How to Use Twitter as a Market Research Tool

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Even with the limit of 160 characters per tweet, Twitter is full of information that an online retail business owner can use to research their market. With close to 60 million visitors a month, Twitter is a market research goldmine that can be used for free. By knowing and understanding the Twitter demographic, you’ll be able to explore the dynamic global conversation that occurs in your marketplace.

Why Use Twitter as a Market Research Tool?
With only 160 characters, can you really conduct market research? With Twitter, you’ll notice that people carry conversations with each other, broadcast their daily experiences and share their thoughts. They chat or ‘tweet’ with their friends, colleagues and family. Their tweets can be casual and personal, or projected to everyone who will read their tweet. Because of the casual and personal nature of Twitter, you are easily able to delve deep into the problems, needs and wants people are experiencing.

The Twitter Demographic
According to Pew Research Center, young adults and adults ranging from 13-34 are the largest demographic group that use Twitter. Along with the younger demographic, this group is highly likely to use mobile Internet devices such as cell phones and laptops. Knowing demographic information such as these will help you target the market information you gather on the product you’re currently carrying or want to carry in the future.

Twitter User Demographic
Twitter User Demographic: Is your market represented on Twitter?

Using Twitter Search
Are you looking to carry a certain type of product or brand and want to know if your prospects are talking about it? Using Twitter search is as simple as using Google. Just type in your keyword and see the conversations people are having about the product, service or brand. The search occurs in real-time so your search is always up-to-date. Another nice thing about using Twitter search is that you don’t have to have a Twitter account to use the search function.

Twitter Tools That Simplify Your Research

Twitter Search [http://search.twitter.com/] – The search offered by Twitter. Simple and easy to use. Use it like a search engine, type in your keyword and see what people are saying about the keyword in your market. The results are in realtime and a great way to find out what people are talking about now. Keep in mind that because the search results are in realtime, results will differ based on what time of the day you perform the search.

trendistic

Trendistic [http://trendistic.com/] – Trendistic offers an easy to understand graph of trends on Twitter regarding your keyword. Look up trends from the last 24hours to 180 days to get a better idea of how your keyword is progressing. Trendistic also shows you the trending topics on the right hand column for a quick overview of the top current topics.

Trendsmap [http://trendsmap.com/] – If you want to narrow your Twitter search to a specific locale, Trendistic is a great tool. Search your city to see what Twitter users are talking about in real time. You can also type in topics (keywords) and see where the most conversations are taking place.

WeFollow [http://wefollow.com/] – A directory of the most influential Twitter accounts. Use this service to find out who has the most influence on Twitter and what they’re talking about. This is a fast way to get caught up on the latest industry news.

Do you have any Twitter tools you use to do market research? Let us know by commenting below.

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