Many businesses use this information to make strategic discussions and integrate social media in techniques for customer and market research. The same goes for research companies.
However, this is not without risks. Users of different social media have a specific profile that varies depending on the medium and businesses should be aware that you cannot extrapolate insights that are gathered via social media. This seems obvious but I have seen many press releases from companies saying that “the average consumer finds that…” and then later in the article it becomes clear that all this is based on a Twitter poll. This is entirely wrong, of course.