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Four reasons to use social media as your focus group

Focus groups have long been an important part of the business world. For decades, business owners have gathered individuals from a desired demographic and used their feedback to gauge the potential success of a new product, business idea, or policy change. But with increasing connectivity through social media, focus groups are arguably no longer essential. Instead, you can gauge reactions from a target demographic directly on social media. Here are four reasons that you should be using social media as your focus group.
Wider audience

The trouble with focus groups is that you are taking a very small sample of your target demographic to gather opinions. As any statistician will tell you, a small sample size can heavily impact your results. Social media, on the other hand, reaches an enormous audience. Studies estimate that as of 2019, there will be about 2.77 billion social media users. Good luck putting together a focus group of that size.

Target ideal customers

Of course, not all of those 2.77 billion users are going to be your target demographic. But that doesn’t matter. Social media platforms like Facebook allow you to target your ad campaigns to the exact demographic you wish; you can tailor your campaigns by region, age, gender, and even by each user’s interests. This allows you to not only reach your ideal customer, but to reach people who are more likely to have a genuine interest in your product, based on other online activity.

While putting together a physical focus group could, possibly, give you a similarly targeted group of individuals, it takes a lot more legwork on your part.

Get instant feedback

We all know that social media users have very few qualms about expressing their opinions on pretty much every issue known to man — and your business ideas are no different. Simply sharing an idea on social media can be a fast way to gauge your audience’s reaction to it. For example, when AMC movie theatres announced that they were considering allowing texting in their theatres, the backlash was almost instantaneous.

The responses were overwhelmingly negative, and it quickly became clear that the idea — though made in an attempt to draw millennials to theatres more frequently — would not go over well for their online audience. AMC listened to the feedback, and the idea was dropped. By briefly sharing this idea with their target audience, AMC Theaters saved themselves a lot of time, effort, and money associated with launching a new policy that would have simply driven their customers away.

Easily organise and analyse results

One of the problems with a physical focus group is that the feedback given is often oral. The focus group members’ opinions must then be recorded, entered into a system, and analysed for trends and results. But with social media, polling your audience takes a matter of minutes, and they can give their responses in mere seconds. The results are shown to you in real time, so you can gauge people’s feelings towards the idea.

You can also supply a link on your business’s social media account, asking followers to provide more in-depth feedback, if a simple poll does not provide you with the information you need. Users can easily follow this link, answer survey questions, and have their responses instantly recorded. Innovation management software can analyse trends in their responses, making it easy for you to not only gauge your audience’s opinion on a product, but exactly which aspects of the product they would like and dislike.

Such detailed analysis can help you to fine-tune your business’s products and services to more strongly appeal to your ideal audience. And that kind of information can be right at your fingertips if you use social media as your focus group.

22 Feb 2018 11:04


About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as,,, Boris is the founder of and