With the growth in social media amongst just about all sections of the population, the data collected through these sources open up a whole wealth of opportunities for market researchers. However, an undifferentiated data set is of no use to anyone, so we need to understand how to use this data to get the best value from the millions of terabytes of social networking data there is now on offer.
Although social media can offer a vast amount of data, this is only of use if it can be matched with the expertise and strong methodology that an experienced market research agency can bring.
Many businesses, excited by the opportunities offered by social media in getting understanding their consumers and markets better can get carried away with drawing conclusions from data without first carefully formulating a research question or controlling the data for quality.
Intelligence, not information
In a data and information rich environment, what organisations really need is someone to help them interpret and gain intelligence from the data available. It’s all very well having masses of data but if you don’t understand it, it’s worse than useless.
Working with a research agency can help clients to not only understand what it is they need to know but also ensure that the information collected is clean, appropriate and fit for purpose.
In an increasingly pressured climate where businesses are looking for greater benefits for the finances invested, it’s understandable that agencies are expected to go the extra mile. The provision of straightforward information is no longer enough to satisfy the demands of businesses. These days, market researchers need to demonstrate they can get insight from the information gathered and help a firm that make decisions about their production and marketing activities.
Next big thing? Or just a fad?
Social media and networking are the latest buzz words in business and marketing research. It’s very easy to get carried away when somebody is offering you what seems to be the perfect solution on a silver platter. It’s important to remember that no technology is valuable in and of itself; rather, it is the way in which the technology is used that brings the benefit.
When working with a market research agency, it’s important to spend time understanding how they intend to use these technologies to bring value to your business. If your agency seems to be offering you the world, be very wary of working with them. If what they are suggesting seems to be a sensible extension of existing activities then you’ll probably onto a winner.
There are some important things to bear in mind when considering how you use social media date or alongside the data gathered from other sources. Firstly, it’s important to remember that the data gathered through social media is just that-another source of data. It’s unlikely that social media date or will be able to replace or other sources of information gathering and is more likely to act as a supplement to what you already have.
As with all forms of marketing research, you only get out what you put in. Although there is a vast amount of data are available for nothing via its social media, the ability to process and interpret this information is a valuable commodity. Invest in an agency that understands what you’re looking to find out, the data sources and your research question and it will pay dividends down the line.
There are risks for organisations in carrying out this type of research themselves. If your organisation uses a social media to engage with its customer base, asking research questions or repeatedly asking the same questions over and over again can turn offer your customers and start to lose you followers. Handing over this work to a reputable agency can help to separate the workaday business of gathering the views and opinions from the relationship you’re trying to build with your customers.
There is a huge amount of information available from social media that can help your business. The best way to get the maximum value from this data is to put in the hands of the experts, such as the 2 Europe Agency in order to gain insight.