"Focus groups used to be the gold standard for gathering information, but Twitter is turning things around to the point where naturally occurring conversations can tell us even more," says Susannah Fox, associate director at the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
Fox says recent social media conferences she has attended reflect the attention being paid to Twitter by government entities, consumer products companies and the health care sector.
"Pharmaceutical companies can hear the conversations patients are having about their products, which is also a challenge because you need to consider the legal implications of adverse effects," she says. "But overall, the sense from these companies is, 'We'd rather know than not know.' "Read More