I love social media research because: You can discover how people REALLY talk about your brand #5 #MRX

word cloud tagxedo slangI recently wrote a blog post citing ten of the things I love about social media research. Today I address love #5.

Social media research lets you discover how people really talk about your brand.

In traditional research, participants are asked questions about brands, services, and people. They know their opinions are being analyzed, and they know being are judging those opinions. Try as they might, it’s nearly impossible to not adjust their language to be more socially desirable, more publicly acceptable, or less laced with profanity. People just have a nature impulse to clean up their language when they communicate directly with researchers.

Behold social media research. For some strange reason, people let loose and say things more naturally, more closely to how they would say things if they were just talking to their friends. Instead of tidying up the language, words like coulda woulda gonna wanna tryna imma come out as part of their normal language. In addition, people loosen up their profanity filters letting all things rude crude offensive and nasty come out.

Now, the point isn’t to simply get a chuckle out of the informal word choices people make. The point is that these word choices tell you about your audience. They tell you whether users of your brand prefer formal or informal language, whether they are comfortable with outright profanity or whether they try to disguise it with a little typo (e.g., fvk).  This kind of information is essential for designing better marketing campaigns. No, you’re not going to start putting the word fvk into your materials, but you’ll know whether to loosen up and use some casual language or keep things buttoned up tight.

Sick! Clutch! Bomb! I hope that’s what you think of this post. 🙂

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