Monthly Archives: July 2011

Social Media: Advertising

With about 25% of all time spent on Internet being spent on social media properties like Facebook, Twitter and other networks, social media becomes an obvious choice for advertisers. I would argue about the effectiveness of advertising on social media platforms as compared to sponsored search results or ads on web portals, but with millions of eyeballs spending so much time there, it’s a compelling place for advertisers.

Here I would like to talk about how we can use social media to develop better advertisements. One of the best utilities of social media can be in designing and developing advertisements for any media varying from traditional media like television and print to new media like mobile and web. People spend hours on social media talking about everything from what they like and what they don’t, what characters and themes they are attracted towards, what activities they spend most time on and what are their top interests. People brag about the brands they like, critic on experiences they have with products, and talk about the advertisements that caught their attention while watching prime-time television or walking down the street. This makes social media a great repository of information to act as a canvas to design advertisements, find the right placements for them and learn how people are responding to them.

The idea is to gather social insights from social media and use these insights to develop advertisements. Advertisers can learn from social media what are the best themes to gain attention of their target audience. They can understand what are the best placement opportunities for their advertisements by learning which television shows their target audience are engaging with and which magazines they are reading. Social media is a great repository of information that adds a whole lot of richness to the market research that needs to be done in order to develop targeted advertisements. The creativity of advertisements is as important, if not more, as ever due to the decreasing attention span of the consumers, but with the help of market research powered by social media, advertisers can direct the creativity to focus on the right themes, place these awesome advertisements at the right places and learn from them to develop better ones next time around.

Note: Reach out to us at MavenMagnet to learn about some of the innovative work we are doing in this space!

Emotions and social media based market research

Emotions play a big role in how people express themselves. In order to understand the market correctly and identify how people perceive a product, it is important to understand how people react emotionally to the product. To be a successful product it is necessary, in most cases, that people associate positive emotions to the product. To have a consumer base that is emotionally attached to the product is a prized possession for any brand.

It is really important to capture emotions in market research. In traditional market research, the research is primarily conducted using surveys and focus groups. It is really hard to capture emotions of consumers using questionnaires and surveys. The only possible way is to have open-ended questions where people might be able to express some emotions, but due to no instant interaction there, the level of expression is limited. I would argue that it is much more possible to do so in focus groups where people are in a room and are asked questions by a moderator followed by discussions. The only possible glitch in a focus group based market research is to capture the true emotions. When a person is sitting in a focus group, it is often the case that they have a set mindset of talking to a company’s representative about a product. They are conscious about what they are talking about and how the company and others in the room will perceive them based on their answers.

Now consider the case of social media based market research. In social media conversations, people use different platforms like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums and other networks to express themselves. They put forth their thoughts and recommendations which more often have emotions attached with them. When doing market research using social media as a data repository, we capture these emotions to understand the perception of consumers with respect to a product. Emotions are amplifiers in social media based market research. They stir the pot of conversations. They polarize the flow of discussions.

The emotions captured in market research done on social media are more truthful. The consumers are talking amongst themselves. We are not asking them questions. They express themselves how they experience something. By capturing these conversations and understanding and analyzing them and emotions attached with them, we can provide true insights on a product.