In today's digital age, social media has evolved into a vital tool for communication, information gathering and sharing, whether for personal, corporate, or government use. The social media poll is one tool that is increasingly widely used for gathering data and insights for business, fun, or even policymaking.
In this report, we will discuss when social media polls can be used as a tool to inform serious decision-making and when not, and what alternatives are available, using context from both global and Saudi social media population.
We begin with an overview of what a typical market research process looks like and discuss the principles underlying unbiased research, and the sorts of biases to be wary of. We then discuss how social media polls are used, the pros and cons of using social media polls as a market research tool and benchmark these against the principles of unbiased research.
While social media polls may be very useful for the fast collection of data and input from consumers/the public to inform business decisions, promote goods & services, and understand public opinion on key issues as part of policymaking, they may not be appropriate in all circumstances. We also provide examples of bad and good polls, and conclude with recommended alternatives that can be adopted by businesses and policymakers.