Frequently Asked Questions

The Social Habit is a new syndicated research series from Edison Research. The series involves a regular (at least quarterly) survey of the social networking habits of a sample of 3,000 Americans 12+, all of whom have a profile on one or more social networking sites. The series will provide companies, brands, agencies and consultants with the highest quality consumer behavior and decision support data about the habits and behaviors of social networkers, including how and why they use various platforms, how social networking has influenced offline behavior, and where social interactions intersect and influence purchase behavior.

Companies and persons interested in buying The Social Habit data will have three options (as detailed further on our Pricing page):

  1. A copy of the report, delivered in conjunction with a three-hour online event featuring a full presentation of the data, analysis and insights from Edison and its partners, and a comprehensive, live Q&A.
  2. The report and event, plus a copy of the raw data tables so that customers can mine their own insights or query the data beyond what is presented in the main report, plus a consulting call OR private webinar for your company.
  3. All of the above, plus the option to purchase one or more questions--to learn, for instance, how users of a particular brand interact on social media.


The Social Habit is a research product designed and developed by Edison Research, a leading custom market research firm best known as the sole providers of election exit polling for all US television news networks and the Associated Press for the past 10 years. Edison has an 18-year history of providing custom market research for companies, brands, media properties, government agencies and non-profit organizations. The Edison research team is world-renowned for their methodological rigor and uncompromising standards in survey research. Since Edison Research began conducting exit polls for the National Election Pool in 2003, the news organizations using the Edison data have not made a single mistake in deciding a winner in any race. Edison uses a high standard of care in making sure that the information and analysis that we provide all of our clients--including those of The Social Habit--is accurate.


Tom Webster is the Vice President, Strategy for Edison Research and the principal author of the previous Edison studies in social media research. He is a 20-year market research veteran who has conducted studies all across the world for companies such as Google, Pandora and The Associated Press. He has presented research from Edison in the field (including The Social Habit 2009-2011, The Smartphone Consumer Revealed, The Infinite Dial and many others) all around the globe at events such as The Advertising Research Foundation Annual Conference, The Council for American Survey Researchers, The National Association of Broadcasters, and the Blogworld/New Media Expo.

Webster is the author of the popular social media research blog BrandSavant, and will be directing the research efforts for the Social Habit on behalf of Edison.

Jay Baer, Jason Falls and Mark Schaefer are leading social media and marketing consultants who have been brought in as partners in this venture. While the research operations will be handled solely by Edison, these three partners will contribute by providing topical guidance for areas of inquiry, promotional and marketing assistance, and their experience on the back end with the insights and analysis this series will generate. They will additionally provide their own individual insights on the data in the online presentation of results, as well as contribute consulting time for those clients who purchase the second or third tier package (for more, visit our Pricing page).


Edison uses a panel of millions of Americans from which to pull each sample for the Social Habit, and we strictly adhere to the guidelines of the gold standard for survey research, the Council of American Survey Researchers Code of Standards and Ethics. Our panel is managed by the highly prestigious Survey Sampling International, and uses a science-based approach incorporating unique processes to enhance quality and reduce bias--including multiple points of randomization, real-time dynamic profiling, sophisticated screening questions, and a stable blend of sources to ensure valid and consistent results. All data will be strictly weighted and balanced to reflect nationally representative data from Edison Research on social networking demographics, and will pass the same rigorous quality control standards that all of our custom research clients enjoy.

For questions asked to the total sample of 3,000, the margin of error is +/- 1.79 at a 95% confidence interval. That means that if we were to repeat the survey 100 times, 95 of those times the answers would be within 1.79 either way. Sampling is magic. The best analogy here is to think about making soup. If the soup is well stirred, you only need a spoonful of it to know that it needs more salt. You do not need to taste the whole soup. So it goes with survey research. Edison makes sure the soup is well-stirred.


It is true that there is no shortage of free data on the social web. However, proper sampling costs money, and to be able to project the results of a given survey or research study on to the population (or, better yet, your customers) is generally not possible if that data has been obtained through the use of self-selected online polls. The Social Habit will provide data that can indeed be projected to the online population of social networking users. More importantly, with the purchase of one or more custom questions, the data can be projected to your company, your clients and/or your prospects. Finally, with all of the pricing tiers, Social Habit customers will gain access to the insights of some of the leading thinkers in social media: Tom Webster, Jay Baer, Jason Falls and Mark Schaefer, as well as custom guidance and interpretation at an unprecedented price.

We think there is a lot of value in The Social Habit, and we think you will too.


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