The emergence of social media has transformed the way people communicate online, providing forums in which we express opinions about products, policies, people and everything else that affects our lives.

Market researchers have devised and applied myriad technologies and techniques–including the creation of research communities, blog mining, text analytics, etc.–in an effort to observe and interact with individuals and extract sentiments expressed within this popular medium.

With unique formats, behavior systems, terminologies and varied expectations of privacy, the social media space requires a specific set of guidelines for research organizations determined to glean market intelligence data from it. It is the intent of the CASRO Social Media Research Guidelines to provide such a framework. These guidelines describe the social media space and provide contemporary guidance for research organizations. They also acknowledge that the online space is a dynamic environment and they thus seek to establish continuing ethical principles that research organizations can apply to specific technologies and methods as they emerge and develop, rather than to provide detailed rules governing precise methodologies.

CASRO Social Media Guidelines. October 2011.