Social media can be many things, but its role as a powerful research tool can be overlooked.
Even as a marketer or PR practitioner, you should at least use it in this way, irregardless of any reluctance to embrace social media as an engagement, sharing or publishing tool.
Beyond the facts it happens in real-time, social media is global and completely voluntary – key facts when considering its value and legitimacy as a research tool.
It is a great way to get insight into your competitors. You can see not only their campaigns but also their tactics and online personality. How they are connecting with their online audiences can be invaluable as you craft your own digital strategy.
As well, social media is a great vehicle to research potential strategic partnerships. This can include bloggers or smaller companies on the precipice where your insight can be valued and shared.
When planning and executing a social media strategy, it’s easier to measure than print, TV and radio campaigns. The amount of data that can be captured and analyzed from social media is impressive, and a complete boon to any future strategies, campaigns and tactics.
The research capacity of social media can also help you in the offline world. It is simply an enormous bank of information and data.