6 Ways Market Researchers Can Use Social Media Analytics

Each day we’re counting down our Top 12 blog posts of 2014. Coming in at #6 is this presentation recap originally published August 14.

Visible Technology screenshot of Apple social media analytics
On Tuesday, Visible Technologies stepped up to the Quirks stage to share their thinking on how traditional market researchers could benefit from incorporating social intelligence into their existing research streams. Ken Giffin, VP with Visible Technologies, took listeners for a test drive of their platform and described the six ways in which market researchers could benefit from social media analytics.

Social media analytics is the hot topic of this summer’s webinar scene and for good reason. Unstructured data forms a substantial portion of the Big Data revolution we are hearing about. As much as market researchers, myself included, love the logic of a structured survey, there is no denying that social media offers a rich and colorful playground. Some of the key trends Visible is seeing in the market include:

  • Speed to insight is increasing in importance
  • Use of both structured and unstructured data is necessary for a clearer picture of the market
  • Social listening and analytics are spreading across the enterprise
  • Less is indeed more as researchers and marketers struggle to identify valid insights.

Taking these trends into account, Visible has identified six areas where researchers can leverage social intelligence. They include:

  1. Finding, and segmenting, targeted groups to participate in existing research streams. Social media can be a value-add to traditional recruitment strategies.
  2. Informing and validating traditional research. Social media, like other qualitative methods, can be used upfront to inform survey design and post-facto to validate findings from survey projects. In short, do social insights align with what the quantitative data is saying about your brand?
  3. Providing competitive intelligence. What is the share of voice? Who are the key influencers? What are the customer perceptions of your brand and your competitors?
  4. Identifying and quantifying trends over time. Qualitative data examined over time takes on a quantitative feel that can be used to measure the impact of key market events (e.g. competitive new product launches, changes in media mix, etc.) on your brand.
  5. Optimizing marketing. Near real-time measurement of campaign insights, launches and changes to brand reputation.
  6. Facilitating product ideation and development. Social media data can be segmented along behavioral, demographic and geographic lines and used to analyze unmet needs.

You can watch the entire webinar on YouTube here. The key takeaways are that social intelligence can be used as an early indicator of changes in brand health. It also provides the color commentary that can be leveraged to understand movements in measures such as Net Promoter Score. Intelligent social listening can pick up on the positive and negative themes and attitudinal shifts that will eventually show up in traditional structured measures.

Greg Timpany directs the research efforts for Global Knowledge in Cary, North Carolina, and runs Anova Market Research. You can follow him on Twitter @DataDudeGreg.

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