Medical Researchers Figure Out What Marketers Have Known All Along

A recent study that has come out of the Boston has proven to the medical community what marketers have known all along: social media can provide a huge amount of intuitive insight into the lives of almost any and all niche groups and individuals.  The research, which was led by Rumi Chunara PhD and John Brownstein PhD of the Boston Hospital’s Infomatics Program (CHIP) used the geo-tag data from Facebook to help determine what peoples’ interests were.

What they discovered:  that they can predict and monitor obesity rates right down to a neighbourhood level, just by browsing Facebook.

A Lot Of Value For A Small Price

What’s always made Facebook and other social media sites so popular is that they are absolutely free to use.  The medical community has found themselves appreciating what marketers and business owners have loved about the site for so long.  Brownstein commented:

“Online social networks like Facebook represent a new high-value, low-cost data stream for looking at health at a population level.  The tight correlation between Facebook users’ interests and obesity data suggest that this kind of social network analysis could help generate real-time estimates of obesity levels in an area, help target public health campaigns that would promote health behaviour change, and assess the success of those campaigns.”

To which every marketer would say, “Duh.”

How To Use Facebook To Gain Lead Intelligence

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing veteran or new to it all, there are always a few new ways for you use to obtain lead intelligence.  Here are some easy ways in which any business owner can use Facebook to get some great lead intelligence:

Check In On Your Leads And Customers

Assuming that you have a Facebook page set up for your business (and if you don’t, do it now!), once you begin to get some Fans you can then check out their own personal Facebook pages.  Check out what their interests are, and make note of any commonalities between the members, such as:

  • Their age group
  • Their gender
  • What activities they enjoy

See What They “Like”

The great thing about having access to Facebook pages is that you can quickly and easily see what your fans and friends “like”.  This will give you some insight on what brands or interests your fans have, and help you further understand how you can cater to their needs through marketing.

It’s also a good idea to make note of what sort of posts they like on Facebook as well.  For example, do a lot of your fans seem to repost or share memes?  Or do they tend to post and share videos more?  This will give you a good idea of what sort of media you should be using to draw the attention of leads and customers as well.

Spy On The Competition

Though Twitter makes it easier to check in on the competition, there’s nothing stopping you from hopping on over to your competitors’ pages as well and seeing what they’re posting.  Make sure that you read lead and customer questions and comments too – this will give you an idea of what pain points your target market has, and will provide you with the great opportunity to produce content that will help those leads and customers (and quite possibly before your competition is able to!).