Saturday, February 5, 2011

Twitter for Market Research?

According to many Tweets, right now, White Chicks is on television in Toronto. Yes, White Chicks is trending on Twitter. It's obvious from the Tweets that the people Tweeting about it have seen it before and love it:

xMrsCrosbyx Tweets "Just watched White Chicks for the 847278573 time in a row...never get tired of this haha #funniestmovieever."

emilym179 Tweets "Definitely watched White Chicks! Forgot how funny it was :P"

Then there are some Tweets blatantly including "White Chicks" to be found through searches of what's trending:

Weirdnesstcz0 Tweets, "COOOLx7 -_Twitter n Google cooperate to develop a brand new SearchEngine - === Mubarak #egypt White Chicks"

Yep, just when you thought you'd seen it all, Mubarak and White Chicks were mentioned in the same Tweet, even though Mubarak and White Chicks have nothing to do with the topic of the Tweet: Twitter and Google's new search engine.

These Tweets and others can be used to track how many people have seen White Chicks more than once and how many people love it. It's a content analysis, really. Obviously, it's not terribly accurate research because, like our friend Weirdnesstcz0, many people on Twitter may be writing about White Chicks to gain greater exposure on Twitter and not everyone who loves White Chicks will have Twitter accounts or be Tweeting that the film is on television and that they love it. Still, it is valuable research for television networks to see what is popular, to know that they should air it again. Also, other television networks could monitor trends on Twitter to get ideas about what films they should air.

Now, you're probably thinking that they could get all of this information by evaluating their ratings. True, but by looking at what else "White Chicks" Twits have Tweeted about, networks can assemble pyschographic and demographic research. You can learn a lot by looking at what people Tweet about. You can learn if they're students, what they like to watch on television, who they follow, etc.

Content analysis is often great market research because it is conducted after the fact and is unobtrusive, meaning the researchers aren't influencing the behaviour of their subjects or affecting the results of their research. Plus, it's obviously much cheaper and faster to conduct research by evaluating Tweets because there are no surveys or polls to conduct and information comes out in real time. The information comes straight to the researchers without them even having to prompt it.

Of course, researchers can also search for things in Twitter to see if people are already interested in something the researchers will share with a television network or whoever else is conducting the market research. If a network has launched a Twitter campaign, it can search certain keywords in Twitter to see if they've created a buzz around a topic. Then they just have to look at ratings, sales, etc. to see if that buzz has created results.


  1. Well, I haven't seen 'White Chicks', but I do like white chicks. In fact I like all kinds of chicks, and this Spring I have decided to raise chickens in my backyard.

    I find it quite annoying (I am on g-mail) when I write mail, or receive it, that 'Mr. Google" scans my mail for buzzwords, and then to the right of the page, provides me with links they think I would find interesting. To test this, I sent a nonsensical mail to a friend and randomly inserted the word 'mule' several times. Sure enough, to the right of the mail, I find 'related' links. One had to do with trying to sell me a mule. The other was about a kind of woman's shoe. I can only assume that I am being encouraged to buy a mule, and to buy some women's shoes for my mule to wear.

    I also get quite annoyed at Netflix's 'suggestions' of movies they think I would like because of some other film I watched.

  2. Hi Ya A.A.>>>>it's Sophie from Nova Scotia. Tks or I have someone in TO to follow...Cheers!

  3. You know, I really used to make fun of people that use twitter until I signed up for it. It's really the most random, instant medium out there. Which suits my personality very well.

  4. Myth - Sounds like a good test.

    Sophie - Welcome! No problem, pretty furry girl! I'm honoured you're following me!

    Christopher - I used to think it was random, but now I see most Tweets are related to current events and other things.

    Sim - Thanks and welcome to my blog!

  5. Like others, I initially had some doubts about Twitter, but I'm really beginning to believe that it's a great way to keep people updated on important issues of the when "White Chicks" is airing on television.