Capturing Organic Conversations
Social listening is the structured analysis of online discussions.
Researchers gather and process mentions and discussions on social media platforms, or anywhere users can comment and interact online. This practice has a few key benefits. First, it captures unprompted, organic reactions and opinions that might not surface in a survey or focus group. It also allows researchers to gauge user sentiment and measure the resonance of different messages, to see what kinds of images and expressions gain traction. In some cases, social listening can allow researchers to gain insight into the opinions of demographic groups that are traditionally hard to reach through other forms of research.
Environics Research uses an especially powerful social listening method. Some providers rely on one standard, big-data-analysis approach that casts a wide net over the entire Internet. We call this method the floodlight approach. It can surface good information, but it can also produce a high ratio of noise-to-useful-signal, making it difficult for users to distill valuable insights. Our team specializes in a spotlight approach. We begin with broad, inclusive searches, but then complement these with targeted attention to key sources – places we know Canadians gather to discuss specific issues online. The spotlight approach zooms in – it lets us look for bigger needles in smaller haystacks.
These two approaches, combined with Environics’ extensive experience with traditional qualitative research methods, produce actionable insights that drive strategy. Unlike social listening providers that sell licences to tools or software, Environics does not treat the tool – or the raw data it generates – as the solution to client needs. Instead, we deliver customized, data-informed solutions led by human analysts. We draw together the outputs of multiple tools, and use a collaborative process to apply the resulting insights to specific client problems. This unique mix of advanced tools and effective consulting makes our social listening offering a powerful complement to traditional research for organizations seeking to understand today’s big issues.
How can we help your organization?
Find out how our Social Listening Team can help your organization.
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