A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Friday, September 16, 2011

The positives and negatives of using social media data

After attending the social media stream at the AMSRS conference this year, I walked away thinking more about how social media data could be used to help clients.

One thing is clear, there are currently differences in opinions - some are excited while others are skeptical. Here are some of the positives and negatives that came out:

To summarise:
  • It's cheap to gather social media data (you don't need to pay people to talk and they are easy to find), but you do need complex models, algorithms, linguistic inquiry software, or lots of time and people to code it manually to make sense of the data you are collecting
  • Data comes in at real time whenever you want it, but just like people - the moods and opinions of the social media ecosystem can change extremely quickly
  • Social media data isn't tainted by research instruments, but those actively using social media tools like twitter are far from representative of the general population
So overall, it's still early days for social media data. However, keep an eye on this space as collection methods and analysis tools improve.

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