Social Media Analysis

Social media plays a key role in the daily work of mass communication professionals.  The practice of social media leaves an extensive data trail that provides opportunities for both learning about and engaging with audiences.  In this class, we will focus on the growing practice of social media analytics and how to use those analytics to create compelling content and more effectively interact with audiences.

Collect: In this course, we will learn how to examine millions of users and their posts online and how to manage those queries at scale.  We will use a wide range of tools from proprietary and syndicated social media dashboards such as Crimson Hexagon and BrandWatch to freely available open source software such as the Twitter Capture and Analysis Tool (TCAT) to our own social media panel we developed here at LSU.

Analyze: We will help you make a conceptual shift from thinking about groups of primarily passive audiences to networked individuals who consume, create and exchange content.  This shift calls for a focus on patterns of interactions among users on social media to identifying networks and influential users within topics.  For analytics, we will use tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Signal, Twitter Analytics, Studio, Excel and NodeXL (for network analysis).

Visualize: Students will learn how to visualize the big data generated by social media using Studio, Gephi and NodeXL to identify trends, to show prominent networks and to provide quickly actionable data.

Interpret: Students will learn how to use social network and sentiment analysis to find influential users and understand information flows to leverage messages.

Create: Students will use analytics to create compelling content.  Using the full knowledge gained from sentiment and network analysis, students will learn how to create unique and compelling content that increases sharing interactions with social media users.  They will use this knowledge to evaluate a social media presence of a client of their choice and to create a social media playbook of strategies, tactics and content for that client.