The ResearchShare page on the GreenBook continues to deliver some very interesting content. The latest is an article by Chadwick, Martin, Bailey, Inc. on developing a meaningful social media strategy. They make some really good points, but one piece really sticks out as a key truth:
When you begin to measure social media and what it means to your company it is easy to rely heavily on technology that lets you “count” what is going on. We know that this is one key element of understanding the opportunity but have found that you can glean much more useful information by combining that information with other exploratory and quantitative data.
We have found it most effective to take a multi-phase approach – using both qualitative “listening” and quantitative “monitoring” elements – to help you understand and act on the world of social media.
As brands look to leverage the power of communication with consumers inherent in SM, those of us working to deliver key insights and metrics on the performance of their efforts would do well to follow this approach and consider SM data as part of the continuum of attitudinal and behavioral data available via a variety of insight collection techniques.
Social Media research is here to stay, and my bet is that it will grow faster than online quant did in the early 2000s. If that is the case, we as an industry should be leading the charge on how to maximize this revolutionary communications channel for strategic insight development.