What actually IS it? Encarta defines it as information, often in the form of facts or figures obtained from experiments or surveys, used as a basis for making calculations or drawing conclusions.
Surveys? Experiments? How does this apply to social media? And, you thought I was going to talk about ROI, didn’t you?
Ah, questionnaires. Good old fashioned quantitative market research; an excellent way to get some insight from your fans, followers or circlers. And plenty of free sources to use. But beware of bias and improper wording; I’ve seen lots of poorly written surveys in my time!
Find a market research professional, tell them what it is you’d like to learn from your clients, and let them do the rest. Great data starts from the best preparation, from defining the issue, including determining the possible actions that will be taken as a result of the findings, creating the questionnaire, testing, fielding, processing, analyzing and reporting.
What do you want to learn from your fans on Facebook for example? Some ideas include:
- Demographics, beyond the location, age group and gender that Facebook provides to page owners
- Gather ideas on what they’d like to see on your page
- Test out a new product concept
- Their opinions on a particular subject; perhaps something that you’d like to blog about at a later date
- Greater detail on their interests (psychographics in market research speak)
- How they feel about some of your current products and likelihood to buy
- What charity they’d like to see you make a donation to
Groovy Reflections, offers products, namely hand tie-dyed t-shirts sporting the brand logo. Personally, I don’t enjoy getting in people’s faces touting these offerings.
So, instead, I’ll post something that’s more on the “softer side”, such as giving away a shirt instead (have been doing this every 500 new fans). Discussion about the free shirt will be lively and some of the more curious folks may inquire more about the products while others will explore quietly on the website. It's both engaging and creating awareness.
|Not exactly a focus group facility!|
Focus Groups, either in person or on-line would provide some concrete data on the respondents as well as their individual responses in conversation based on a well-planned out guide contain the question you’d like to have the respondents discuss.
Data is powerful if gathered wisely! Do learn from it to make your social media efforts even more successful!
For more data (ha!) on data, say hello on my Facebook or Google+ pages or tweet me.
This is "D" of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Don't forget your A, B, C's!