So what is the place of social media in market research?
This is a topic that is constantly evolving as social media changes, but let me make one important observation about research bias.
I think Twitter is an AMAZING way to get feedback from people who are on Twitter. The ways to interact and test are absolutely revolutionary and should be evaluated as a potential component of any company’s arsenal of feedback mechanisms. Now the question is – is my target market on Twitter?
If you sell to corporate IT, I’m going to make a bold claim: Twitter is NOT the best way to get feedback from your target market! I’d argue that the people spending money on enterprise technology are particularly under-represented on Twitter. (Now all the Tweeps can argue with me – please do!)
Using Twitter is a great way to reach the part of your target market that is on Twitter. Maybe your early adopters are on Twitter. And you may sell a solution that is more likely to be discussed on social media. But caveats aside, think carefully about how your overall target market can be reached for feedback.
Bottom line: Know where your audience can be reached. Execute market research that represents your entire audience – both the portion of it that is active on social media and the part that isn’t.