I love social media research because: You get historical data #1 #MRX

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I recently wrote a blog post citing ten of the things I love about social media research. Today I address love #1.

Social media research gives you historical data.

Have you ever realized that you should have launched your survey last week? Did you ever realize you forgot three important questions on the survey you launched yesterday? Have you ever wondered how the survey you’re about to launch would have compared to the same time last year?

I know you said yes to at least one of those questions. We’ve ALL found ourselves in a research planning situation where we wish we’d thought of something sooner. Fortunately, this is one place where social media research is a dream come true. It’s a lovely thing to know that all of the data you see on the internet is actually dated.

In this case, I didn’t just tweet that I love KitchenAid. I tweeted it on July 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm. Exactly.

And here, I praised the bacon sundae at Burger King on June 14 at exactly 8:53 am. Yes, I tweeted about bacon and ice cream during breakfast.

Pretty much every piece of data you see on the internet is associated with at least the date if not also the time, and it doesn’t matter if the data is from yesterday, last week, or a year ago. Well, it does matter a bit because social media older than a year or two is really not comparable to data from today. But that’s ok. 13 months of historical data is something to have a dance party over.

So yes, if you forgot to measure something in your last research project or you didn’t even realize that you should have measured something, it doesn’t matter. The data is all there. Every last yummy bit of historical data.

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