took place in reserved study rooms at Central Michigan University's Park Social Media as a Research Methodology by Bex Carson , on December 8, 2016 In today’s world, there is a lot of hype surrounding social media — unsurprisingly, considering the medium itself created the very concept of going viral. An insight is not a chart or a number, but rather an idea communicated from one human to another to convey a way you could do something differently, better, or new. However, it’s my view that in the long-term the role of the CMI professional isn’t going to be fighting against distributed power to find insight, but will set the guardrails that enable different teams to explore data safely, and generate robust, impactful insights themselves. Social media research is the process of analyzing social media data to conduct quantitative (and at times qualitative) research in order to understand how audiences relate to topics, by using tools and data extraction techniques. interviews was analyzed in a variety of ways. couldn’t remember why or how we started talking about social media. The more sources in your research mix, the more accurate the picture you’re building will become. Another encouragement was that when asked "What do you think this interview was about?" at the end of the interviews, many Articles were selected if they met the following criteria: (a) the study applied qualitative research methodology or mixed methods research with a qualitative research component, (b) the study emphasized online social media, (c) the article was published in a peer-reviewed journal, and (d) a full-text English copy of the article was available. It’s important to remember that you are telling the consumer’s story, not your own. interviewers reached the point of the interview where they asked the question Representation is a concern. The first stage in mitigating any bias is to acknowledge and understand the problem. Am I getting ROI out of this? focused heavily on social media topics presented by the interviewee. This allows you to discover new topics, reduce the bias inherent in searching for topics you already know about, and get more granular in your themes. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to understand aspects of offline consumers, but it does need to be considered in the methodology. They then It’s impossible for any one method to perfectly encapsulate and understand complex human experience. to start talking about the topic on their own. earlier interview questions, to ensure the subjects did not sense the heavy longest at forty-five. two people from the team to be present for each interview. research methodology or mixed methods research with a qua- litative research component, (b) the study emphasized online social media, (c) the article was published in a peer-reviewed In my opinion, this is not due to a lack of understanding of the potential opportunity for finding valuable insight, but to the perceived issues and limitations of this type of data. interview. 2) Data segmentation: You can segment your data using Boolean by categorizing and benchmarking within your dataset. “Is there anything we forgot to ask you that we should have asked?” the probing in that area. with the rest of the group. grouped the bits into key concepts, taking note of heavily hit, or repeated, Being cognizant of this is the most important factor for reducing its impact. Start with the right energy! When we achieve this, it will be possible to build a fully insight-driven business. In my experience, it doesn’t take much to convince people that there is huge potential value within social data for understanding consumers more deeply. Although each interview The data gathered in the As with the query, it’s important to invest time into researching topics within your data to avoid skewing it toward trends that you already know about. It’s true that social data as a whole is unlikely to fully represent the offline world in the way that a weighted panel can because a selection bias exists within social data. However, neither should prevent you from using social as a research methodology. Many market researchers have held back from fully embracing a social research methodology or incorporating social into their research mix in a fully integrated way. After individually coding interviews, the team constructed a Research Methodology - The Social Media Project The Social Media … The word “insight” is prone to overuse and as a result, is frequently misunderstood. Social media data is created by a self-selecting group, which differs from channel to channel and doesn’t necessarily reflect the broader online and offline population. While you must have a strategy and process that doesn.t overly rely on a specific device, you still face the practical challenge of selecting a platform that fits the social marketing architecture and tactics you have committed to. The interviews were all taped using a voice recorder. responses were related to technology usage or involvement around campus. This Due to the diverse and opinionated participants they recruited, the researchers were satisfied and even surprised by the outcomes of the There is another factor, which I believe is the greatest challenge not only for social data but all forms of business intelligence. This presents huge opportunities to truly distribute insights throughout the business and allow us to actually realize the lofty aim of being an insight-driven business. of the data. A human can detect far more subtleties in tone, emotion, and context, which is where the data is at its most rich and insightful. were to conduct more interviews they stated that they would probably try to According to the Gartner hype curve for new technologies, a period of hype and inflated expectations is followed by the “trough of disillusionment” during which we become more critical of a new concept or technology we’ve bought into and believed in its inherent value. Our goal is to help you better understand your customer, market, and competition in order to help drive your business growth. The majority This poses the question: can I use this data to help understand a whole consumer group, or only those I’m hoping to reach via social channels? Does it really do what it promised? The interviewers then discussed highlights or points of interest immediately Many questions from the interview guide never Social data is often “sold” as being less biased than other research methods, although in reality, it’s not. This is where I believe social media is today, and now is the time for social to prove its credentials as a research methodology. Though you're welcome to continue on your mobile screen, we'd suggest a desktop or notebook experience for optimal results. interviewers took notes on the interview in addition to the voice recording. If they experienced moments of hesitancy on how to proceed in an objective manner, the To better understand the potential challenges and barriers with adopting social research methodology, I conducted interviews with a number of highly experienced and talented CMI (consumer market insights) professionals. lasted about a half hour, with the shortest around twenty-two minutes and the interviewers did not seem to have a problem getting subjects to feel members was chosen to be the “leader” who would conduct the majority of the It also presents a significant challenge. One of these team Sign in|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites. A representative coded sample is also helpful in challenging your assumptions as a researcher. that the team had access to everyone's findings and a means of communicating The volume of conversation on the web gives this research method a unique ability – uncovering qualitative insights on a quantitative scale. One area where the researchers may not have done as well is that once the participant began On average each interview topics. needed to be asked because the subjects discussed them on their own. A Social Media Research website created for Market Research (MKT 450) with Dr. Michael Garver at Central Michigan University in Spring 2011. discussing social media on their own, the interviewer “jumped on it” and Can I call you in the future if I have a follow The rise of insight-driven business has positioned the market researcher at the center of some of the most important strategic decisions that are made in many of the world’s largest companies. If you don’t fully research the key terms and phrases for a given topic, all social handles for a brand, relevant hashtags, common misspellings and typos or slang terms that could possibly exist, you could be biasing your data toward people who think and speak like you. Library. Once all the information had been processed the team came up with the Social Media Research Methodology With this methodology you are assured that there are more and more real opinions that you get about your products/ service. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, in theory, that all of this unprompted conversation would contain insights into how people think and feel, what they care about, what they’re worried about, and what they need and want.