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The Benefits and Strengths of Social Media Research

social media pie

Editor’s Note:  We’ve been talking about social media research within the MR industry (and specifically here on the blog) for many years, with both promoters and detractors voicing their perspectives on the topic. However, what has been harder to lock down is actual proof on how social media is being used effectively within the insights space and an unbiased view of emerging best practices, use cases, and overall strengths and weaknesses.  Ray Poynter aims to change that and has launched a global project to bring in a players from across the industry to explore these questions.

We’re very proud to be a participant in this initiative and  I hope some of our readers will jump in too. Details on the program and how to get involved are below.


By Ray Poynter

Social Media Research has been around as a distinct and established tool for about ten years, so it is probably a good time to take stock of what it is offering and what it could be offering. In order to do that NewMR and GreenBook have created a collaborative project to investigate and highlight the benefits of Social Media Research.

The project is open to anybody conducting Social Media Research and companies currently signed up to the project include:

  • TNS
  • CultrDig
  • Mass Cognition
  • Bakamo Social
  • Connect 4 Marketing
  • MMR International
  • Interact RDT
  • Susan Bell Research

The range of companies taking part means that we should get a 360° picture of Social Media Research. We have companies from North America, Europe, and APAC, and one global company. We have companies who will focus on quantitative approaches and large scale listening and we have companies who will be focusing on smaller-scale and qualitative approaches. And, as a by-product we might learn some pretty interesting things about the prospects for market research!

However, the door is not closed. If you and your company want to take part, there is still time to join, just let us know – but you need to move quickly.

The project is based on data collection in May and reporting in June. The companies taking part have been challenged to research the topic of “Market Research” using any Social Media Research tools and approaches they wish. The reports will reflect the different approaches adopted by the different companies. Drawing on the different reports and elements of the project Lenny Murphy and Ray Poynter will produce and overarching summary in July – highlighting the benefits, strengths, and opportunities of Social Media Research.

If you want to take part in the project, or if you just want to read the full spec, click here.

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