Archive for the ‘Social Media Research’ Category

GO DEEP OR GO HOME. Why digging behind social media trendlines matters.

Posted on: August 15th, 2017 by doyle

pos-negFrom the desk of Carole Schmidt

We’ve discovered two common practices in social media strategy: most companies receive some type of a social media data feed (monitoring), and most researchers have no idea what’s driving the conversation indicated by that data feed, leaving them unaware of the treasure of insights and opportunities that lie below the surface of this valuable research channel (listening).

Social media listening should, by now, be an indispensable research tool to you as an Insights professional, because it provides a vast quantity of unsolicited voice of the customer data that can be utilized to inform important business decisions.  At Doyle, we chuckle at calling social media listening “the world’s largest focus group,” but there’s a terrific, simple and useful truth there. In fact, we tap those same trained anthropologic and analytic skills to proactively listen to and analyze your customers’ voices in social media—the sentiment, the context, the intent, the impact—that we use in webcam interviews and mobile journals and focus groups. In our analysis we carefully examine context-dependent opinions, implicit subjects, and implicit product features/issues since people communicate in a more familiar manner in social media. It’s powerful and revealing because, just like rich ethnographic interviews, we can see beyond what people say (capture) into what people mean by what they say (intent).

Three great applications for qualitative social media analysis that will help you make smarter business decisions:

FOUNDATION  What language does your customer speak? Who does your customer perceive as competition, whether you do or not? Where and with whom is your customer talking about your category and your brand? What are they saying that is behind that brand decline or a spike in category sales?

Example: celebYoung people increased usage of the same brand of rideshare after popular celebrities tweeted about their rides. Potential company response: free ride policy among select, relevant celebs may go a long way toward expanding the client’s brand awareness and usage!

IDENTIFICATION Who is your customer? What elements of the customer experience (CX) matters most? Who or what influences them? Investigating the real meaning or intent behind innocuous data feeds can better inform how your brand (or PR team) needs to respond. Exploring the domains they use, the forums on which they post, and learning who your customer is influenced by tells you a lot about who they are!

Example: A recent emergent trendline related to a rideshare topic revealed a “scared” sentimenPicture2t echoed among consumers. Qualitative research revealed that it wasn’t aggressive post 1or dangerous driving skills consumers were questioning in social media conversation, but rather, the aggressive personalities of the drivers, overstepping professional driver boundaries. To increase customer satisfaction, the more meaningful change in rideshare driver training is to include customer service and professionalism skill building, not just road tests.

DISCOVERY What are new uses for your product? Who are your unexpected users? What are customers’ compensating behaviors in their user experience (UX)?  What are the emerging territories of future opportunity and growth? One client surfaced a new daypart for their center-of-plate food products that they had never considered before, adding an additional revenue stream. Anotheruber dinner found a peculiar new niche adult audience for their collectibles that were originally targeted to youth.  Yes, we dig far beyond the graphs, into the posts, to find those elusive and often surprising insights.

Example: Having your Uber or Lyft driver stop for food or drink is a rapidly growing trend that has led to innovative new services and marketing partnerships!

Our fresh eyes and “outsider” perspective often reveals stories in the data that our clients’ data feeds cannot expose without that qualitative lens.

Want to try it out? Give us a holler and Doyle Research will provide you—gratis!–with a qualitative peek into the social media buzz around your brand or category!

Sesexyxy driving. An emerging trend? Who knew?

“Dude, Your Ride is Tope.”* Your Customers are Talking. Are You Listening?

Posted on: May 21st, 2015 by doyle

From the desk of Carole Schmidt

73% of U.S. Americans now have a social network profile, a 6% growth over just last year. Social media engagementshoes image among 18-49 year olds averages 85%! And who’s “talking” in social media on mobile? Young people, African-Americans, Hispanics, the highly educated, and those with a higher annual household income are more likely to use social networking sites on their smartphones than other groups, making it easier than ever to add to the conversation.

Why should we insights people care?

The volume of unaided, qualitative commentary available is unrivaled by any other marketing research method. The world’s largest focus group exists at your fingertips!

What should you do about it?

  • Move social media monitoring and analysis out of PR and into your Research or Insights department.
  • Require social media involvement in screening criteria when seeking “average” Americans. If they’re not Tweeting, they’re not average.
  • Investigate what’s actually driving the trendlines around your brand, your competitors’ brands, or the category as a whole.
  • Tap qualitative social media analysis to identify audiences not previously on your radar. Can you say, “lumbersexuals?”
  • Speak your customers’ language before designing a survey to encourage more accurate responses. “Basic” is NOT a compliment.
  • Surface discussion topics or “red flag” issues to explore further with other methods.
  • Understand the competitive landscape to determine how to deploy limited resources. Should we compete in “gamer food?”

Doyle makes it happen by digging deep into the posts driving the trendlines to see what customers are actually saying. Our social media analysis certification and expert qualitative skills allow us to identify sentiment, buzz, language, geography, domains, even authors that matter to your brand. We tell you where your brand is talked about and what’s being said. Just ask if you’d like a demo!

