engine optimization. You need to include and exclude the right words that will return relevant information.
Be broad in your research in the beginning, only refining keywords after you’ve examine the results. You might, for instance, notice people talking about the processing speed of a tech product, so you narrow your search to learn about consumer sentiment on that issue.
Turn Insights into Strategy
Once you have refined data, now it’s time to develop ideas that will influence your strategy. If you found that most of your product interest was with high-income consumers, you might focus your campaign in the best channel for that demographic. Or you might have noticed people share videos about your product more than articles, so your campaign might tilt more toward video and the social media channels that allow the best sharing methods.
Social media platforms provide enormous potential for data mining to develop a profile of your target audience and how that audience prefers to be reached. By planning your data mining process, you can refine and target your marketing research to earn the greatest advantage.