Collaborative Review of Social Media Research – The Spec

News Update! Lenny Murphy and GreenBook have joined the project, which means the contributors to the project will be able to reach even more people with the results and it means Lenny Murphy will be involved in steering the project and will co-author the final summary.

SwirlThis page sets out the specification for the NewMR/GreenBook Collaborative Review of Social Media Research.

Project aim:
“To illustrate the benefits and strengths of social media research”

What do we mean by social media research?
For the purposes of this project we are taking a relatively narrow definition of social media research. We are looking at the examination of naturally occurring social media activity in order to learn about markets, brands, services, and people.

Some participants in the project will probably use large-scale social media listening and analytics to create their solutions. Others may choose to adopt a netnographic approach and analyse a limited number of online activities, in depth, qualitatively.

In order to highlight the opportunities and benefits of social media research we are going to use a dummy project. Each collaborator will use their take on the dummy project in order to highlight the way they approach social media research.

The data collection for the project will be in May and the reporting will be in June.

BookResearch Project:
The subject that is going to be researched is “The role of market research in 2015”. The method of conducting the research into this topic should be wholly (or at least largely) via social media research.

Collaborators will probably find it useful to narrow the topic in order to provide more focus. Collaborators are welcome to define their own more focused topic, but here are some examples of the sorts of things they might choose:

  • How does Market Research rate in comparison to alternative sources of insight, such as Business Intelligence, Data Science, Customer Intelligence, etc?
  • Who is talking about market research, other than market researchers?
  • How desirable is market research as a place to work?
  • What are the key drivers of negative sentiment about market research?
  • What are the key drivers of positive sentiment about market research?
  • To what extent do the public see a difference between marketing, selling, and market research?
  • Does the role of market research in public discourse vary by region or country?

Note, the list above is not an exhaustive list; it just highlights a few suggestions.

BuzzWordsWhy MR as the subject?
In the consultation about this project several people queried the use of MR as a subject for the research. Their key concerns were that it was potentially confusing and that a brand such as Nokia or a service such as credit card usage might provide a clearer example of what social medial research can offer. Others commented that by restricting the data collection to one month we would not be able to explore issues such as the ability of social media to track and even predict changes.

MR has been chosen as the topic for several reasons, but the three key ones are:

  1. If we were to pick a regular product such as Coke, then some agencies would not be able to take part as they would already be working for that brand or one of its competitors.
  2. If we were to pick a regular product field, like mortgage lending, we might find some agencies were too nice to be critical of the industry and key players, which would make the project less powerful in showing what social media research can do.
  3. By using market research we are likely to get the attention of market researchers, since (like most people) they love reading about themselves.

The point about the limitation of focusing on just one month of data is well made, but we need to start somewhere. Hopefully we will be able to create a longer-term project afterwards.

Image of a signpostThe data collection:
All participants in the project will be encouraged to collect their data in May 2015, and present their findings in June.

Every participant in the collaborative review will produce their own report which NewMR and GreenBook will publish (collaborators retain the copyright and are welcome to publish it elsewhere too).

The version of the report published by NewMR will contain a maximum of 1500 words and can have as many infographics and illustrations as makes sense. The report can link back to a longer report hosted elsewhere.

Ray Poynter and Lenny Murphy will produce an overarching review in July that summarises the key strengths and benefits of Social Media Research.

NewMR/GreenBook will host an online event where the members of the collaboration will be invited to discuss the key findings from the project and the implications for the future of social media research. We may need to have more than one session to accommodate collaborators from different time zones.

This is not a project about the benefits of MR! It is about Social Media Research
The project is intended to highlight the strengths and opportunities of social media research. Market Research is simply the subject being used as the dummy project.

Organisations and Individuals taking part in this project:
People taking part in the project include:

  • Valerie Esqueda, CultrDig
  • Andrew Jeavons, Mass Cognition
  • Daniel Fazekas, Bakamo Social
  • Mary Aviles, Connect 4 Marketing
  • Janet Gunner, MMR International
  • Cyndi De Vries, Interact RDT
  • Sue Bell, Susan Bell Research
  • Preriit Souda, TNS
  • Tim Burke, Affinio

Some of the participants are planning to use qualitative techniques and some are planning large-scale, quantitative listening approaches. Some are interested in working together, some are keen focus on their own solutions – so we should be able to produce a wide range of potential solutions to highlight.

We will be announcing more participants later this week. However, note that not everybody wants to be listed at this stage.

The Social Media Collaboration Project
Read other elements of the project by clicking on the links below:

Once all of the reports are published Lenny Murphy and Ray Poynter will create an overarching review of the project, looking at the many ways social media can be used to enhance research.

3 thoughts on “Collaborative Review of Social Media Research – The Spec

  1. A consulting partner and I conduct periodic survey research studies among U.S. and Chinese college students capturing their social media behavior, including social media activities around the brands they own or prefer most. A key outcome is a recommended social media plan.

    Given the 1 month time frame, not sure if we would be a good fit to participate. We are currently in field for our U.S. study.

    Whether we can participate or not, would very much like to learn about this project’s results, especially since I have conducted thought leadership studies around the role of social media in the pathway to purchase and conversion in addition to my current work.

    Happy to chat about whether we would qualify for participation as well.

    Meanwhile, best wishes on this project.

    Roger Brooks

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