As a market researcher, I am fascinated by the opportunities social media can provide for market research. From a quantitative perspective, many researchers are already taking advantage of the opportunities it can provide. However, from a the qualitative side of the coin, how social media can help is just in its infancy. In a recent Quirk’s article, Kelly Hancock, who handles communications for the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, provides some insights into these developments.
The article mentions a number of ways to use social media feeds, tweets, and comments to front load traditional qualitative research methodologies. These include
- Observation of consumers in their natural environment
- Reveal product uses, including alternative uses and targets
- Supplement traditional new-product research
- Recruiting mechanism of consumers and brand advocates
All of this are pieces and parts of a bigger story. You cannot plan to use social media as a replacement of qualitative research. However, using it as a precursor for a more efficient and effective traditional qualitative research project can provide you insights that would previously, be cost prohibitive.
Have you ever used social media in these ways to provide qualitative insights to your research?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.