My Take on Social Media – Mary Aviles

Guest post from Mary Aviles of Bauman Research. Mary has 16+ years experience in strategic marketing, competitive intelligence, trends analysis, market research, product management, content management and now social media listening. Click here to see a list of the other posts in this series. If you would like to contribute a post to this series contact In his recent Greenbook blog post, Ray Poynter–someone we consider one of the rock stars of market research (#MRX)–discussed the current limitations of social media monitoring and listening for market research applications. From a quantitative focus, we totally agree with the challenges he cites and we very much appreciate his raising these issues. In fact, in working with the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) Social Media Research (#SMR) Special Interest Group (SIG), we’ve struggled with many of these same issues: poor quality sentiment analysis, the inability to export social media comment streams, the challenge of analyzing items like retweets, shares and the contents of those links. Certainly, there are significant hurdles to overcome in social media research. These can be extremely difficult if we’re talking about quantitative research. Several remain challenging if we’re talking about qualitative research as well, but as a supplement […]

The Gen2 Advisors’ Social Media Analytics Report

The Gen2 Advisors, headed by Lenny Murphy, have produced an 80 page report on Social Media Analytics, entitled “From online chatter to meaningful insights”, which is available for purchase, and they have produced a free 10 page resource as a ‘How to’ guide (click here to access the free guide). The Gen2 Advisors were kind enough to share a copy of their full report with me and here are my thoughts, reactions, and observations. The report starts by highlighting that social media analytics is necessary but not sufficient. Brands need to use it, otherwise they will miss key insights, but on its own it can’t provide everything that is needed. Although the report is a bit more evangelical than I would be, it does, mostly, manage to stay on the metaphorical ‘yellow brick road’, by providing information and views that are useful, rather than just hype. The report is targeted at marketers who want to use social media analytics – which makes it of great interest to insight professionals, since we want to know what the marketers know (and ideally be a step ahead of them). End-user view and quotes Within the report, extensive use is made of interviews with […]

Social Media Research and the Trough of Disillusionment

At the Festival of NewMR, Wednesday 5th December, I will be presenting a summary of where social media research is at the moment and where it is going next. As part of that presentation I will be exploring why I think social media research is heading into what Gartner have termed the Trough of Disillusionment. This post explores what I mean by this prediction. The term social media research has two definitions, a broad one and a narrow one. The broad definition includes social media mining and listening, netnography, communities, smartphone ethnography, research into social media, and social media as a sample source. The narrow definition refers just to the seeking out and collection of large amounts of naturally occurring social media conversations and comments – this definition includes social media listening and mining. It is this narrow definition of social media research that I think is heading into the Trough of Disillusionment. It should be noted that the Gartner Hype Cycle is a loose description of a repeatedly seen phenomenon – it is not a law and it is certainly not a specific mathematical formula. But it can help understand what often happens to new technologies. Social media research’s […]