Top Ways Researchers Can Use Social Data

Since the explosion of social data, researchers have found unprecedented opportunities in various industries, such as public health, computer science, and economics. Through their access to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare and other social networking websites, they can conduct cutting-edge research. It has opened ways to leverage social intelligence as early indicators of health, finance and many more. Here are some top ways researchers can effectively use social data.

General Use

  •       It can be used to add value to traditional recruitment strategies. Researchers can use social data to find, segment and target groups to join in current research streams.

  •       They can use it to inform and validate traditional research. Social data can be used to validate findings from survey projects by informing survey design and post-facto.

  •       They can use it to provide competitive intelligence. They can determine the key influencers as well as the perception of customers of the brand and competitors.

  •       They can identify and quantify trends over time. Overtime, qualitative data takes on a quantitative feel. This can be used to measure the impact of changes in the media mix, competitive new product launches and other key market events on a brand.

  •       They can use social data to optimize marketing. Through social data, researchers can measure campaign sites, launches, and changes in brand reputation in real-time.

  •       They can use it to facilitate product ideation and development. Social data can be segmented along geographic, demographic and behavioral lines and use it to analyze the unmet needs of customers.

Social data also plays an important role in understanding the audience of a brand. With an increasing amount of social media users, social data can be used to target and create the right research plan. Facebook alone has 1.2 billion active users every month…imagine the ways researchers can use social data for their research needs.

  •       Monitor a larger audience. According to a study conducted by Nielson in 2011, approximately 80% of people with Internet access use social media, making it possible for researchers to conduct market research on a much larger audience. It also helps encourage user interaction and engagement, which translates to accurate data for marketing.

  •       Understand the audience. In order to understand the audience and measure data, it is important for researchers to find where engagement and interaction occur. It allows them to track current and emerging trends in real-time by monitoring hashtags. Hashtags provide immediate results, allowing researchers to track the needs of customers and the way they are changing.

  •       Conduct real-time research. Through social data, researchers conduct research more quickly than traditional surveys. They can gain valuable information in real-time rather than spending great amounts of time setting up a survey that will possibly rear outdated information.

  •       Discover trends. Social data allows researchers to step outside the market trends and learn more through observation and interaction.

There are other areas where researchers can use social data, including health, political science, natural disasters, and media and business.

  •       Health. Researchers use social data in health to track specific pharmaceuticals, understand the sentiment of smoking, and track certain diseases like the flu.

  •       Political Science. Researchers use social data to understand the sentiment of political statements shared on social media.

  •       Natural Disasters. They can study how effective social media can be for people responding on these natural calamities.

  •       Media and Business. There has been research on how social data affects businesses and how they are spread compared to other types of media.

Social data provides a number of opportunities for researchers to understand and create breakthroughs in various fields. It helps build a stable and reliable archive for future generations. It helps companies with their internal projects. It has opened many ways to leverage social intelligence to achieve goals in many disciplines. Furthermore, it helps researchers understand the customers to provide them with better products and services.  

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