It is a fascinating time to be engaged in social media analysis. As people today create increasingly more data through social media channels, companies, government and academia have little choice but to engage with it to further enhance consumer experiences, create better products and services and understand human behaviour online and offline.
Scott Keeter, the director of survey research for the Pew Research Center in Washinton, D.C., echoed this in a post from The Numbers Guy blog; "At no time in history has so much of the public's discussion...been so accessible to a wide audience and available for systematic analysis...we are just at the very beginning in understanding what's possible".
I have been analysing and interpreting social media content for a long time, before Twitter and YouTube became integral parts of our culture, and I think that as a community, the time is right to explore the boundaries of social media analysis further:
- How do people in different industry sectors analyse social media and to what end?
- What new technologies and methodologies are most effective for different industry organisations and why?
- What effect will Big Data have on social media analysis?
- How can such insight be more tightly incorporated into business and organisational strategy?
- How could approaches like gamification, user experience research and psychological approaches be incorporated with other methods like social network analysis, NLP and sentiment analysis?
If we, as a community of researchers, marketers, journalists, data scientists, market researchers, etc., start engaging with these questions, then I think that we'll get closer to exploring the future of social media analysis which will ultimately be, in my mind, a more multidisciplinary, socio-technical and markedly more profound way of understanding social media data and human behaviour.
Join us for a day-long Insight 2.0: The Future of Social Media conference and networking event in London on Friday 27 April 2012 bringing together experts from academia, business and the third sector on the ways social media analysis can be applied more intelligently and creatively.