The Power of Social Media - How can you use social media for market research.
Analytics B2B Research Branding Customer Survey Facebook Instagram Instagram Audience Market Research Quick Tips Social Media Twitter

The Power Of Social Media: How Can You Use Social Media For Market Research?


Social media may not be an ideal source of market survey as it is not a representative sample and can be too small for small businesses. However, it is still critical for larger organizations because it includes their most passionate fans.

One benefit of social media is that it provides a rare source of candid consumer opinion.

Around 80% of social media posts are about personal opinions and beliefs, expressed individually or within a community, without any interruption or bias from a formal study or market research company-run focus group.

Consumers also want communication with brands on social media, with 95% of adults between 18-34 likely to follow a brand on social media channels.

Buyers tend to spend 20-40% more money on brands that interact with them on social media, and 71% of consumers who have a positive social media experience are more likely to recommend it to others.

Market research methods to use on social media

Social media platforms lend themselves well to three distinct qualitative research approaches: qualitative content analysis, social listening, and polls/questions.

a. Qualitative content analysis involves assessing the engagement rate of consumers by looking at the number of likes, comments, and shares on a post. This can provide insight into the effectiveness of a marketing message or product.

b. Social listening is a method of gathering feedback from customers or monitoring opinions about your brand or competitors.

c. Finally, polls and questions can be used to directly ask users for their thoughts and feelings, encouraging engagement and providing valuable insights.

Social media channels that you must explore for market research

1. Facebook

Facebook is used by approximately 97% of both B2B and B2C companies. There are four primary methods for conducting qualitative research on the platform: polls, contests, call-to-action posts, and brand mentions.

a. Facebook polls are easy to create and garner valuable feedback, which can be analyzed quickly.

b. Contests offer fans the chance to win a prize, which can motivate them to provide valuable user-generated content, feedback, or email addresses.

c. Call-to-action posts around new product launches encourage followers to share their thoughts through comments or a website.

d. Finally, brand mentions can offer valuable insights from those who do not follow your brand, as approximately 96% of online brand discussions are generated by non-followers.

Brand case study

In 2020, skincare brand Olay launched a Facebook group called “Olay Skin Advisor Experts,” designed to gather customer feedback and insights. The group consisted of over 12,000 members who were invited to share their thoughts on Olay products and discuss their skincare concerns and routines.

Through the group, Olay was able to gather valuable information about customer preferences and identify emerging trends in the skincare industry. They also used the group to engage with their audience and build brand loyalty by providing personalized skincare recommendations and advice.

2. Twitter

Twitter, which has a character limit of 280, is an effective tool to target through a market research company. Two primary methods for gathering qualitative data on the platform are social listening and polls.

a. Social listening involves monitoring digital conversations to gain insight into customers’ attitudes towards a company or product.

b. On the other hand, Twitter polls have a set time limit that can range from 5 minutes to 7 days. Once the poll ends, the results are made public, and the winning choice is highlighted in bold. Additionally, all participants are notified by a common push notification from Twitter. Therefore, Twitter polls serve a dual purpose by increasing social media engagement and providing valuable market survey data.

Brand case study

In 2019, the fast-food chain Wendy’s used Twitter to conduct market research for the launch of its new breakfast menu. The brand created a Twitter poll asking its followers what time they typically eat breakfast, with options ranging from 5 am to 11 am. Wendy’s also asked its followers to share their favorite breakfast foods and what they would like to see on the menu.

The poll received over 26,000 responses, providing Wendy’s with valuable data on its customers’ breakfast habits and preferences. Based on the feedback, the brand was able to develop a breakfast menu that better suited its customers’ needs and tastes.

In addition to the poll, Wendy’s also engaged with its followers through Twitter conversations, responding to their comments and questions about the new menu. This helped the brand build stronger relationships with its customers and generate buzz around the launch.

Overall, Wendy’s successful use of Twitter for market research highlights the importance of engaging with customers and gathering feedback through social media platforms. By leveraging the power of Twitter, the brand was able to connect with its customers, better understand their needs, and ultimately launch a more successful product.

3. Instagram

Instagram’s user base exceeds 1 billion, which includes approximately 25 million business accounts. To collect market data on Instagram, three primary techniques exist:

a. Question stickers, which consist of succinct one-question polls for Stories, were introduced in July 2018. The Instagram Stories feature has gained 500 million daily users, and since it disappears within 24 hours, it can evoke the “FOMO effect,” prompting users to take action quickly. Users can vote and view real-time results.

b. In May 2018, Instagram added the emoji slider, which introduced emotional context to consumer feedback within the platform. Posts that include emojis experience a 15% higher interaction rate.

c. Large companies, such as Whole Foods, face managing a barrage of satisfied and unsatisfied customers on Instagram, sometimes within the same post. Unhappy customers tend to complain about their experience on the platform.

Brand Case Study

Dunkin’ Donuts used Instagram to conduct market research and gain insights into their customers’ preferences and behavior.

Here’s how they did it:

  • They created an Instagram account and encouraged their customers to follow them.
  • They regularly posted photos of their products, promotions, and events on Instagram.
  • They used Instagram’s “Stories” feature to ask their followers questions and gather feedback on new products, flavors, and packaging.
  • They analyzed the comments and engagement on their posts to understand what their customers liked and disliked about their products and services.

Through this process, Dunkin’ Donuts was able to gather valuable insights about its customers’ preferences and behavior. For example, they found that their customers preferred seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and were likelier to visit their stores in the morning for coffee and breakfast.

Based on these insights, Dunkin’ Donuts was able to develop new products and promotions that resonated with their customers and helped drive sales.

Overall, this case study highlights how Instagram can be a powerful tool for market research, enabling brands to gather insights from their customers in real time and use that information to improve their products and services.


Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram possess customer data that may not represent the entirety of your customer base, but it provides genuine feedback from enthusiastic followers. By analyzing this data, you can receive valuable insights into their purchasing motivations, opinions, and reasons for buying or not buying your product. Therefore, social media serves as a valuable public resource for market research. Maction Consulting can help you with the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *