Social Media Monitoring vs Traditional Market Research
Once in a while we hear others speak but do not register what they really are saying. Sometimes we may jump in with ‘oh sorry I wasn’t listening’ and recover from the lapse of concentration; but what if we don’t, and what if that person then turns to another individual to share their view, how do we know if that person had something important and relevant to say? Without listening or taking into account the conversation, you could be at a loss and forever curious about what was said. That’s assuming you even realise that someone was trying to tell you something important.
The explosion of social media has opened up a platform for consumers to express their opinions and views about brands, companies, and topics. Most marketers still use traditional methods of obtaining data, using: questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus groups; one may question the efficiency and reliability of these methods but also the amount of money and time invested by companies.
So what is an easier yet efficient way to gather these online conversations? This is where social media listening comes in and becomes the forefront of collecting online data; many companies have embraced social media as they realise how important it is to LISTEN to what consumers say about their products and services. Unlike traditional market research, social media monitoring allows ALL comments to be monitored and uncovers insights about the brand, anywhere at any time, in an unsolicited way! More often than not, when consumers are asked to take part in surveys, they don’t have the time or the right motivation to answer, which can lead to superficial answers or a biased sample. Social media listening, on the other hand, is not about asking questions, so no ‘expert’ respondents or need to limit ourselves to a sample of conversations that will require extrapolation to some universe, providing more robust information to analyse.
Not only does social media monitoring look into harvesting data for a company’s own brands but it can also help companies identify industry trends and keep an eye out for their competitors. By monitoring competitors’ online activity such as product launches and marketing campaigns, smart companies can stay ahead of the game..
Many companies have different approaches to using social media monitoring tools in listening to ‘what’ is being said about brands by focussing only on buzz i.e. how many times a word is found. Our approach at DigitalMR is to accurately calculate sentiment in addition to buzz - which offers an insight into WHY something is being said - and use the latest technology and software to analyse and understand the data.
Social media monitoring provides marketers with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of consumer needs and behaviour by tracking their online conversationsWhat do you think the future holds for market research? Do you think market research budgets will shift more towards “listening”? Will the investment in social media listening be bigger than in traditional research? Leave your comment below and let us know what you think.
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