Frequently Asked Questions

How representative is social media research?

Social media research shows what one can uncover when reviewing user or participant generated content on social media sites. It provides insight into what consumers groups are discussing, what questions, issues, recommendations, observations they have on brands, products, or any other issues of interest. Insight gained from the community can be used to support or complement traditional research methodologies.

How do social media monitoring programs handle demographic data?

In the social media space, most dialogs are posted by “ageless” user names, but even on a Facebook profile, the person’s age may not be obvious. It is not always known whether the person is male, female, a child or a pensioner. Often (except for Twitter), we cannot be sure from where the participant is physically posting.


There are initiatives underway at Replise to identify the gender and/or family status from users’ previous posts, whether they have pets, drive a car, or even which phone they have, but this information is not currently available for a general monitoring setting.

How are market research and social media contents linked?

In the social media space, consumers have conversations. They share opinions, suggestions, fears, experiences, concerns and responses. A large part of these conversations are like gold mines to a research specialist – instantly available data shared without influencing or outside pressure. However, much of the information can be unstructured. Software can provide part of the solution; however, a more complete solution requires the human element. In Replise’s Intelligence Service, we provide that human element. We “clean and smooth” content; our analysts review, synthesize, interpret and structure data using a traditional qualitative and quantitative framework.

Analysis of social media content helps prepare research materials and questionnaires for focus groups, and can be extremely helpful in supporting or complementing marketing research studies.