7 min read
CYL - Apr 18, 2023

Out with the Old, in with the New: Market Research and Social Listening

As traditional market research methods become less effective, businesses are turning to modern approaches, such as social listening, to gather valuable consumer insights.



Tracking consumer insights is of utmost importance to understand what is being said online or mitigate the crisis through market research. From Duolinguo’s collaboration with “Game of Thrones” influencing half a million (and more) users to learn a fictional language, “High Valyrian,” to a 2561% increase over two days in “Barbie” mentions on social media, trends can appear overnight out seemingly out nowhere.


However, traditional market research methods are no longer sufficient, and brands must slowly but surely move beyond such traditions and embrace social listening. But how do you do market research?

What is Social Listening?

Social listening involves monitoring, collecting, and examining data from online discussions related to a brand, industry, or other relevant topics. Social listening has emerged as a digital solution that operates in real-time, allowing businesses to stay attuned to rapidly-evolving trends and respond accordingly. Moreover, it can provide insights into a larger population sample than traditional market research methods, offering unfiltered consumer feedback that is not influenced by question wording or group dynamics. 

Furthermore, social listening can complement traditional research methods by providing additional consumer insights from social media posts. This insight enables businesses to gain insights at a speed that would not be possible through traditional market research.


Importance of Choosing the Right Platform

Choosing the right (or wrong) platform can make or break your market research. Market research can be costly, and choosing the wrong platform can waste resources in terms of time and money. Different platforms have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to gathering insights. For example, Twitter may be better for gathering real-time insights on events or breaking news. Facebook may be better for gathering long-term insights into consumer trends. 


Choosing the right social media platform for social listening can improve overall social media strategy. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and how they can be used to reach different target audiences, businesses can develop a more effective and targeted social media strategy. These strategies can result in higher ROI, increased brand reputation, and improved customer satisfaction.


Hits and Flops of Market Research: Case Study

Wendy’s on Twitter


Wendy's focus on Twitter and its humorous tone exemplifies how market research can inform a brand's social media strategy. By understanding its target audience's preferences and communication styles, Wendy's developed a unique brand personality that resonates with its audience and stands out in a crowded market. 

Market research likely informed this approach, which helped Wendy's identify their target audience's demographics, interests, and communication preferences. With this information, they created a social media strategy to engage and retain their target audience effectively. By leveraging market research to develop a robust social media strategy, businesses can effectively connect with their target audience, build brand loyalty, and achieve their marketing goals.

Duolinguo on Tiktok

Duolinguo’s presence on Tikok is a force to be reckoned with and can be attributed to effective market research and targeting. With over 6.4 million followers, 132.8  million likes, and an average of 5 million views per Tiktok, Duolinguo’s popularity exceeds beyond just being a language app. The menacing owl on Tiktok recently partnered with HBO Max to create a fictional-language course, “High Valyrian,” with over half a million language learners. Similarly, in 2018, Duolinguo partnered with CBS to launch a language course, “Klingon,” from Star Trek, resulting in a 43% conversion rate of users learning another language following the initial course. 

Duolingo's success on TikTok and its partnerships demonstrates the importance of conducting thorough market research and targeting to reach and engage consumers effectively.

Pepsi-Jenner: A Cautionary Tale

“If that would’ve come out with a comparable theme 10 or 20 years ago, I don’t think it would’ve been as big of a deal,”

Petter Westlund, the chief creative officer at B-Reel,on the Kendall Jenner controversy.


Just like “genius” marketing strategies, there are undeniable flops. In 2017, Pepsi collaborated with Kendall Jenner to create a 5+ million dollar social media advertising campaign that mirrors the Black Lives Matter movement. The climax of the advert was Kendall “resolving” the tension between protestors and police simply by handing a can of Pepsi over to a police officer. Although the Black Lives Matter movement was a talking point within the social media landscape, the advertisement came off as a tone-deaf appropriation of real-life social justice movements. Needless to say, the ad received such a huge social media backlash on Twitter that it was taken down within a day of posting the video. Soon enough, Pepsi hit its lowest consumer perception levels in a decade.

The Pepsi-Jenner controversy is a prime example of what happens when brands don't know their target audience well and the platform they advertise on or grossly misread their consumers at an abysmal cost. This can be alleviated or prevented if brands do more research in selecting relevant data while doing their market research. 


Next Steps

Setting up social listening searches can be done through Digimind Social by defining relevant keywords, hashtags, and topics that relate to research objectives. 

After building a query, you can analyze the data and insights using sentiment analysis to understand customer opinions while including the ability to block sources that you feel pollutes the mentions coming from specific platforms.

Users of Digimind can look forward to more advancements that will make it easier for digital marketing and competitive intelligence professionals, community managers, and social media managers to analyze data. The benefits of these innovations are clear - professionals will save time by automating the analysis of trends, buzz, crises, and any changes in their market and monitored environment. Instead of spending hours making sense of a hotspot or viral news, ChatGPT will provide a summarized view almost instantly. By combining Digimind's AI Sense and ChatGPT's AI, this assisted analysis will become the first step for analysts on the platform, utilizing automated analysis and synthesis, among other features.

How To Get the Most Out of Your Market Research

While social listening can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior and opinions, it is essential to remember that it is just one part of a comprehensive market research strategy. To get a complete picture of your target audience and market, combining social listening with other traditional research methods such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other forms of primary research is essential. This will result in accurate and comprehensive insights, validate social listening insights, and monitor the effectiveness of your research efforts.

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Written by CYL