Fishing for Insight in a Sea of Social MediaThis is a presentation about why and how I believe researchers should listen to what people say online…
The power of mutualityThe Clown Fish and Sea Anemone live in harmony and have a symbiotic and mutualistic relationship based on sharing and reciprocity. I believe today’s brands need to build more mutualistic relationshipswith people, by giving them the products, services, content, experiences and utility that they need and value. In return people will give their loyalty, social promotion, data openness and insight.Listening to what people say and seeing what has social currency online, is an essential input for building more mutualistic relationships….
If a fish were a conversation…Then what does that make researchers?
…then researchers are fishermen Sailing the seas for conversations thatwill inspire insights….
…and gourmet chefs Serving insights that help inspire healthy business decisions
Traditional research can satisfy… Traditional methods like panel based surveys and group discussions are valuable because they give you CONTROL to ask the questions that you and the client want…
…but it can also lack‘real-world’ flavour The questions you ask are on the client’s terms and not necessarily on people’s agenda
And the world has gone digital People spend so much of their time online. Researchers are supposed to understand people. It is essential to listen to what they say, to be able to do this…
Yet many researchers still reject new tools Many researchers are addicted to the familiarity of traditional methods and legacy revenues
Which poses a threat to the research industry This means that untrained, non- specialists without any regard for research ethics or quality of analysis will instead operate in new spaces like social media research
Today’s researchers should embrace social mediaBecause it is:1. Naturalistic Free from any research effects2. Contemporary Essential to inform social media strategies3. Accessible Readily available online4. Contextual Adding a layer of social context to insights
AND….it’s in ‘real-time’… Just to clarify, this is a ‘reel’ pun. Thanks. Companies like Gatorade have teams dedicated to listening to what people say about them. This is where market research needs to get to…
This assumes conversations exist - March 2010 - more than 10 billion tweets since launch1 - July 2010 - more than 20 billion tweets …. there does seem to be a few out there….SOURCE:1 – Claudine Beaumont, ‘Twitter hits 10 billionth tweer’, Telegraph (March 5th 2010)
Not just brand-specific conversations What people say in general – without any brand mention – can be more informative…. • Clients over-estimate people’s actual interest in interacting with them in social media (by a factor of three1).Source:1 - From Social Media to Social Customer Relationship Management’, IBM GlobalServices, Carolyn Heller Baird and Gautam Parasnis (2011)
Listening should be ‘ethical’I do not believe we should listen to conversations withinprivate networks like facebook, or by getting into passwordprotected forums by creating false accounts…. ….But I do believe that someone’s tweet or comment on a blog is a knowingly public act. And to listen to them, is an act of empowerment rather than violation.
Manual searches are a startTo listen, you could just cast a single line out by searching ingoogle or twitter…..but that will only get your so far.
Free aggregation tools also help Or you could use aggregation tools and alert systems to catch more relevant conversations
Bespoke software maximises chances of success To get the most value, I believe you need specialist partners….
The right partner depends on budget and needs… Free-Tools Dashboards Consultants• Added value • Ad hoc studies • Project retainer• Light • Rigorous • Rigorous exploration exploration measurement
But different partners do vary They produce different results. …real value is not in the numbers….but in using tools to help interpret emotion and meaning qualitativelySource:1 – Interaction London Monitoring Tools Review (July, 2010)
Aggregated sentiment is limitedSentiment scores are a bit like ‘fish fingers’: A blandamalgamation which lacks flavour. (You would never come outof a group discussion with a percentage of positive sentiment)….• It is not necessarily • And there are venue effects nationally representative meaning different platforms since individuals self select tend to foster different types of sentimentSource:(Ying, Feinberg and Source:Wedel 2006) (Schwiedel, Moe and Boudreaux 2011)
Be different, and let others obsess with sentiment… I believe researchers should move away from sentiment and instead focus on nuance, context and qualitative meanings…
Listening tools help you spot patternsTools like Sysomoshelp you quicklycrunch hundreds ofconversations to seewhich themesregularly arise… This helps you work out which ones to focus on, and allows you to refine your searches to explore them in more detail
…and uncover social narrativesThe tools help youIdentify how brandconversations andrelevant meme’s spreadlike stories acrosschannels andthroughout networks
To create social currency you must first understand itSocial MediaResearchmeans you canidentify whatthemes,memes andcontent aremost likely toinspireconversation
Which requires patience and resolve …It’s a case of trial and error to spot the themes that matter strategically
And familiar traditional And familiar qualitative qualitative skills techniques…it’s fundamentally about using qualitative skill to be go from conversation to insight and recommendation…
In-house and agency teams aren’t necessarily best placed The hectic and stormy worlds of agencies and clients mean they cannot commit the time and may not have the skills to get real value from social media research…… …..but although researchers are well placed, they barely feature in this space….Source:1 – eConsultancy Online Measurement and Strategy Report (2011)
Researchers are well placed to find value (and should charge) For researchers to get proper valuefrom social media research, they have to charge a premium for their time (and the software)…..
But it’s hard to charge without evidence of the value…
And stake-holder workshops to Cast into the organisation get the net out further There are so many interested parties (from marketing, to insight, CRM, PR and digital teams….) that it’s essential to get all stakeholders on board….
Why not just listen? If researchers ignore the value in social media, they will be less able to understand and represent what people think, feel and do…..and their role as primary providers of insight may get gobbled up….... why not just listen?