And if Facebook were a country, it’s going to be the third most populous one next to China and India.
Because of Facebook’s sheer size in terms of the number of its active users and reach, businesses are now taking advantage of its features that allow them to research their market.
On Facebook, users discuss a wide range of topics about brands and products, and these conversations have the potential of getting shared across a wide network of users. This makes Facebook an extremely ideal tool for conducting market and competitor research.
What’s great about using Facebook as a tool for market research is that it’s now more business-friendly. It now has a suite of business tools, making it a lot easier for enterprises to sort of spy on the market and the competitors.
Best part is, these tools are free to use.
From asking consumers questions to taking a quick look at some very important data that the competitors use, there’s simply a lot any business can use from Facebook.
Pulsing the marketing via Facebook Questions
So you want to find out the top five songs that are playing on your audience’s iPod or which brand they like most? You can do that easily with Facebook questions.
Facebook Questions is an awesome tool that allows you to really understand your market’s preferences so you can come up with customized ways to interact with them and to promote your products.
It’s usually fun to see the various responses consumers give out. You can use Questions for every part of your campaign to find out as much as you can about what your customers want.
With Facebook Questions you can also quickly and effectively address customers’ issues as they are raised. This kind of engagement boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty, which are essential for word-of-mouth reputation building and encouraging repeated conversions.
“Spying on the competition” with Facebook tools
Running a research on the competition is an extremely important business strategy. It helps you see not only where they’re succeeding but also where they’re having difficulties. This allows you to map out areas of opportunity and it helps you make educated decisions on crucial business matters. Hiring a research firm to do this for you can cost an arm and a leg, but what if I told you that you can obtain this kind of information from Facebook, too?
Yep, you can now sort of spy on what the competition is up to via Facebook without spending thousands of dollars on marketing cost.
With Facebook, you can now find out what others are saying about you, your competitors and about your market as a whole.
Here’s a quick look at how to gather information on Facebook about what people are saying about your brand and about your competitors.
1. Run a search using Facebook’s search box by typing the name of the company or brand you wish to know more about. Facebook will automatically suggest a few results. At the bottom of the suggested search results, you should see a link that says “See more results for…” Click on this link.
2. You can filter the search results according to your search requirement, but in this case you want to click on “Public Posts” on the Search Filters section on the left side of the search result page.
3. Observe what kind of public messages your competitors are sending out and what kind of responses they get. Is there a pattern on which posts get most likes and comments? What do Facebook fans react to positively? What bums them out? These are important clues on what to do and what to avoid when you do your own posts.
There you go, folks – simple and easy ways to spy on your market using Facebook, one of the world’s largest online properties.
But a word of advice, though. You should constantly use social media, especially Facebook, as one of your main market intelligence tools to glean useful information about your competitors. That’s because Facebook, along with other social media tools, is constantly evolving, incorporating new ways for businesses to compete more efficiently in the new economy.
Let me know your comments below.
Andy “The Spy Next Door” Jenkins