BTW: “Dude, your ride is tope?”* Your sneakers are somewhere in the stratosphere of utter coolness.


Is #hashtag a form of market research?

Posted on: October 7th, 2013 by doyle

From the desk of Andrea Denney

Even the most casual user of social media is aware of the power of the hashtag. Facebook posts and tweets seek ways for us to be known as individuals: our locations, activities, politics and moods. Yet the hashtag at the end is a way to connect to others in a similar scenario. I may tweet (brag) that I just completed a marathon but my hashtag #RunningRocks seeks to align me with all the other runners. My toddler may have just said the most adorable thing but #MommyIsProud reminds me that a whole lot of mommies are proud.

Hashtagging is the individualist seeking to be a part of the larger collection of humanity. Back when I was learning the market research business I was banished to a windowless cubicle that was piled high with quantitative questionnaires #FirstJobWoes #NotAVampire #INeedNaturalLight. My humorless supervisor explained the fine “art” of coding open-ended questions. I was to read through the answers and categorize them into a set of pre-determined categories #IAmBored. In a sample size of 100, rarely did anyone write an opinion outside the established categories. We each have our individual opinions but most likely they are in sync with a whole lot of other people.

This may come as a terrible blow to all those who fancy themselves as completely unique #NobodyUnderstandsMe but in a way it is comforting. It is comforting to know that despite our seemingly enormous differences in politics, religion, and Dancing With the Star favorite couples, we are at our core, part of one collective—all seeking ways to live full lives.

If you think about it hashtagging is the basis for qualitative research. We talk to people in one-on one interviews or as part of focus groups but we always find patterns emerging. Patterns emerge because people are more alike than different #TellThatToCongress. Next time someone is really frustrating you #StopDrivingSlowInTheFastLane, remember there is something with which you can connect with every other human #ButNotTheGuyWhoCutsHisToenailsOnTheTrain.

And for a hilarious view of hashtagging, click on this video spoof by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake:

Social Media Data: is it Qualitative or Quantitative

Posted on: September 19th, 2012 by doyle 3 Comments

During MRA’s webinar on Social Media, an observer questioned whether social media is a quantitative or a qualitative method. With more than 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook alone every month, the volume alone would lead some to consider social media and big data a quantitative tool. Yet, the learnings are not always representative of nor projectable to the larger population, and the information is unfiltered, unadulterated and, many times, unqualified.

DRA instead believes that social media is a qualitative tool that provides insights and direction from this fire-hose of information. Social media provides raw insight into the minute-by-minute lives of average customers. Having unfettered access to this raw insight can be a goldmine.
We encourage clients who are thinking about social media to consider the following:

  •  Two-thirds of all Internet users participate in some form of social media, and much of the conversation is around brands. Why not take advantage of it and use it to help guide your research?
  • Social media users communicate in a particular way; knowing the language and how to translate it to actionable insights is critical. It may require several search refinements before the analysis yields insights, not just data. Tap experts who can help you filter out the noise.
  • Social media can provide a low-impact way to test the waters before engaging in a more complex–and expensive–research project. Use it to help refine a research method, craft a discussion guide, generate watch-outs or probes for ethnographies, fine-tune consumer language used in concept development, or guide packaging design.
  • The social media landscape is highly democratic, and largely flat, giving you access to a vast array of opinions from expansive demographics. Since it likely doesn’t represent all of your users (demographically, life stage, psychographically, etc.), the insights could provide insights about benefits or barriers you might not have otherwise considered.

Social Media Qualitative Research Analysis | Mixed Method Research

Posted on: August 21st, 2012 by doyle

Social Media Qualitative Research Analysis – August 14, 2012

Mixed Media Method Research

For many of our clients, a great way to begin a mixed method study is to invest in social media analysis. Over 2/3’s of the population is engaged in social media in some way, and the volume of unaided, qualitative commentary is unrivaled by any traditional market research method.

Before conducting focus groups, online research, ethnography, or another method, why not find out what is being said about your brand, your competitors’ brands, or the category as a whole.

Here are a few potential benefits:

  • Identify targets you weren’t aware of. For one client, we identified a highly active segment in social media that they were unaware of, and had never targeted.
  • To identify issues to explore further in subsequent research. Your issues are not always your customers’ issues. This is a great way to find out if you are asking the questions that are relevant to them.
  • Learn consumer language in your category before designing a questionnaire. As qualitative researchers, we’ve often been called upon to conduct focus groups to “hear consumer language” before writing a survey questionnaire. This is a quick and inexpensive way to do just that, without the time or cost of convening focus groups.
  • Category overview. If you do not have a robust market research program, this is a great way to get an overview of your category or brand before determining how to spend deploy limited resources.
  • To gain competitive advantage in the new product development process. One of our clients was entering a category that was new to them, but not new in the marketplace. We used social media to see what was being said about the brands they would be competing directly against after launch. We were able to identify key features critical to consumer acceptance, as well as identify unmet needs our client could capitalize on during the design process.