Emerging technologies such as virtual reality and chat bots offer businesses opportunities to take advantage of social media research, according to ThinkNow Research.

Mario X. Carrasco, Co-Founder and Principal of ThinkNow Research, an award-winning culturally-integrated market research agency based in Burbank, CA., offered the tips in a blog:

“Emerging technologies in social media can be game changers for businesses looking to gain a better understanding of their audience,” he wrote. “The result is more relevant marketing campaigns.”

Three examples:

•   “Virtual Reality Focus Groups – With the launch of Facebook Spaces, Facebook now presents an exciting opportunity for companies looking to source qualitative data (measuring the quality of an experience through open ended questions) through informal focus groups. Current technologies enable focus groups to take place online through either video or discussion boards. The virtual reality environment, however, opens a whole new world of possibilities. The digital stimuli options can range from videos to photos, to retail scenarios, concept cars, restaurant layouts, travel destinations, and almost anything you can think of.”

•   “Stories – The format pioneered by Snapchat is now popping up everywhere, from Facebook to Instagram. Stories represent an interesting development for research opportunities. Sharing pictures on Instagram and Facebook are seen as permanent as they live on the user’s timeline and feed until deleted. So, they tend to be highly curated and not necessarily a representation of “real” life. The short-lived nature of stories, however, lends itself to greater transparency, rewarding companies with deeper insights into consumer behavior.”

•   “Chat Bot Research – So everyone is talking about chat bots, right? Artificial intelligence chat bots could one day be able to reserve a table for you at your favorite restaurant and hail an “Uber for you to get there. When it comes to market research, utilizing a chat bot could help curb the issue of waning respondents for short quantitative surveys (think polls) by tapping into a new pool of respondents in a more user-friendly way.”

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