Market research allows your company to know if your products/services are what your consumers want and what the market needs. Your market research should ideally happen before your business opens then periodically when it comes time to launch a new product/service.
Instagram is helpful when it comes to market research because it can answer some very important questions for a business, such as:
- Does your current audience match your target customer base?
- How much brand awareness has your business created with its audience?
- What consumer behavior trends does your audience tend to follow?
- What consumer behavior trends are popular throughout your industry?
Although Instagram is very useful it also has the drawback of only being able to provide data on its users. Because of this you should also conduct market research through other channels as well.
How to Conduct Research
Through both the Instagram app and Meta Business Suite you are able to conduct market research through multiple avenues.
#1 Instagram Audience Insights
Every business should have a target audience in mind for each product/service that they offer. By looking into your Instagram Audience Insights you are able to tell who your actual audience is. This can help you expand your marketing to your actual audience as well as your target market and create a larger, more profitable customer base.
#2 Instagram Content Analytics
Seeing how your audience responds to the content you are putting out can be helpful in knowing what’s working and what’s not. You will want to identify how your audience interacts with your content, do they like and comment or do they share and save. Then you will want to see of your content which types of posts get the most engagement, posts, reels, stories, or lives? Having this information will let you see what type of content your audience responds well too. You also may be able to see trends if certain product/service posts perform better than others.
#3 Instagram Comments/DMs
The manual review of your Instagram comments and DMs is much more time consuming than just running analytics but it can give you deeper insights into the way your audience thinks.
Through Meta Business Suite you are able to look through all Instagram comments and DMs. Track how many positive, negative, and neutral comments you receive on your top performing posts to see the overall feelings of your audience. You should also look through your DMs and gauge the overall sentiment of your audience from those. Having this data allows you to get a general idea of how your audience feels and speaks about your brand and you are able to react accordingly.
#4 Tags and Brand Mentions
By taking the time to find posts that your company has been tagged or mentioned in you are able to see exactly how your target audience feels about your company and its products/services. Tagged posts are easy to find and should show up under the tagged tab on your profile. Mentions tend to get buried in your notifications but you can easily find them through Meta Business Suite.
When analyzing this data it is important to mark a few key points:
- Dates of tags/mentions (this may lead to patterns in activity)
- The type of review left (is it positive or negative/ are people complaining or complimenting your business)
- What product/services are mentioned (see what is most popular or biggest problem)
- Who is posting (what communities/influencers has your brand organically reached)
#5 Ask Your Audience
You are able to directly ask your followers their thoughts and opinions on different topics through Instagram Stories. Through stories there are multiple interactive sticker options that allow you to engage with your audience as well as gaining more brand awareness. Depending on the types of questions your company wants answered you would utilize different stickers. This data needs to be immediately recorded due to Instagram’s stories disappearing after 24 hours.
Instagram Reels are similar to stories since you are able to add stickers to ask your questions in different formats. Reels are permanent to a feed unless archived or deleted but their responses do delete after 48 hours. Because of this responses should also be immediately recorded when conducting market research through reels.
Although Instagram Posts are not as interactive as reels or stories you are still able to conduct audience research. You should put the question not only in your caption but also in the actual post image to grab your audience’s attention right off the bat. When asking a question though make sure you explain how you want the audience to answer. For example, you can ask them to leave a comment with what color and size they prefer. Once a week has passed and comments have slowed you can go back to the post and record your results.
Your Instagram Bio can also be a helpful tool if you already have a market research survey you’d like people to complete. Link it in your bio and create a call to action to it through stories, posts, and reels.
If your company and target audience are active on Instagram these tips will allow you to conduct in depth market research to better understand your customers. Depending on your needs you can conduct different research to ultimately reach your desired goal.