by Kendall Nash
Social media has received a significant amount of attention over the past several years. Yet, as an industry, we are still determining the optimal way to interpret the data and transform it into actionable insights.
Some companies prematurely dove into social media without fully understanding its place in the research continuum. They too swiftly made a case for its full replacement of traditional research mechanisms and found themselves between a rock and a hard place when social media couldn’t deliver everything they had hoped. Embracing social media means finding its right place as a piece of the research puzzle. Companies that used social media research as a supplement in order to add further dimension and texture to their learning met success, although how these companies use social media varies drastically.
Social media can offer a source for recruitment of brand advocates and a platform for gathering insights (e.g. Pinterest secret boards, Facebook events or groups), but one of the fastest growing trends is the integration of social media monitoring at an individual respondent level. Monitoring at this level can add color and context for responses specific individuals may give to research-specific questions. For example, I recently had teens opt in for a social media engagement as a peripheral piece of a research project, which allowed our research team to learn more about their lifestyles, priorities, interests and motivations. This learning helped the team refine the concepts placed before the teens so that the responses were relevant based on the team knowing the respondents at a deeper level than the basic screening process alone.
As a member of Burke’s Qualitative team, Kendall Nash is passionate about bringing her clients closer to consumers. She loves studying and interacting with people and strives to reveal their authentic reactions, needs, and emotional connections to brands.