Is social media the new focus group?

With over 3.8 billion social media users around the world, there are now endless opportunities to connect with your customers. The power of the customer’s voice is unparalleled, which is why the most successful companies prioritize truly getting to know and understand their customers’ wants and needs. In an effort to connect with your customers on a deeper level, focus groups are often utilized. In the traditional sense, this would involve strategically selecting your sample group and arranging to meet with them in-person to ask questions that would generate valuable insights for your company. With social media quickly becoming a primary way that individuals communicate, could these platforms be a new way to conduct focus groups? Can digital focus groups become the new norm?

According to Forbes, “Today’s savvy brands are increasingly drawing on social media as a reliable, efficient and effective alternative research solution.” What better way to stay savvy than utilizing the social media channels that keep your customers engaged on a daily basis? To take advantage of these mediums, more companies are now turning to digital to gather consumer insights. So why is that and what are the benefits of using social media for your focus groups?

Benefits

Faster and more cost-effective

Reaching out to your customers via social media will save you time and money. You’ll also have the ability to reach a larger sample size yielding similar insights as an in-person focus group. As a result, you can optimize your insights and your return on investment.

Flexibility for customers

In a traditional focus group, your participants would all need to be scheduled to attend the session on the same day and time. With social media, your customers have the freedom to interact and share their feedback on their own time, which also leads to more thoughtful responses.

Additional insights

Having access to the social media profiles of your customers is golden. In addition to your traditional demographic data, you can also gather more information such as their location, lifestyle, personality and any other information that’s shared on their profile.

Customer reviews

Another tactic businesses are using is mailing products to their customers or giving them an incentive to share their feedback on social media. Their responses are then analyzed and used to generate quality insights.

As you can see, using social media for your focus groups may be worth your while. There are several benefits however, it’s difficult to compete with the authenticity of face-to-face interactions. While there is a place for both, interest is definitely growing in the digital space for conducting focus groups.

Next Steps

I now challenge you to try conducting your first focus group using social media using these free and simple tools!