Social media research isn’t the solution to your marketing problems

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

17 October 2011

Social media is a lazy researcher’s crutch

Social media does have promising opportunities for marketing, but only as another venue. Don’t assume it is the answer to your marketing problems without context. As I’ve always said, social media must be approached like any other form of marketing. If you don’t have the right message, it doesn’t matter how many blogs you write, tweets you tweet or Facebook updates you link. Now comes an even more sinister, proposed use of social media: Using social media research in place of market research. IBM recently completed a study with chief marketing officers to find out how much they are using social media and in what ways.

“Checking what’s said online is something all CMOs must do, but don’t think it means all that much.”

social media researchWhat caught my eye was that less than half of them are checking blogs, third-party reviews and consumer reviews and rely mostly on market research to get a reading of the pulse of their target audiences.

Good for them.

Checking what’s said online is something all CMOs must do, but don’t think it means all that much. They are qualitative in nature, much like focus groups and online questionnaires.

The group dynamic dominates focus groups; meaning honest answers are rarely given. That’s why we never do them. And online research means you have a self-selected audience taking part in the questionnaire. You only get the extremes (hate you or love you) without having projectable data that can tell you if your brand is resonating and why, and what you need to do to make it more meaningful and move the needle.

Social media research only gives you shadings, and what you find there must be tested in market research. As it is in marketing, social media is only a tool.

Even more shockingly, the authors of the study suggested that social media research could be a way to evaluate current marketing and enable CMOs to initiate change within a company. Return on their marketing investment was considered the best way to evaluate by CMOs and the study’s authors suggested social media was better than that.

I have a different way to evaluate. How about measuring if your company or brand is stealing market share? Isn’t that the whole point?

See more posts in the following related categories: market research Social media Social Media marketing social media research

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use Nextdoor, get rid of Facebook

  Nextdoor   Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 11 December 2018 Use Nextdoor, get rid of Facebook About a year or so ago, I kissed Facebook goodbye. Much to my surprise, it’s making me use NextDoor more. My withdrawal from online communities probably isn’t a shocker...

Brand purpose is not what many think it is

  Brand Purpose   Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 10 December 2018 Brand purpose is not what many think it is So, the marketing term of the year is Brand Purpose, as chosen by the Association of National Advertisers. And what do they use to demonstrate such a term...

Retail market changes are akin to climate change

  Retail market changes   Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 6 December 2018 Retail market changes are akin to climate change Are you paying attention to the many retail market changes? I am. Some fundamental changes are afoot. I believe the days of large generalized...

Share This