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.

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