Companies are turning to online surveys more than ever to get into the minds of their customers and potential customers. Imagine structuring your social media campaign with insider knowledge of what your customers like and do not like. Surveys work because like most business owners, you don’t have the time (or staff) to create a list then email or call a sampling of people for their opinions. Companies like SurveyMonkey give companies the tools to do a survey easily. And the results can help you better target your customers and potential customers on social media.
Decide your goals
What do you want to learn about your customer’s social media habits? Do you want to know their favorite sites? Do you want to know how long they stay on a site? Do you want to know which social media sites they never visit? How do they like the content delivered—video, blogs, images or social media messages. Before you begin your survey, determine what you want to know.
You want a good number of people to answer your survey and you want those answers to be honest. What do you consider a good sampling-50, 100, 1,000 or 5,000 people? How will you get that many people to answer? You can offer an incentive like a free online report or coupon for merchandise.
People also like to see results. They may be more inclined to take a survey if they can automatically see the results.
Deciding the questions
Once you establish why you want to do a survey, determine what you will ask. Keep it short and simple (no one likes to take a long survey!). Some sample questions could include:
- Present a list of social apps and sites and ask survey takers to check the one they prefer. You don’t have to list them all. If you know your demographic rarely uses Instagram, exclude it for brevity. Include as many sites as you can if you have no idea which sites your customers prefer.
- Ask them how long they stay on the social media app.
- Do they access mostly on their mobile phone or their computer?
- What do they like/dislike about the social media site?
- Do they use the site more for personal reasons, business, or a combination of both?
You use different methods to ask the questions depending on what type of information you want.
- Ask a simple “yes” or “no” answer
- Have customers to rate a service or app using a scale from 1-10.
- Present multiple choices and have survey takers choose the one that best applies to them.
If you are stumped as to what to ask, survey companies offer suggested questions that target your industry and customers.
How to do the survey
- Once you have decided on the questions, you will need a template. SurveyMonkey has several. The templates are broken down into certain businesses including educational institutions, marketing companies, healthcare organizations, and employee satisfaction surveys.
- How long do you want the survey to last? This is up to you. You could leave the survey up for a week, month, or several months.
- Determine how you will share your survey. Will it be through your company social media pages or in an email campaign? Reach out to your current online networks and ask them to share the results with their social and professional networks.
- Consider embedding your survey on blogs and websites. Some will allow you to do this for free while in some cases you purchase a spot. This may be worth it if you need a large sampling.
- Another method–SurveyMonkey Audience allows you to purchase a list of specific targets for your survey.
What can you learn about your customers’ social media habits and how to use the information.
For some, choosing their favorite social media sites is like choosing their favorite restaurant. You can figure out where and how their needs for online socialization are met. Since social media can be time-consuming, people are likely to go to their favorites first and spend more time there. A few examples:
- Facebook attracts people who want to keep up with their friends and family. Facebook Live has drawn new users who want to see news and information in real time. Some find Facebook groups they like that keep them on the site. If your customers are on Facebook, use sponsored posts or targeted ads to attract them. Also, consider going live with new information about your business.
- A business owner looking for new customers spends most of the day on LinkedIn. The site is also popular for those looking for a job or to move up in their career. Consider using the site’s publishing feature and posting content directly to the site. You can take this a bit further and use sponsored content to target your customers.
- Pinterest, always a preferred destination for those interested in DIY, is increasingly becoming an important tool for business. You can find many free tools online that will allow you to create eye-catching graphics to promote your business and website.
- People who like images and videos may favor Instagram or Snapchat. Use the story feature on these sites to weave a campaign about a new product or service. The feature is so popular that Facebook recently added the “story” feature to their site.
- Twitter attracts people who want to get the information concisely. The site has developed over the past decade in addition to the 140 characters to include video and other media.
Using the results.
Once you know more about your customer’s social media habits, you can create unique content targeted to them. Other ways you can use the results include:
- Get the attention of key influencers in your industry to build your audience. Find out where they hang out on social media.
- Create a promotion based on the data from your survey.
- Create new products to meet your customer’s needs.