Archive for the ‘Social Media Research’ Category

Archive for the ‘Social Media Research’ Category

Minds, meanings and metrics – Impact conference 2015




The Market Research Society (MRS) has released full details of their Impact conference 2015 in London. This year the event is titled ‘Minds, meanings and metrics: consumer understanding in an uncertain world’ and is taking place on the 17th and 18th March 2015.

There will some big name speakers to discuss research in changeable times, including CEO’s, designers, entrepreneurs, artists and top selling novelist Sebastian Faulks, who will explain the secrets of the narrative arc and how to interpret the expectations of your customers / readers.

Sessions will cover thought-provoking subjects such as:

  • Polling statistics for the general election
  • Ethical debate on data privacy
  • Sampling in the internet age
  • Seizing people’s attention on social media
  • High tech solutions for big data
  • How research has helped amplify previously unheard voices
  • Reshaping brands
  • Reasons for insight failing to transform
  • Improving policy to reach people at the margins of society
  • Measuring social media
  • Re-discovering empathy when conducting research

For more information about the event and a full list of speakers, visit:

New MRS Code of Conduct

The Market Research Society (MRS) has launched and updated a new edition of their Code of Conduct, which will come in to effect on 1st September 2014, and is relevant for market, social and opinion research. The Code is significant to the research industry because it underpins ethical research, best practice guidance, legal instruction and ‘exists to protect the entire research supply chain’. With the fast revolutionising research market facing questions about the collection and use of personal data, the MRS Code of Conduct is crucial in helping to protect and regulate first-rate research practice. This gives everyone concerned greater assurance in research from the research providers who adhere to the Code, through to buyers and research participants.

Jane Frost, the Chief Executive of MRS, has said: “The UK research sector is worth more than £3bn and it’s growing. The emergence of massive datasets and the public’s concern around privacy are just two examples of challenges to the sector that didn’t exist ten years ago, let alone sixty. The updated Code is the bedrock on which this sector will continue to flourish - it ensures that research is legal, ethical and transparent, and that is critical to customer and consumer trust.”

Our research director, Gemma Mackman, is a member of the MRS and thus all research carried out by Mackman Research , whether business to business, social, online, telephone, qualitative or quantitative, is executed in accordance with with the rules and regulations.

Our researchers also conform to the Code and follow strict procedures. We are always direct with our introductions when conducting research on behalf of our clients and offer an explanation as to why we are conducting the research. All responses are collected in a strictly confidential manner and in such instance both clients and participants remain anonymous throughout and breaches of confidence do not occur under any circumstances.


Amanda visits the SRA conference

The Social Research Association held its 'Social Media in Social Research' annual conference in London on the 24th June 2013. Our senior researcher Amanda attended the daylong event which saw presentations from a wide range of speakers including academics with experience in researching social media. The day started with a presentation by Dr Farida Vis who was part of the research team for the "Reading the Riots" collaboration with The Guardian. The project analysed 2.6 million tweets during the 2012 summer riots in London. Dr Vis is at the forefront of social media research and talked about the data challenges surrounding social media research, existing methodologies, technical difficulties and questions regarding bias, sampling and anonymity. A further Skillslab in the afternoon looked at analysing information through images; coding techniques, authenticity of the social media image, how images move and circulate and how they are received/construed by the viewer.

There were queries from the floor about best practice advice and these were picked up and discussed further by Kandy Woodfield at NSMNSS (New Social Media New Social Science) and the ethics panel discussion at the end of the day. These 'rules' are being discussed now by specialists in the social media social research field. Subsequently, social researchers can go forward ethically with a balance being struck between all parties.

Brian Kelly from the University of Bath highlighted the benefits of social media optimisation which can extend, promote and support research activity. Claire Meehan from the University of Auckland described how she started with a traditional focus group methodology to explore young people's use of drugs to then analysing social media to gain further insight into how the young construct their drugs knowledge.

Two presentations looked at social media user's views on social media research and privacy/ethics. Both of these studies (one academic/ one commercial) showed that there is a wide difference in what people think about how their information is being used and shared online, with a majority believing Twitter is more public than Facebook, which is considered more family orientated and therefore more private. A whole different set of concerns were raised when discussing the level of dissemination at which people's opinion is used. Dr Nicola Stanley discussed the online recruitment process and explored privacy behaviours from an online panel of 354 participants.

Amanda commented, "The day was inspiring and created meaningful debate surrounding social media research. One clear thing that came out of the conference, was that social media is blurring the edges between traditional research recruitment, methodology and process and social researchers are calling for additional guidelines of social media research methods that are easy to use and understand in terms of privacy control and integrity".