I hate social media research because: It provides no insight #4 #MRX

Lightbulb

I recently wrote a blog post citing ten of the biggest complaints about social media research. Today I address complaint #4.

Social media research provides no insight.

Let’s start with what I mean when I use the word insight. I don’t mean data. I don’t mean describing results. I don’t mean putting a series of results into a story that makes logical sense. When I say insight, I mean that magical moment when an idea you’ve never considered before suddenly pops into your brain and a light bulb explodes over your head.

First off, whether you’re conducting survey research, focus group research, or social media research, all of these research methods result in data and descriptive results at your fingertips. Tables, lots of tables, and charts, lots of charts, will be at your disposal. But no matter the method, just because you have data at your fingertips does not mean insights will spring forth like a popcorn maker.

Of course, in the case of social media research, if consumers don’t want to talk about something, you won’t learn about that particular aspect. But in the case of surveys, if you don’t ASK about that particular aspect, you still won’t get an answer. Either way, we aren’t talking about insight. Insight requires the application of brain to data. No brain = no insight. No brain applied to social media data = no insight from social media data.

Social media data provides no insight? FALSE!

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