I am fascinated by social media. How is it that by exposing your thoughts and opinions publicly, they are so often transformed?
When I read LinkedIn and see people I know recommending people I know they know, but I also know they don’t like, it really gets my goat. Why would your opinion change when it becomes public? Likely it’s for the same reason that marketers shouldn’t count on focus groups to predict how consumers will respond to a campaign appeal or offer. Whatever the dynamic, people often say that they’ll react differently than they actually do.
That’s why we value focus group research for a lot of things – especially product-related opinions – but when it comes to direct response, there’s nothing like in-market testing to tell the truth. And as for social media, it sure is fun. But if I want someone’s opinion, I find it’s better to ask them – directly.