Evaluating the use of social media for research is vital

The research industry being called upon to prove the worth of using social media is certainly a step in the right direction as it’s become important and necessary to question the value of any marketing channel, particularly social media.  

Mindi Chahal

I have written before about the value of considering social media channels as a research tool as it provides a real-time view of what consumers are saying about brands, products and services.  

With more marketers wanting quick access to research it was inevitable that this channel would be used more for insight.  

Therefore, using the channel for research has led to a return on investment issue, and rightly so. 

It’s similar to the issues in using social media for customer service and marketing, the sceptics among us want to know if it actually works.   

The Market Research Society (MRS) is calling out for social media case studies from the research and insight sector by the end of this month (31 January). 

It’s part of the MRS’s involvement, along with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and The Marketing Society, in the IPASocialWorks group that was launched last November.  

IPASocialWorks is a multi-industry initiative to identify good practice in social media effectiveness and measurement and the case studies will form a knowledge bank on the websites of the organisations mentioned above.  

The MRS is looking for case studies because examples from the research sector are currently few in comparison with social media case studies from brands, marketing, advertising and customer service. 

MRS chief executive Jane Frost believes it is “an opportunity the research business should jump at to showcase its pioneering use of social media. Measuring the commercial value of social media is a real and on-going issue for brands and we want to help them to find plenty of good practice from within the research and insight sector.” 

MRS states that the studies should clearly demonstrate how the commercial value of utilising social media has been measured, delivering tangible ROI back to the client.

It will be interesting to see what and how many brands will come forward in being able to claim this, it’s one thing using social media for research, and I think it’s a good step toward real-time research, but it’s another to prove it has made a difference. 

If you think you have case studies worth putting forward as great examples of using social media, as well as many other marketing channels, the entries for the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2014 are now open.


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