I recently wrote a blog post citing ten of the biggest complaints about social media research. Today I address complaint #3.
Social media research cannot measure awareness nor incidence.
What is awareness? It is a measurement of how many people or the percentage of people who have heard of the topic of concern.
Have you heard of Justin Bieber? Yuppers.
Have you heard of KitchenAid small appliances? Darn tootin!
Have you heard of Freelin-Wade? Uhhh…. should I?
Chances are that anyone reading this blog post has heard of Justin Bieber. It’s pretty hard to ignore this young man who’s fine hair has graced many a magazine cover and news website. But here’s the important question: Have you mentioned his name in social media? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Even though you’re aware of him.
What about KitchenAid? If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably heard me yammer on about KitchenAid at one point or another. So have YOU mentioned KitchenAid in social media? Probably not.
And what about case #3? The only reason I know the brand name Freelin-Wade is because I just thought of an obscure category and searched for any brand name associated with it. So plastic tubing it is. I’ve never heard of them before nor have I ever tweeted about them before. But even this doesn’t reflect a case where social media would accurately measure awareness. You see, there are probably plenty of people in the industrial business who know Freelin-Wade very well but they too have never tweeted about it.
So this brings me to the answer. As much as we’d like it to, social media can NOT measure awareness. You may be able use it as an under-reported approximation, but you won’t know by how much it under-reports. If you find that your research objective is specifically awareness, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Head on over to survey research.
- The Top 10 Things We Love About Social Media Research #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- I hate social media research because: there are no demographics #1 #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- The Daily Listen Lady #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)