Whether you’re in the restaurant or retail industry, or even in HR or insurance, social media research is a valuable tool. The Social Media Research Association shared a list of ten ways social media research can be used, and I thought it would be helpful to share.


Brand Reputation
Monitoring your brand will answer your most important social media marketing questions. In fact, many times it should be the starting place. Are you being represented properly online? Which platform is giving you the best results regarding engagement? What are the statistics telling you? Which demographic is more engaged with your product or service?


Competitive Intelligence
It is difficult to stay on top of everything that is being said, published and written online about your competitors. Monitoring your competitors will give you insights to stay one step ahead. Valuable insights, such as learning the pain points for your competitor’s customers and information about product and service launches, are easily obtained. Use the intelligence to get in front of your competitor’s customers, especially those that are unhappy and looking for a new company to do business with.


Attracting New Customers
Use social media research to learn about your customers on a deeper level. Go beyond demographics specific to your business; information about their lifestyle, interests, and even family status gives you the opportunity to dig deep into “who” your customers are. Gain new customers who never heard of your brand in creative and engaging ways.


Improve Customer Service
Social media has become a go to for many consumers who have a question, suggestion or complaint. Monitoring this allows for a quick response and the opportunity to reach customers online who are talking about you, but not talking to you. This added touchpoint can go a long way in enhancing the customer experience.


You may have fans out there you never knew you had! They are influencing your brand by using your product or service and discussing it with their fans and followers. Consumers listen to influencers. Social media research helps you identify your influencers, reach out to them, and build a relationship that will benefit your marketing efforts.


Crisis Management 
One bad post can easily become viral and harm your brand instantly. Social media research and listening will help you identify a brewing crisis before it goes viral.


Sales and Lead Generation 
Keyword monitoring allows you the opportunity to get noticed online in a variety of ways. Establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry.


Hiring and Recruiting 
Over 60% of today’s HR executives look at a candidate’s social media and online profile before making a hiring decision. What is within your legal rights to conduct this research? Are you FCRA compliant? Reaching a candidate, the legal way, will protect your company and ensure you make the best hiring decisions possible.


Legal and Law Enforcement 
Most corporate attorneys are now advising their business clients to not only monitor their brand and/or employees online, but also suggest they archive the data in case of future law suits.


Better Understand Your Audience
By using social media listening strategies you can learn a lot about your audience, some of which may surprise you. This allows for better segmented target marketing which leads to stronger social media marketing ROI.