Social Media Qualitative Research Analysis | Mixed Method Research

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.