Advertising Age’s article asks, “Will Social Media Replace Surveys as a Marketing Tool?” My opinion is no.
There is a vast difference between the knowledge that can be gained from both mediums. Social media provides insight into the marketplace, and customer expectations for both the product and company. In addition, social media provides a glimpse of what is coming up on the horizon as well as what is currently all the buzz.
Survey research is based in science, not as alluring as social media, but it is focused on sample sets that provide results that are statistically valid. These sample sets are supposed to be an unbiased pool of individuals evaluated on their behavior or responses to survey questions. There is room for both research methods. We use both at Marketsmith and use the knowledge the we gain in different ways.
New Media Specialist