SXSWi Arrival!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Arriving at the Austin Convention Center was incredible! It felt like a homecoming for techy types of all walks of life.  Foursquare kindly awarded me two badges: "4sq SXSW Virgin" and "Super Duper Swarm.”  Who doesn’t like a new badge or two?

The first session I attended was on Social Media Metrics and the Net Promoter score.  The session was led by two humble guys hoping to test a hypothesis out on the crowd: that the theory behind Net Promoter score might be more beneficial than sentiment analysis.  For those unfamiliar with the Net Promoter score,  here’s a little background.  Companies like Charles Schwab use this method as one of their metrics…in fact one of the Schwab team members was at the session.

The Market Research take-away: Market researchers could think about whether respondents will recommend or not, versus overall sentiment related to the brand, product or service.  It’s one thing for a respondent to feel a certain way, but yet another for them to take action and recommend.  Have you used NPS in your research?  If so, how has it shaped your thinking?

The session covered ways that the speakers attempted to gather the Net Promoter Score via social media pushed surveys (survey links sent via social media).  This seemed problematic at best.  Additionally, I’d argue that it isn't necessary to push a survey out.  It  is possible to scrape naturally existing social media mentions of “I recommend ____ because _____.”  There’s a lot of value in comments like this because the researcher gleans WHY their promoter is promoting, understanding the source of the passion, not just a straight NPS.

And, for what it’s worth, the value of focus groups came up twice during the session, emphasizing that traditional research methods are still needed to understand some aspects that social media research and social media pushed surveys can’t achieve. 

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