With the profuse amount of social networking sites that saturate the Internet, including Facebook, Twitter, Ning, MySpace, Flickr, LinkedIn, Blogger and WordPress, Web users have a plethora of options to choose from to express themselves and share information with others (that is, if they choose to do so). Because of this, the sharing of personal information has led to an increase in public knowledge for Web users, not only for other social media users and our friends, but for marketers as well.
The question about the type of information that individuals share online leads to a more prominent question about accuracy and performance: how do social media users portray themselves online? Do people perform or undermine who they are and how does this effect truth? More importantly, if it is difficult enough for marketers to determine the ‘real’ person behind a Facebook page or a Tweet, what is the value of online market research and customer insights?
The easy accessibility that the Internet provides allows freedom for customers to express their thoughts and opinions about anything and everything. However, the value of information research online for marketers is contemplated when they cannot tell what is true and what is false (in relation to behavioral and attitudinal information). Thus while information is freely communicated throughout the Web, marketers must be cautious about the information they pull from customer insights and should appropriate a more scrupulous and traditional approach in gathering information online.
Read the rest of The Hidden Truth: Information Accuracy in Social Networking Sites.
Photo credit: http://www.cadrecmi.ca
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