A recent article in Forbes titled, “A Wide Divide Between Brands and Consumers in Social Media” cites a survey of consumers active in brand social media sites and CMOs who are responsible for those sites. As the title suggests, one of the most surprising findings was that consumers go to brand sites for games or coupons or something they can “get.” Marketers tend to believe they come to learn or express themselves. If you are responsible for a brand’s social media presence, this is a key finding that should cause you to pause and think about how you engage your brand loyalists. But what does this have to do with research?
For me, this study was interesting for its impact on how we manage and grow our panel. 20|20 maintains a research panel of over 300,000 North American consumers with a 60,000 member smart phone panel. Sometimes we think that they are a part of our panel because they like doing research, sharing their opinions and learning about products through research. While there are some who definitely participate for these reasons, we must remember that most of them participate for the money or because we provide some type of very fun activity for them. This article was a good reminder to do what we researchers are supposed to do so well…put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. When we do, I think we will be a bit better at engaging our panel.