Hannah Knowles


April 28, 2023

Top 3 pro's and cons of using social media in your user research strategy

We focus our research methods into understanding what's happening right now with your product, service or users so you can drive decisions for future users.

Covid-19 changed the way we conducted UX research, observation studies became harder than trying to find toilet roll. But since 2020, social media and our online brands have exploded. Meaning? Meaning that we have far more digital data at our fingertips. In this blog we explore the 3 benefits and challenges using social media data to create experiences for your product. 

What is social media mining?

Social media mining sounds complicated but it's not. It refers to the process of searching, analysing and presenting patterns and trends from social media data. 

This data can be in the form of posts, comments and conversations. It can also include online behaviours, interactions between users and buying behaviours.Trends at scale can support out micro insights. 

I’m gonna let you in on a secret, you need both lot’s of data to make a good decision. 

Top 3 benefits of social media for UX research

1. It’s accessible to everyone. 

You don’t need fancy tools and it's something you can do with excel, time and approx. 1 redbull every 4 hours. But a good process and attention to detail and you can start this right now. 

2. The opportunity to engage with more people and less accessible groups.

There's social media for everyone from kink to parenting communities. It allows you to break free from the tiny pools of people you would with typical groups of interviews. Social media offers access to a broader range of people, all over the world - including marginalised groups who may be difficult to reach via traditional recruitment methods.

3.The ability to observe trends across social platforms. 

By observing interactions across multiple platforms, you can investigate trends on a large scale. Individual comments can be taken as starting points for wider research - delving into broader conversations and seeing how they influence experiences of products or services. 

‍Our favourite thing to do here is go to and find where the natural conversations are happening. It’s digital observation and theres nothing more brutal than an anonymous keyboard warrior. Anonymity can give people the confidence to offer their unfiltered opinions in a way you may not achieve in face-to-face research. 

Top 3 challenges for social media research 

1. The scale of social media data can be intimidating. 

The vast amount of information on social media platforms can be a lot for an individual to analyse. For those wanting to take on social media mining on a larger scale, paid platforms like Talkwalker offer automated software to help sift through large amounts of data to ensure you’re only seeing the posts relevant to your research. 

2. Private groups and forums often yield high-value data. 

This is particularly true in healthcare. Private groups have long provided people with a safe space to discuss symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments for specific conditions - allowing them to connect with others on similar journeys. However, it's not ethical to spy in private groups but you might be able to get invited to post questions if you ask. 

3.Social media censorship is biased against women. 

Social media algorithms have been shown to be biased, particularly when it comes to online content discussing women’s health. Because women’s bodies are inherently sexualised, educational content is often deemed inappropriate by algorithms and censored *eye roll*. This means we don’t get balanced data sets, or enough to even work with in the first place.

Why does social media research matter in FemTech?

The rise of social media has provided women with a space to share health experiences they may not have discussed in other social settings. This increase in conversation led to more education and consequently more innovation in women’s health and femtech. 

How can I get started?

If you’re unsure where to get started with your UX research, schedule an introductory call and receive your free discovery pack to get started today!

Download your discovery pack

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