Social sites are great tools to conduct research and gather information about a company’s competitive environment. Social media provides a platform to interact with the audience and allows businesses to know more about customer interests in order to adapt quickly and change products or services if need be. Social media users can use certain sites to post on other social media sites. This allows certain sites like Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and Pinterest to post information on Facebook to give businesses a glance on what competitor products or services interest users. Simply asking users questions, posting surveys, or analyzing data within social sites will bring new findings or illustrate changing trends to stay ahead of rivals. Businesses can follow competitors through their social media activity and discover demographics, products and services, or advertisements that competitors show. Social sites are useful for businesses in discovering what competitors offer to customers.
A specific social media site does not represent everyone using social sites; any data collected through social media must incorporate users’ demographics. Pingdom.com illustrates demographics for many social networking sites in the United States. Based on key findings, social sites such as LinkedIn and Yelp had a large user group of 35 to 65 and above of age, as opposed to devianART and Hacker News’ primary age group ranged from one to 24 years of age (venturebeat.com, 2012). Businesses can benefit by establishing a presence on different social media sites encompassing different demographics. With the ability to promote and build relationships across many social sites, businesses can communicate easily based on chosen age groups or locations. Organizations can choose which social sites best fits their product or service by determining the target group of products by age or other demographic specifications.