Social Media Scan and Qual Social Listening: tracking subconscious market trends

Dirk Ziems

The relevance of the social media is growing steadily. Whether it’s WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram or personal blogs – social media are firmly embedded in the personal communication landscape, not only for Millennials but also for digital immigrants.
This opens up great opportunities for market research. How consumers perceive and use products and brands is widely represented in the social media. With the Scan process and qualitative Social Listening, our morphological researchers filter out consumer, brand and market trends, and analyse the (subconscious) psychological drivers behind these.

Social Media Scan

For products and brands, mentions in social media are an important seismograph for talk value and image value. The Social Media Scan tool covers all social media channels relevant to the subject of research, tracking how often a brand or product is mentioned, liked and evaluated in a specific context. Dozens of social media sources can be included in the analysis. Besides the standards, such as Facebook and YouTube, there are also specialist blogs. In a further step, comprehensive benchmarking is available to evaluate performance in comparison with others.

The particular added value of our Social Media Scan is that we don’t restrict ourselves to algorithms for filtering and evaluating, adding qualitative relationships and the actual reason for the mentions. If, for example, a brand is frequently linked to specific constellations of properties, we can use our qualitative-psychological know-how to reach a more exact understanding of the significance of this.

Benefits at a glance

+ Quantitatively robust findings
+ Quick checks of basic facts
+ Quick identification of basic target groups and specific targets
+ Evaluation of the psychological significance of the social media mentions


Social Listening

Qualitative Social Listening looks at the dialogues, comments and evaluations in the social media at a deeper psychological level. What storytelling repeatedly appears with reference to a product or brand? What impressions are at work here? What loyalty is there to product and brand, and are the wishes involved adequately recognised? What disappointments have arisen, and how can they be overcome? These and many other questions are followed up in Social Listening by our researchers, who are specially trained in market psychology. This goes beyond simple snapshots to a deeper level of analysis.

Because we often already have experience from depth psychology market studies, we are able to evaluate the motivational background of social media posts more exactly, and even document the subconscious consumer and market trends more accurately. Social media reflect the social and culture-psychological trends which determine markets in a particularly rapid and plastic way. Through intercultural comparisons, e.g. on a topic such as beauty or automotive mobility, Social Listening directly reveals the different cultural perspectives.

This makes Social Listening particularly suitable as a preliminary stage for further qualitative depth research leading to the first stimulating hypotheses and prompting further topics for research.

Benefits at a glance

+ Linking social media research with special morphological research competence
+ Researchers specially trained in market psychology
+ Identification of product and market trends and their psychological background
+ Intercultural comparisons of consumer attitudes and behavior
+ Culture-psychological classification of discourse in the social media
+ Cost-effective qualitative preliminary stage for generating hypotheses

Use case

A manufacturer of hygienic articles wants to market an innovative product. Medically, the product obviously addresses a major need – however, its use in an everyday context is probably associated with great embarrassment.

A Social Media Scan shows that the words associated with the topic actually appear with significantly low frequency, in contrast to the euphemisms used. Another interesting finding is that in relatively prudish cultures like USA and Japan the topic is almost entirely suppressed, while Latin America and Scandinavia seem less inhibited in dealing with it.

Subsequent Social Listening makes it possible to come up with initial hypotheses. Comments in blogs and self-help sites show which aspects of the topic seem to be particularly embarrassing and difficult to communicate. There is also an initial indication of what rationalisations sufferers use to relieve themselves.

Further posts on Qual Online Tools

Qual Online Toolbox by concept m

Morphological market research for digital daily life

Qual Online Tools (2):
Online Diary and Qual Insight Community:
ethnographic insight research with digital media

Qual Online Tools (3):
Webcam Interview and Online Focus Group:
a digital renewal for classic depth exploration

Qual Online Tools (4):
Morphological Web UX Research
psychologically optimise surfing processes

Dirk Ziems
Dirk Ziems ist Experte für tiefenpsychologisches Marketing und berät auf Basis von Markt-, Medien- und Kulturforschung weltweit Unternehmen und Konzerne in zahlreichen Branchen und Ländern. Als Mitbegründer der Global Research Boutique Concept M und der Marketingberatung Flying Elephant begleitet er Themen wie die Adaption von Erfolgsprodukten in neuen kulturellen Kontexten, das tiefe Verständnis neuer Konsumgenerationen in China und USA, die Transformation der Werbekommunikation in der neuen digitalen Medienwelt oder die Neuorientierung der Brands in Post-Corona-Zeiten. Dirk Ziems ist auch als Gastdozent an verschiedenen Universitäten tätig.

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