Social Communities

Jun 13, 2018

Social Communities

Jun 13, 2018

3 Reasons Why They’re the Best New Research Method

Social communities are market research’s best-kept secret. They allow researchers to tap into natural avenues for communication where people are comfortable: social media.

As a result, consumers are incredibly engaged and eager to offer up rich insight. In a world where emerging CPG
companies are disrupting the industry with their ability to hit

the pavement, learn from consumers quickly, and react strategically, social communities are invaluable.

They give big companies the opportunity to be agile. Not sold yet? Great, we’re going to explore three big reasons why they’re the best new research methodology you’ve never heard of:

Social communities are powerful because they are already ingrained in consumers’ lives (think: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). They’re also painless for participants (unlike traditional communities which require significant behavioral change).

We’ve heard time and time again how much consumers enjoy participating to the point where they are sad to see their community end. Traditional research methods like focus groups, in-home ethnographies, and in-store research, on the other hand, are more arduous for consumers because they require a substantial time commitment (usually in the middle of the day) and take place in artificial environments.

These methods help marketers understand general usage and shopping patterns, but they do not provide the same sense of authentic interaction as social communities. They are planned interviews, no matter how much you emphasize that they should reflect consumers’ “typical behaviors.”

Social communities yield insights that ultimately drive innovation, inform consumer messaging, and help refine shopper strategy.

Take a fictional case of a toothpaste manufacturer, for example. In our scenario, the toothpaste manufacturer leverages social communities to generate a breadth of insights related to the areas above (innovation, consumer messaging, and shopper strategy.) The company’s marketers are able to pick out the best insights and use them as the foundation for action.

Example: Toothpaste Manufacturer

You might be wondering: “If social communities are so great, why don’t we hear more about them in CPG?” The big reason is that they are labor intensive. They take a lot of time to facilitate, require a flexible research plan, and often necessitate extra buy-in from key stakeholders.

Despite the added effort, however, researchers who go the extra mile LOVE social communities because they elevate their qualitative insights. If you are hungering to foster an authentic connection with consumers and generate new, rich insights, you should consider them too.

Researchers LOVE social communities…and you will too!

“At the beginning, I thought ‘boy, this is going to be a long process.’ Now all I’m thinking about is how worth it communities are.”

“I never thought we could get such great data from social media.”

“This is truly a frontier in market research. In all my time in Insights, I’ve not seen qualitative learning this robust.”

To learn more about Social Communities, please contact us at