What is social media analytics?

Source : Google


Social media analytic is using data analysis tools and methods while highlighting humanity (human’s feelings, behaviors and etc.) on social media data. It is a data analysis process on large amount of social media data and it draws specific patterns from the data for certain applications. It is not merely data mining or data analysis technology, actually it also cares about humanity.

2.Key components

2.1 Social media

Social media is the data source of social media analytic. It contains various of modern communication tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, Wechat and etc., which enable people to share their opinions, feelings, and even daily life with others. Social media is quite different from traditional media, like broadcast and television, since it is user-based (users generate information) whereas the traditional media is center-controlled.

2.2 Data analysis

Data analysis involves the technologies or methods in analyzing social media data. According to Wikipedia, it is about inspecting, cleaning and modeling data, with the purpose of discovering useful information aiding in decision-making.

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_analysis

2.3 Human-based

Human-based is the core of social media analytic. It means taking care of humanity, meeting people’s need and safeguarding people’s benefit. As we know, social media involves with social network (people) and it is human that generate all the social media data. Therefore, focusing on human can bring ‘temperature’ to the data analysis work: we are doing data analysis for human, either by providing them some beneficial suggestions or by satisfying their certain needs.

2. Procedure

Source : Google

3. Example

3.1 Food price prediction with social media signals

The research team explored using Twitter data to estimate real-time food price in Indonesia. The hypothesis was that food price variation could be modeled by the prices reported in Twitter and current price of a commodity might be inferred by its price the day before. The results showed that modeled prices of four commodities (beef, chicken, onion and chili) closely approximated the official food prices.

Source : https://www.unglobalpulse.org/projects/nowcasting-food-prices

3.2 Sentimental analysis on Wechat

People tend to express their opinions or feelings on Wechat. By collecting and analyzing these data, we can know public’s attitude towards current hot spots, such like Wuhan influenza, which might help the government to take corresponding measures.

What is social media analytics?》有11个想法

  1. Some personal points of view on two parts which have been mentioned in your articles. One is “Human-based” and the other is “Sentimental analysis on Wechat”.
    Social network analysis is a tool that needs to serve human beings so called “Human-based”. However, for example, collecting the user’s post and pictures in WeChat and carrying out sentiment analysis itself may be contrary to the user’s own wishes. It is indeed very contradictory, because the use of social network analysis is based on the collection of personal behavior information of users in order to analyze and summarize the big premise. However, the collection of personal behavior characteristics of users also makes many users feel uncomfortable and even dissatisfied. How to balance the two is one thing worth thinking about.

    1. Yes, I strongly support your idea. Social media, like Wechat and Facebook, contain so much users’ personal privacy. I remembered that someone once thought the workers in Wechat might look his chat records, and he sued the Tencent company. Perhaps, company like Tencent have published some restriction to its workers to protect users’ privacy. But, there does exist some information on social media that everyone can use. In Twitter and Weibo, users’ posts are accessible to the public, which enable us to collect these data and do some analysis, like sentimental analysis. I per your opinion, “How to balance the two is one thing worth thinking about”. Maybe, the government should also participate in the social media privacy management.

  2. This is a clear and accurate introduction to SMA!
    You pointed out an opinion I should never ignore. Besides technology, SMA is also cares about humanity. And you gave lots of examples throughout the whole introduction so that we can better understand.
    Your blog convinced me that sometimes it’s a good idea to use a figure to explain a specific procedure. In a blog, vivid and brief descriptions are more readable than complicated content
    You mentioned that we can know public’s attitude about Wuhan influenza. I feel so sad when I see so many people are suffering in Wuhan…terrible tragedy. Anyway, I always believe everything will get better soon.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement. I just talked about the SMA in high level. There are many aspects that my blog does not cover, such like the classification of the technologies used in SMA. Actually, I learned a lot from your blog. Perhaps, readers can first read my blog to know the overall information about SMA, and then, you can further improve their outlook by reading your blog, which excellently shows the technology about SMA.

  3. I really adore your blog style since the structure of article is so clear and logical. Especially, you set vivid and concrete examples to help readers have a better understanding of social network analytics. Also, when it comes to your content, discussion about human-based is my favorite. It adds some warmness. I like that!

    1. Yes, I really support your opinion. In the past, I just think that SMA is purely a work of technology; students only need to master the relevant programming skills. However, after Prof. Chan’s course, I got to know that human factors can never be ignored in SMA. Just like your words, “It adds some warmness” to SMA. By focusing on human, perhaps, the data analysis can be more useful and solve people’s problem in practice.

  4. Hello Lucky! I love the structure of your blog so much which gives me a clear understanding of what SMA is. First of all, the definition in the first part perfectly explains the meaning of the term. In addition, the key components in part ii explain the members on which SMA depends from three perspectives, which are very precise and very impressive. What struck me more about your blog was the last section, where you used two practical examples of food price forecasting and semantic analysis of WeChat to explain SMA, which helps me understand the usage of SMA better. However, it seems there are some little problems in the serial number and the picture part. But it did not influence the quality of your blog. Look forward to your next one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you for your encouragement. From my past experience, I feel that a clear structure might help others to understand a new concept. In my bachelor period, I was a medical student and always needed to memorize large amount of books. Making knowledge in order and reducing the “entropy” of knowledge might be better for long term memory. Besides, thanks for finding the serial number problem in my blog.

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