S&R Blog

4 ways to use social media for market research

In a previous post, Twitter was recognized as a viable option for qualitative market research. Not only is it free and fairly easy to mine for information and engage target groups for answers, all kinds of third-party services exist to help show the latest trends and hot topics. But is Twitter the only social media option if you are looking for quick insights on a budget?

Here are 3 other ways you can use social media  for your next marketing research project:


With over 8 million users (and growing), LinkedIn allows for easy access to pertinent data about its users. LinkedIn Polls allows you to target professionals with specific questions through two methods:

  • Your network: Ask your connections on LinkedIn (Free)
  • Selected Professionals: A group of professionals (e.g. sales professionals, small business owners, software engineers) that you define by industry, job title, company size, job function, age, gender, or geography. (Pay per response, $50 minimum).



Boasting more than 100 million users, Facebook is fertile ground for research. Although Facebook doesn’t allow instant access to its user data you can use a few valuable tools made available to Facebook users to get relevant demographics for targeted research.

Facebook Lexicon aggregates and analyzes millions of Facebook Wall posts every day to provide a searchable database of trends over time. Users can query a single word or two-word combinations and compare as many as five strings per query.

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StumbleUpon allows you to get instant access to a variety of sites around certain topics and the audience who have an interest in that topic.  StumbleUpon also allows you to view reviews of certain sites and key user demographics (age, gender, interests) to see how they react to different things and find different patterns.


1 Comment so far
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Great post, thanks for calling attention to specific uses of social media for market research. You hit the nail on the head with Facebook Lexicon — unlike a site like Twitter, Facebook content can be hard to access and aggregate, but Lexicon does a great job.

Don’t forget that there’s a world of smaller sites ripe for market research past these 3. I have some more thoughts on using smaller sites here: http://bit.ly/TM0Tg

Comment by John Rood

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