LinkedIn Answers is proving to be THE social networking tool for market research—but don’t discount Facebook just yet. If you know the trick-of-the trade for using Facebook for market research, it can be just as effective–if not more effective–than LinkedIn Answers. So, want to know the trick?
It is actually brilliant in its simplicity: use Facebook Advertising’s multi-million-dollar investment returns of a powerful demographically-targeted research tool—for free.
To do that follow the simple steps below:
- Click on the Facebook Advertising page that is located on the bottom of every Facebook page (it can also be obtained from a simple Google search for “Facebook Advertising”).
- Click “Get Started”.
- Pick any random thing to advertise. The product doesn’t matter because we aren’t going to finish the process and its unrelated to the market-research segment.
- Enter a random website, if you don’t have one, into the form to move to the next stage.
- Now enter what demographics you are looking for: age, location, etc., and poof it will give you market data in that area. For example if you search for women between the ages of 14-16 in New York, USA, it will tell you that there are 2,504,607 possible targets in that market.
Simple, yet, oh So Much More…
Facebook’s built-in market-research and analytical tools are extremely powerful and can go far beyond generic searches. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for ending privacy. Now all the data entered into Facebook by its users is essentially public information—at least when it comes to targeted advertising.
Facebook Advertising can tell you not only users based on location, gender and status but it can also sort them via their likes, dislikes, interests, entertainment preferences, and so on.
Admittedly, this article was supposed to be about free market research, BUT, you may want to continue on to use Facebook Advertising–not a bad idea if you are searching for super-specific subsets for targeted advertising. Nobody does targeted marketing like Facebook; Google eat your heart out.
The ability to drill down on specific subsets may have more benefits to you than just market research. Facebook is an all-inclusive social media marketing, advertising and sales tool; its like Club Med for advertisers. And their ability to use “Responder Demographics” reporting could offer you free market research information with the small purchase of high-returns pay-per-click advertising opportunities–a win-win really.
“Responder Demographic” reports are reports sent to paid users of Facebook Advertising (reports sent to everyone, despite the size of investment made–although surely billion-dollar clients get a little more info than the rest of us) and are incredibly detailed reports of who your ad is being displayed to and who is actually clicking through your ad. This type of information just isn’t available with unpaid market research, but is a fantastic free bonus for using Facebook’s advertising services. This report will include things like state, age, ‘Likes’, gender data, and much more of your ‘likely prospects’.
So in a sense when buying a few high-returning, pay-per-clicks from Facebook (which have a demonstrated high return rate–hence why they can charge what they do), you make money off the returns while getting incredibly detailed market research information about the demographics of people interested in your product—for free.
If you don’t have the budget for Facebook Advertising though, no worries: use the steps listed above for free and you get demographic information for free—it just doesn’t tell you how many of the people included in the market data that are actually interested in your product/services.
For more info on Facebook for social media marketing, click here.