I hate social media research because: It doesn’t have data on anything I’m interested in #7 #MRX

Celeste Yawning

I recently wrote a blog post citing ten of the biggest complaints about social media research. Today I address complaint #7.

Social media research doesn’t have data on anything I’m interested in.

This is a complaint I’ve heard a lot. There’s nothing new in the social media data. I’ve seen all of this in survey data before. Hmmm. That’s an interesting comment. You’ve seen all of this in survey data before. So tell me, why are you bothering to conduct this research now?

There are two solutions to this problem. First, people forget that when conducting research, it is to your great advantage to start with a research objective. Without an objective, you’re left to wander and ramble without direction, and it’s nearly impossible to find something when you don’t know what you’re looking for. With that in mind, don’t waste your time with social media research until you have a firm research objective in mind.

Second, there are tidbits of new information in every dataset. You just have to know where to look and how to look. Tidbits just raise their hand and say “Look at me!” For instance, one of my favourite things to do is look at the variables that generated very small sample sizes. For just a minute, ignore the one or two hundred variables that generated a few thousand records with quantitatively reliable results. Instead, focus on the variables that generated sample sizes of only 5 or ten people.  These are the variables that either pissed off 5 or 10 people or absolutely delighted 5 or 10 people. These are the things that more often than not desperately need to be fixed or desperately need to be bragged about from the mountain top.

Besides, if the data isn’t interesting to you, maybe you should pass it on someone who IS curious about data. They will the tidbits that you can’t.

%d bloggers like this: