Use Social Media for DIY Market Research

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Too often start-up entrepreneurs automatically assume that certain elements of the business game are off limits to them due to lack of capital and/or experience. Market research is one such element. We immediately assume that in order to mine the amounts of data necessary to put together realistic projections for future growth and adjust for what our market prefers, we need to either spend a fortune or alienate consumers in the process. But this is simply not the case.

Free and inexpensive online survey tools prevail at a time when people are sharing information with one another at an unprecedented rate. Indeed, it’s in the arena of social media that you’re bound to find the best resources for performing effective market research yourself. It requires a dedicated understanding of how to formulate questions and information in order to get the most optimum results. But as far as the actual tools go – survey apps are plentiful on Facebook.

For instance, the SurveyGizmo app on Facebook is an incredibly popular means for small businesses to create their own surveys. The thing about utilizing Facebook-native apps is that virtually every consumer of yours is likely to have a profile. That means these individuals can become “Fans” of your Business Page and therefore you have the ability to deliver such a survey right to their message box.

But what about getting them to actually do it? Incentives are important, but make sure they don’t outweigh the benefits of the survey itself. A smarter strategy would perhaps be to send the survey once a business transaction has been completed. You’ll still be fresh on the customer’s mind, and they’ll be more willing to give you a piece of it. Either they were so pleased they want to help, or they’re dissatisfied enough that they want their voice heard. Either way, you’re made aware and therefore things can be changed or improved if necessary.

Internet marketing is no cakewalk. It demands an enormous amount of data to function properly on a small scale. But that data can definitely be gained without taking out a business loan or tricking your customers into handing over personal information and factoids. Take advantage of survey apps and social media in general. Sites such as Facebook thrive on the data you need, so go get it.

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