The leading trade organization for market research professionals — CASRO — published guidelines for anyone conducting market research in social media.
The President of CASRO told research magazine that, “These are not mandated standards. We expect these guidelines will evolve based on changes in the social media environment and research industry. As such, comments, additions and edits are welcome and will be given careful consideration by our task force.”
There has been significant debate in the research community regarding the need for guidelines and standards in social media research. In particular, many researchers argue that such research is unethical without express consent of the consumers whose conversations are analysed. Others argue that any publicly available data is OK to use in market research.
Read CASROs guidelines here.
My employer, Converseon, is an active member in CASRO.