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BizReport : Research archives : November 26, 2010


Social media market research - are you listening?

Social media is littered with consumer opinion and content surrounding brands and products, and frequented by Internet users who are keen to share their thoughts. Recent research has shown many consumers have shared reviews online and that social media is a prime environment in which to conduct qualitative research.

by Helen Leggatt

Over three-quarters (78%) of respondents to a recent survey conducted by Valued Opinions said they had shared their thoughts on a product or service via a social media site.

Most opinions were of a positive nature with just 5% of comments relating to negative experiences.

So, if people are being upfront and generous with their opinions online, is there still a need for traditional marketing research approaches?

Instead of rigid surveys and focus groups that control dialog and demand participants' attention, social media listening and research allows marketers to continually learn and update their knowledge while consumers can enter the conversation at a time that suits them.

Social media participants on blogs, forums, chat rooms and social networks are already in the mood to communicate and in an environment in which they are happy to share their thoughts. Researchers can often garner far higher participation rates via social media, particularly when research is made fun and rewarding and, therefore, worthy of being shared.

There is, however, one major downside to social media research. The lack of face-to-face interaction makes observation of body language and emotion impossible.






Tags: marketing research, qualitative research, social media








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