Judit Nagy of MySpace & Tom H. C. Anderson Discuss Social Media Research

June 12, 2009
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Today I’m posting brief interview I conducted with Judit Nagy, Vice President, Consumer Insights MySpace/Fox Interactive Media. Judit is what I consider an SNS MR Guru, having conducted groundbreaking research on social media topics and publishing reports such as “Are You Game?” which covered comprehensive insights about the state of the gaming echo-system, as well as the “Never Ending Friending” study, about MySpace and the Social Networking digital landscape. Judit was recently honored in the innovation category at the ARF Great Minds Awards Ceremony.

Though the interview below is rather short, I’ve also been asked to contribute to the Trends Chapter (New sources and new research methods) section in ESOMAR’s 2009 Research Industry Report. I will be focusing on social media research and will include further discussions with Judit as well as research ideas from experts I know at FaceBook and LinkedIn. I plan to post a brief summary on the blog once the report is published next month.

Tom: Just so we’re on the same page, what is your definition of Social Network Services (SNS)?

Judit: Social Networking Services is all about multi-way communications. While in traditional online or

Today I’m posting brief interview I conducted with Judit Nagy, Vice President, Consumer Insights MySpace/Fox Interactive Media. Judit is what I consider an SNS MR Guru, having conducted groundbreaking research on social media topics and publishing reports such as “Are You Game?” which covered comprehensive insights about the state of the gaming echo-system, as well as the “Never Ending Friending” study, about MySpace and the Social Networking digital landscape. Judit was recently honored in the innovation category at the ARF Great Minds Awards Ceremony.

Though the interview below is rather short, I’ve also been asked to contribute to the Trends Chapter (New sources and new research methods) section in ESOMAR’s 2009 Research Industry Report. I will be focusing on social media research and will include further discussions with Judit as well as research ideas from experts I know at FaceBook and LinkedIn. I plan to post a brief summary on the blog once the report is published next month.

Tom: Just so we’re on the same page, what is your definition of Social Network Services (SNS)?

Judit: Social Networking Services is all about multi-way communications. While in traditional online or offline media we see one way communication methods, with Social Networking we see multi-level and immediate communication methods. Social networks is all about connecting, and getting immediate feedback on your communication messages, with a touch of human emotions, which will drive most conversations around the brand, or about any particular message. Overall, SNSs are here to progress, where immediacy, content, and emotions are the largest and heaviest drivers.

Tom: Everyone seems to use social networks a bit differently, have a different combination of preferred networks and often a different strategy on how to use each. May I ask which networks you personally use, and how your use of these differ?

Judit: I’m interested in learning about all SNS. My preferred SNS is MySpace, where I connect with friends and family, but I also registered for Twitter, lots of friends on Facebook and Linked-In as well.  We need to note that most SNSs site choices are being driven by others (meaning friends and family, their preferred networks) though surely you have a choice of preference, but, in most cases that might not be the SNS service which you use the most.

Tom: What do you think social network services might look like 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years from now?

Judit: They will get more immediate and more “complicated”. Mobile will play a very important role, and as with the Internet, once Broadband became affordable, engagement and usage sky rocketed, and in most age categories Internet became the leading media, measured based on average time spent with media. MySpace and other SNS will be more “on the go” and more unpredictable, and let’s not forget multi-tasking, heavy multi media usage accompanied with heavy SNS usage, the 360 anytime/anywhere media.

SNS will get more “personal” and the communication flow will be much faster and more immediate.

Tom: Marketers are currently struggling with how best to leverage web2.0 and especially social networks. Do you have any tips for them?

Judit: Marketing and advertising on SNS is a progress, which requires patience and time to understand all mechanisms. However, once there is an  understanding, advertisers can progress greatly about how much they customize their messaging and what importance SNS plays in their media or marketing funnel.

We know that we (SNS) can positively influence most areas of the purchase funnel, let it be awareness, purchase intent or brand recommendation and actual purchase; and we also know that SNS such as MySpace can create positive ROI for brands.

SNS can or could also play a role in CRM and how brands communicate with their consumers, and how they could better influence users’ opinion and what role brands can play in brand management and brand development. Brand communities play pivotal role for brands connecting with its consumers, and as one of our Never Ending Friending focus group respondent notes: “I want brand to be my friends”, which means that consumers would like to have common ideas, conversations and benefits delivered to them on their own terms.

Tom: In what ways do you think utilizing social networks for market research is different than current traditional online research?

Judit: Again, SNS can give immediate/”real-time” feedback to advertisers about their brands, and SNS will be able to give more in-depth, real time research than any other traditional methods.

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