Using social media to research customers

“The number of followers a brand has accrued on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network is the most basic metric by which a social media manager might measure their progress – and perhaps the most arbitrary, too. It says nothing about who those fans and followers are; nor what they like (or dislike) about a company’s products and services; nor why they bothered to follow the brand in the first place. It does not offer any insight into what new products and services might strike a chord with customers in future, enticing them to part with their cash.”

“At mobile network operator O2, head of social media Paul Fabretti says this is something he and his team are actively investigating. “Customer segmentation has been around forever. Social customer segmentation is much newer and brings a range of challenges,” he says.

“But it’s potentially really interesting, because we’re constantly trying to understand better what kind of products and services appeal to different customer ‘types’. That would enable us to launch a new priority mobile tariff for a particular customer group, for example, based on what we’d discovered about the lifestyle and behaviour of members of that group.””

“Toy brand LEGO does this “brilliantly”, she says, through its ‘Create and Share’ online community, where it doesn’t just engage with customers, but also regularly polls the online community for product development ideas.”

“Other brands hold surveys on third-party blogs and forums: those looking to gauge the views of opinionated participants with a high degree of influence over household spending, for example, might turn to parenting advice forum, Mumsnet. Brands currently polling the views of Mumsnet members include Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, insurance company Aviva and Barclaycard. Another idea is to run polls on Facebook sites, or tweet links to an online poll to their Twitter followers, in order to find out more about them.”

Brands using third party blogs or forums to gain an insight into consumers and their habits, gives me the idea to potentially use my website to sell space for relevant brands to use. Brands could even just look at my website for research, to see what members are buying or are interested in.

Who are your customers? How to find out using social media | Salesforce partner zone | theguardian.com . 2013. Who are your customers? How to find out using social media | Salesforce partner zone | theguardian.com . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/salesforce-partner-zone/who-are-your-customers-how-to-find-out-using-social-media

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