Porsche Research Rally: Can social media research replace traditional research methods?

Martin Einhorn, Michael Löffler
Porsche AG, Germany
Olaf Hofmann
SKOPOS GmbH & Co. KG, Germany


The amount of user-generated content (UGC) in social media is rising constantly. More and more consumers exchange their product and brand experiences using social media platforms. For this reason an in-depth analysis of content in social media seems to be an attractive alternative to traditional research methods because data is already available and at first glance it only has to be analyzed. This international market research project examines whether and to what extent social media analysis is able to provide valid results to specific research questions.


The overall objectives of repeating a traditional research project via social media analysis were to answer these questions:

  • Is social media analysis able to provide valid results to specific research questions and – if so – to what extent?
  • In what cases does social media analysis replace traditional research methods and when does it reach its limitations?
  • Can social media research deliver additional insights into a pre-defined research topic like the customer journey of a premium car manufacturer?