Social Research: Bigger Than the Sum of Social Monitoring and Social Listening

Mar 30 - 5 min read

Social media monitoring and social media listening are two famous and indispensable activities for those who conduct any type of business in the digital world. However, the days when you could beat your competitors just by monitoring and listening better than them are far gone. With so many professional tools on the market and the involvement of artificial intelligence in the process, you need to do much more than just monitor and listen.

This is where AI-Powered tools that are capable of profiling thousands of people anonymously in real-time through their social media activity, such as Kimola's Consumer Research Platform make the difference. The scope of the data collected with these tools and the variety of the criteria you can choose to classify the data to make better sense of them are so complex that you can't call what these tools do "monitoring" or "listening." It qualifies as social research.

Now, let’s take a step back, clarify what social monitoring and social listening are and talk about why the tools that allow you to conduct social research are so much more useful than just monitoring and listening.

What is social media monitoring?

Also known as social media measurement, social media monitoring is continuously tracking how popular and how reputable your brand is based on the data posted on social media platforms. You can use free or professional tools for this. Just like the search engines, social media monitoring tools use an algorithm to crawl and continuously index the web.

Social media monitoring allows you to have a very precious market insight by telling you who is talking about your brand and what they are saying. Based on this information, you can choose the necessary steps to take whether it is liking a post, joining a conversation, giving online support to prevent a crisis and so on.

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What is social media listening?

A lot of times, social media listening is used as a synonym for social media monitoring. This is not that wrong but it's still safe to say that social media listening is broader than social media monitoring. It's to take social media monitoring to the next level. As the famous marketing quote goes: Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.

Social media listening requires analyzing the data you’ve collected through social media monitoring. To do so, you'd start by dividing the data into three categories: Positive, negative, or neutral. Then you once again categorize your data by using labels such as “Conversation about the brand”, “Conversation about the service”, “Conversation about the product”, etc.

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Is social media listening enough?

Yes and no. When done with the right tools, social media listening might be just enough to reach most of your goals such as giving better customer support, having healthier feedback, finding the best influencers, generating leads, making better decisions about allocation your resources, etc. However, you have to be sure that your social media listening tool is not just a social monitoring tool and it's powerful enough to help you on all these fronts. Since social media is huge, the tool you need to use to do a proper social listening must be so sophisticated that its function could easily qualify as social research.

What is social research and why do you need it?

Social research is research conducted following a systematic plan and with quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies.

The quantitative approach uses quantifiable evidence and mostly rely on statistical analysis. Most social listening tools use only this methodology. A qualitative approach, on the other hand, emphasize understanding of a phenomenon through direct observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts. Most social media listening tools leave this part to you. However, in order to see the big picture and really know your target audience, you have to get both qualitative and quantitative data. The social research in this context requires looking at the data you’ve collected through the eyes of a researcher.

Let’s return to our case. When you use Kimola to do social research about your brand Nike, you still get all the data we’ve mentioned in social monitoring and listening, plus some additional categories like motivations of Nike consumers, reasons of choosing Nike, best events that match Nike, switching seasons from Nike, lifestyle of Nike consumers, so forth and so on. This is the data you'd gather when you do broad social research.

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How Kimola can help you with social research?

Kimola’s Consumer Research Platform allows you to gather the best possible quantitative and qualitative data to get better customer insights and understand your consumers better. You can still learn how old your target audience is, where do they live, how often they are engaged with your product, what do they think about you and your competitors, what do they say about your brand online, etc. Plus, with Kimola, you can also know what else they are interested in, such as what type of music they like, what sports branches they love, which celebrities and influencers they look up to, what TV shows they watch, where they get news from, which political parties they support, in short, who they really are! 

Kimola's platform is an AI-Powered tool that is capable of profiling thousands of real people anonymously in real-time through their social media activity. Its features such as Demographics, Interests, TV Shows, Radios and News & Media Platforms, Brands, Influencers and Celebrities, Politics, and Conversations give you both the quantitative and qualitative data you need. This is as close as you can get to scientific social research without actually talking to them one-on-one.

By gathering very complex data on the personas of the audience, the reason beneath their complaints, and their motivation, Kimola serves as a social research tool that provides a customer behavior analysis.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us!

If you'd like to know more about Kimola's Consumer Research Platform and what is capable of, let's start with a call! You can always reach us via Contact Sales Page or you can sign-up right away from main page of Kimola.