[Please feel free to modify/reuse this assignment in your class]
Sample Social Media Analytics Assignment
An Organizational Comparative Analysis
- Objective 1: To introduce students to the application of social network analysis to a variety of sectors.
- Objective 2: To help students explore multiple social media platforms for data collection.
- Objective 3: To encourage students to think critically about how organizations use social media as a communications tool and compare network patterns among similar sector entities.
Software: Netlytic (https://netlytic.org)
Software Documentation (Videos and Guides): https://netlytic.org/home/?page_id=11280
Data source: Publically available social media data from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. Datasets for this assignment will be collected by students using Netlytic.
- Review two case studies of applying social media analytics using both text and network analysis available in Netlytic:
- Students will select two companies/organizations/groups to conduct a comparative analysis of social networks by examining social media activity.
- Identify 2 relevant social media platforms used by both entities and use Netlytic to collect publicly available social media data (e.g., Twitter messages, Facebook page posts, etc.).
- Conduct text and network analysis of each platforms used by the organizations. Students will end up with a set of interactive visualizations to investigate the similarities and differences between the content discussed and social networks developed among each organization.
- Finally, use the resulting visualizations to prepare a final report (~5-10 pages). The written project report should be submitted electronically via the course website. The report template will be provided by the instructor. You may wish to consider the following questions in your analysis:
- What are the popular topics occurring in the conversation? Is there crossover between the two organizations you’ve selected to explore?
- Do the conversations have a negative or positive connotation? What categories were popular? Where any categories that appeared surprising? Can any similarities be draw between both organizations
- How did topics change over time for both organizations? Did changes occur in relation to specific organization events or campaigns?
- Compare the networks for each organization. How are they similar? Different?
- What is the organization’s role in the network? Are they central to leading discussions? Is there two-way communication between the organization and other participants?
- Discuss and compare the network properties for each organization. (e.g. diameter, density, reciprocity, centralization, modularity.
- Present the project results in class in a form of “lightning talk” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_talk). The presentation should be based on the results to be discussed in your final report. Each student will have 3 minutes to summarize their findings. The presentation should be accompanied by up to 3 Power Point slides saved as PDF and submitted electronically via the course website 24 hours before the oral presentation.