CASRO Conference: Social Media 'Superficial,' Lacking 'Value'

He said it. I’ve been thinking it. No one has wanted to say it aloud.

Today at the CASRO Annual Conference, Bob Pankauskas discussed innovation and new techniques in his role as director of consumer insights for Allstate Insurance.

During the Q&A, he was asked about Allstate’s use of social media as a research method. He said, “We are pulling back on social media. We are just not getting much incremental information. The dialogues are very superficial and there is not much meat there.”

Allstate has tried several different suppliers and platforms. They have not found one that delivers on the industry hype. For most researchers, social media does not deliver what Bob called “incremental value.” It mostly tells the researcher what they already know.

Today, we had a moment akin to “the Emperor has no clothes.” It feels good to have that out in the open. Thanks Bob.

  1. That’s really interesting comments from Allstate. I think it depends on the industry as some industries get some very rich data from social media – but I can certainly see insurance not being spoken about too much or in a way that Allstate could use. 

  2. I’m not sure attacking Allstate for not using social media anymore is the answer.  I agree with Chris that maybe its just the industry and product.  Are people really telling all their buds about their insurance coverage?  When was the last time you waxed poetically about your safe driver benefits?  I get it Allstate and good for you for at least giving it a try.

  3. I think that social media insights CAN be really useful when used appropriately. To highlight areas of future for qualitative initiatives for example. Where there’s chatter … there’s a need for probing by a qualitative research specialist for understanding. 

  4. I was also at the CASRO Annual conference, and think it is worth noting that Andrew Reid of Vision Critical during Q&A said that Social Media was a good recruiting tool but not a Research Tool.

  5. Social Media won’t always be relevant for all businesses, or all purposes.  It’s the right tool for some jobs, but not others.  Karen’s post below regarding ‘chatter’ – if the chatter is relevant to what you are researching or targetting then it’s worthwile.

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