Countless companies, including 20|20 Research, are experimenting with ways to reach current and potential customers using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and in many cases they’re succeeding.
So what does that mean for market researchers? Can we add social tools to our online qualitative research toolbox? Yes and no, explains Tamara Barber in this week’s Quirk’s enewsletter. “While social market research is not a replacement for more traditional research, it can serve as a valuable complement to other insight-gathering techniques.”
A couple of her ideas for using it in online qualitative research:
To add a new recruitment channel: Hard to reach certain participants? “Think of tapping into open-affinity communities or LinkedIn as a way to do observational research or in-depth interviews with specific groups of people, such as certain types of business executives or enthusiasts,” Barber suggests.
To listen in on what consumers are already saying: Barber explains that consumers are already talking online about brands and that it’s easy to listen in. “Mining social media channels allows market researchers to understand, in the consumer’s own words, how well their — or their competitors’ — new product or campaign is being received on a real-time basis,” she says. “This can then inform future campaigns; be used to tweak messaging in the short term; or be a catalyst for further messaging research.”
The article also addresses the challenges in social market research, like dealing with information overload and unrepresentative samples.