How Social Media Research Helped Qual Researchers Cast a Wider Net

Laurie Tema-Lyn & Panelists: Katrina Noelle, Stacy Thomas, Carole Schmidtt

The pandemic exploded social media usage around the world. While sitting on couches in quarantine, consumers took to social media by the millions to share thoughts on practically every topic imaginable—from brands, products, and industries to cultural moments, social justice, politics, corporate responsibility, the environment, and health care. During the height of the pandemic, the daily volume of conversation was over 2x the volume normally seen on the highest volume day of the year—Super Bowl Sunday.

Even as the world opens back up, social media usage continues to expand to never-before-seen volumes (especially among younger, digitally-native consumers) and isn't going anywhere. Social research, from analyzing conversation themes to segmenting audiences by social media interests, should be an essential part of your qual toolbox. Ultimately, social research IS qual research, at a significantly larger scale. Social research can inform question wording for upcoming qualitative efforts and/or cast a wider net to validate existing qual studies. Learn from three qualitative research executives and a seasoned social media analyst as they discuss their recent successful Qual + Social hybrid research combinations.