Perhaps your brand strategies are failing to produce the results (and revenue) you expect, or your sales have tended go unnoticed by customers. If it seems that your competitors forever have the upper hand, you may already be wondering how to keep up with the (virtual) Joneses.

It’s an even more frustrating situation if you think you’ve done everything right – creating social media accounts, offering a flurry of posts and pins, conducting cross-channel interactions. However, if your customer responses have been less than impressive and you’re falling behind in the retail race, it is likely that your focus is the problem.

Consider – has your strategy been centered on conquering networks instead of understanding them. Generating high leads and higher ROI demands more than clever hashtags. Social media market research is needed – specifically competitor-centric research.

If you want to experience high sales, see how other businesses achieve social media marketing success by analyzing their trends and topics.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is aptly named, utilizing network sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn) to inspire traffic. It’s used to target key demographics and provides a direct link between brands and their consumers. It’s also a defining element of most corporate marketing strategies, which is why mastering it proves so important. Learn how other companies apply this tactic to bolster your own efforts.

Many businesses have begun to turn to social media as a cost-effective and in-depth tool for gaining insights into their customers, market, brand appearance and other important market research aspects.

– Ray Nelson, Social Media Today

Facebook Targeting

Facebook – that social behemoth – is essential to your competitors’ success. Study it, use it, and join the like-button movement.

To master metrics, utilize this network’s many tools, including:

Graph Search

This semantic engine allows you to conduct internal searches. It compiles information based on phrasing (for example: content marketing) and displays popular posts, topics, and even users related to those phrases. Make each search brand-centric to see how your competitors rank.


Facebook’s extensive Group options offer many marketing rewards, allowing you to seamlessly scan posts, pictures, and feeds centered on your competitors. Track customer comments to better understand what appeals to them.


using facebook groups for social media market research

Twitter Targeting

Twitter delivers high-quality results through low-quantity posts. This is the media favorite of the Millennial generation, and should be studied with care.

See how your competitors create hashtag frenzies by accessing:


This third-party tool allows you to track other brands. It instantly gathers valuable profile information, including:

  • Hashtag usage
  • Most retweeted posts
  • Most mentioned posts
  • Most replied to posts

See which content soars and which fizzles.


This tool measures an account’s social authority, cataloging brands by their popularity, content, and overall influence. Learn how your competitors stand within both the corporate and global arenas.


Using followerwonk for social media market research

Google Plus Targeting

Google Plus is a relatively new network (it debuted in 2011). Though not as popular as Facebook or Twitter, it still provides insights into your competitors and their social strategies.

When launching a metric investigation on this site use Google Ripples. Google Ripples allows you to input a specific query (like a competitor’s name) and then creates a series of diagrams based on that query, each highlighting popular posts and tags. This showcases trending content and allows you to better understand how consumers share data.

LinkedIn Targeting

LinkedIn is the network of choice for professionals, which makes it ideal for studying your B2B competition.

Create a brand strategy on this site by infiltrating groups. LinkedIn Groups allow companies to connect directly with their consumers. Follow directory feeds, monitor active topics, and analyze which demographics post the most influential content.

Powering Past The Competition: Channeling Social Media Marketing Into Buyer Personas

After unraveling your competition – conducting real-time metrics and collecting digital data – you must then apply what you’ve learned. Translate this information into buyer personas.

Buyer personas are representations of your customers. They’re pieced together by product preferences and demographics (such as age, location, gender, and educational backgrounds). They transform social data into a series of descriptions.

These descriptions allow you to understand consumers and their sales habits. They also allow you to compete better with other brands, helping you re-tailor your marketing efforts.

buyer persona templateThe Necessity Of Buyer Personas

Buyer personas should shape every sales strategy. Through them, you can develop product launches, service campaigns, and other business opportunities: defining content to (and for) the customer.

Higher Lead Generations

Consumers are forever seeking information relevant to their interests. Buyer personas allow you to create – and then post – that information, ensuring higher lead generations and increased inquiries.

Improved Customer Service

The cornerstone of any company is how it connects with its customers. Buyer personas prepare your staff, giving them the tools to converse about specific points. They now understand both the product and why it’s important to particular individuals.

Streamlined Marketing

Buyer personas deliver targeted results, sparing you the need to waste endless hours (and endless dollars) on tactics that won’t work. Develop smart strategies, instead of strategies that leave you smarting.

Through these benefits buyer personas let you improve the advertising process and lead the virtual pack.


Social media marketing combined with the proper social market research delivers undeniable results, enabling you to understand (and eventually surpass) the competition.

Social intelligence can be used as an early indicator of changes in brand health. Intelligent social listening can pick up on the positive and negative themes and attitudinal shifts that will eventually show up in traditional structured measures. – Greg Timpany

Remember to:

  • Identify Facebook trends.
  • Study Twitter tweets and tags.
  • Analyze Google Plus content.
  • Join LinkedIn groups.
  • Create buyer personas.

What are your thoughts on social media marketing and buyer personas? Leave us a comment below!