Conduct social media market research

1. Shortlist the social media platforms that have your strongest audience following or where your audience spends the most time.

The State of Social report suggests that most businesses currently use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, this will depend on your audience demographic; if you’re targeting younger audiences, then Snapchat and TikTok could be better choices.

2. Conduct polls on your social media platforms around topics relevant to your business.

For example, you might ask people to choose between two or three types of product or service. Embed a one-question poll, known as a question sticker, into an Instagram Story to encourage voting. Use emoji sliders to get richer feedback than binary yes/no votes. Twitter allows you to configure a poll duration of between 5 minutes and 7 days, whereas Instagram has a set duration of 24 hours.

3. Once you've posted your poll, monitor the comments section and record positive and negative comments.

4. Launch contests incentivizing your followers to create their own content or give feedback.

For example, you could ask your followers to create photos, videos, or testimonials featuring your product or service. Followers will often add thoughts and opinions in the comment section as well, giving you further insight and ideas.

5. Note down a list of keywords that reflect your brand proposition and search for conversations about these keywords on social media platforms.

For example, if you are opening a vegan restaurant, you may search for “plant-based” and monitor people talking about plant-based food on social channels. Record your insights. For example, what people are looking for, what questions they’re asking, and the sort of information they’re sharing.

6. Monitor mentions of your brand on social media platforms using a monitoring tool like Mention, Brandwatch, Meltwater, Digimind Social, Brand24, or Radarly.

Record general positive or negative trends in consumer opinion.

7. Generate brand mentions by actively asking social media influencers for feedback on your products and services.

This will give you important points for your research and may start larger conversations with more data.