Use Facebook for market research

1. Decide what you want to research and how you will measure the results.

For example, the goal of your research could be to gather immediate feedback on customer’s experiences with your product, or ideas for potential product improvements. In this case, you could set a target for the number of replies that you want to receive.

2. Create a Facebook post or poll asking your target question and offering a couple of options for the answers. Invite users to share different answers as well.

For example, Starbucks created this poll to understand customers’ order preferences, which received 2,267 likes and 1,660 comments in 24 minutes. 

3. Analyze the results of your poll to get insights from followers. Look at the language used and the aspects mentioned.

Create a spreadsheet where you collect the positive aspects and negative comments. This will help you stay organized when planning future campaigns or product improvements.

4. Run contests and collect video testimonials for your products from participants, to share on your Facebook business page.

Announce prizes like gift coupons or product samples to get followers to participate in your contests.  For example, GoPro partnered with PinkBike to run a Best Line contest that featured prize money of $15,000. Participants created experience-based videos, so that both brands could promote them as realistic product experiences. The brands used the videos to identify top supporters and how their equipment was being used.

5. Understand follower sentiments by asking them to comment on existing or new products.

Add open-ended questions at the end of Facebook posts to start discussions with followers. For example, this M&M poll asked followers to share thoughts on 3 flavors of a new product: They studied the responses to understand customer sentiment and got new content ideas like recipes.

6. Use tools like Brandwatch, Mention, and Digimind Social to monitor posts that tag your brand for feedback and content ideas.

Respond to both positive and negative comments thoughtfully to bond with your customers. Track indirect conversations where customers who don’t follow your brand discuss it or share pain points. Take notes to improve your product or service.

7. Identify Facebook groups where your target audience is present and analyze the type of content shared, the profiles of the most active users, as well as the posts that are/aren’t appreciated.

For example, if you target content marketers and want to understand how to promote a content marketing tool to generate leads from Facebook, you should look at the most frequent reactions or comments on promotional posts. If the group members are generally enthusiastic when tools are shared, you should consider incorporating this group and tactic in your social media strategy.