Social Media: Gathering Audience Insights at the Touch of a Button

October 21st, 2018

Written by Kayla Klein, account executive, Moxie + Mettle

Once upon a time, the most effective way to gather audience insights wasn’t very efficient at all. Think market research campaigns that spanned months or email surveys that solicited an impressive 4 percent participation rate. Brands that know every aspect of their target audience outperform their counterparts in every business function.

Chances are, what your audience wants you to provide and what values they expect you to share are constantly evolving. Understanding your audience’s expectations and who your audience is can help you tailor your products, services and communication to leave a lasting impression. Whereas gathering audience insights used to be a separate endeavor, social media makes it easy to work double time, engaging your audience and benefitting from the insights they provide.

Here are three tools on popular social media platforms to help you gather audience insights at the touch of a button.

Instagram Stories

A recent statement from Instagram revealed that Instagram Stories have up to 400 million daily users. Features like polls and questions make it easier than ever to interact with your audience, doing anything from tapping into trending topics to simply asking questions about who they are or what they think about your product or service.

According to a study by 99 Firms, brands are getting creative on their Stories. While promoting products is still the majority favorite use, some brands are giving behind the scenes looks into their companies, having an influencer take over or live streaming an event.

To solicit maximum engagement and simultaneously gather audience insights, try combining a trending topic with interactive polls, like letting your followers control a certain operation by asking a series of questions about how they think it should unfold.

Twitter Polls

Businesses can use Twitter Polls to assess trending topics, ask for social strategy feedback, discover product preferences or ask entertaining lifestyle questions that can inform a larger strategy. It is estimated that the average person spends just one minute on Twitter every day, so hooking your audience with interactive content upon login can optimize that short time frame for you and for them.

Given that you have little time to engage your audience on Twitter, your poll questions should be straightforward and the answers directly applicable to your business plan. For instance, if a health insurance company published a poll, it would be more beneficial to ask, “What element of your insurance plan most satisfies you?” as opposed to, “Are you satisfied with your insurance plan?” Answers to the first question can immediately inform specific changes to the health insurance plans this company offers.

YouTube Cards

More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day, according to Business Insider. For video creators, YouTube offers multiple opportunities to increase engagement beyond the common, “Share your thoughts in the comments below.” YouTube Cards, the information bubbles that appear on the upper right-hand side of your screen throughout a video, are actually interactive tools inserted by video creators to link to websites, draw attention to another video or ask questions to their audience to gather insights.

For instance, if a camera technology company makes a demonstration video about taking photos in low light, it can add a YouTube card to the video asking viewers what scenes they prefer to shoot. Based on their responses, the company can make their next video about the most preferred landscape to appeal to the largest sector of their viewing audience.

The most significant mandate of social media is right there in the name: be social! Great social media content helps your audience by informing, entertaining or educating, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t help you too. By incorporating strategic questions into interactive elements of your social media plan, you can effectively gather audience insights that help your brand tailor its products and services to exactly what your audience wants. No more guessing games.