The news media often drives consumer conversation, but does not account for perception. This is why a view from both sides is so essential. Since social media users are susceptible to the spread of false narratives, which in turn influence others, brands must know how to parse the talking points in order to navigate the conversation with precision.
Since it’s one of the most highly visible topics this year, we’ll look at using consumer and market intelligence to dive into healthcare narratives by focusing on:
- Healthcare concerns and conspiracies
- Source tiers and talking points
- Quid Social for capturing consumer reactions
Underscoring the importance of diligent market research, here are some unsettling facts we uncovered that are relevant to your brand no matter what industry you’re in:
- A study of Twitter rumors from 2006-2017 found that “falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information.”
- The deliberate spread of health-related disinformation on social media is ongoing and poses a threat to public health by undermining public trust according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health.
- Prior to social media, writers and journalists of top-tier publications primarily acted as a gate-keeper that hedged against the spread of misinformation, whereas social media enables the spread of false information and risk.
You may not want to bring any of this up at Thanksgiving dinner, but you certainly need to dive into it in the boardroom.
Healthcare Concerns & Conspiracies
Throughout the pandemic people have turned to the internet to disseminate and gather information. Science didn’t have the luxury of having all the answers prior to COVID, and some have voiced their frustrations online over the lack, veracity or changes in information available to the public over time.
Therefore, the online narrative is rife with both concerns over healthcare, intertwined with alleged conspiracy theorists and those who seek to call them out. With the goal of gaining both consumer and market intelligence, we’ll compare and contrast both the news media conversation against the social media narrative.
With a focus on COVID, below is the healthcare conversation pulled from the news and blogs dataset in Quid Pro.
You’ll notice that a large part of the conversation touches on the talking points around vaccines -with some conspiracy theory clusters thrown in for good measure. Next, we’ll pull up the same conversation in Quid Social to take a look at the differences on the consumer side.
The social conversation is super dense and highly interconnected with more diverse talking points. Herd immunity takes the lead followed closely by the general healthcare conversation. Also, of note here are the variety of clustered conversations with conspiratorial buzzwords like: big pharma, anti-vax and fake news.
To better understand the contrast between the news media and social conversations surrounding conspiracy theories, we’ll bring those conversations to the forefront using tags. Here is the above conversation filtered as such.
Slicing down between healthcare concerns and conspiracies in this way reveals a much more manageable point from which to understand the social conversation. Clusters dealing with conspiracy topics make up 19.32%, and though mostly existing on the periphery, are still generally entangled into the general social conversation.
Below we’ll do the same thing with the news media analysis.
As you can see, the topic clusters are much less diverse in the news dataset. They make up 14.9% of the conversation – while exhibiting much less interconnectivity with the general dialogue. Let’s dig in a little more.
Source Tiers & Talking Points
In the news and blogs dataset, a great way to further dive into the quality of information returned is to filter by source quality which sorts by top-tier, mid-tier/niche and other. Ethics being the antithesis of conspiracy, we added in the clusters contained in our ethics tag for comparison which totaled 13.9% of the general conversation.
Top and mid-tier conversations take up 71% of the conversation here, while ‘other’ news sources make up 28%. News coming in from the ‘other’ category isn’t always untrustworthy per se, and very well may include information on chemtrails and satanic activity. Your mileage may vary.
Here, we put the above in a bar chart to better understand our source quality percentages. Notice the conspiracy theories cluster is made up of the most questionable sources at 54%, while the COVID vaccine ethics cluster has the smallest level at 21%.
Pulling the ethics and conspiracy conversations into a bar chart on the social side of things reveals the disparity in the narratives.
Using fully stacked bars to compare the two, we can see the majority of the conspiracy conversation happening on Twitter, whereas the volume of ethics concerns happening on blogs may have been overlooked had we not taken a closer look.
Now that we’ve parsed our healthcare conversation in pursuit of our interests in ethics and conspiracies; and we know where both our social and media conversations are coming from, let’s zoom in for a couple more insights on the social side of things.
Quid Social Captures Consumer Reactions
Market research that sheds light on consumer and market intelligence is critical to navigate the minefield of social conversations like the one we have here. And Quid Social is built to do just that. For instance, say your company produces cloud-based solutions in the healthcare industry; then you need to understand the consumer sentiment behind the 5G technology cluster.
And also slice down to the conversations around the key opinion leaders mentioned therein.
And whatever data your brand is extracting from the social conversation, the ability to track those changes over time is invaluable in your decision-making process.
The healthcare conversation is full of people looking for answers. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there as well. The ability to dive into the online conversation quickly is a game-changer for brands to avoid pitfalls of their own, while bringing creative solutions to consumers. And at the speed of online these days, you need best-in-class market research tools to do it.
Simply put, Quid Social kickstarts your market research for actionable consumer intelligence through the power of next generation artificial intelligence (AI). And Quid Pro sifts through millions of news articles giving you data-driven market intelligence that performs.
As you can see here, combining them both gives your market research a two-pronged approach that leaves no stone unturned. Are you ready to be the most informed brand in your category? Be sure to reach out for a demo and we’ll help you fire up your market research game!