Research

Social Media

Using social media and data to deliver on organizational strategies

The new social media ecosystem radically lowers the costs to develop and deploy social networks, create and share content, collaborate, and even organize collective action. As an information system, it is unmatched in volume, speed, and reach. As a socio-technical system, it is malleable and not amenable to centralized control. It poses new challenges in security, privacy and intellectual property rights. Its complexity challenges both academics and other professionals to re-examine how we access and analyze big data and apply information to practical problems.

Organizations are integrating social media into their marketing and communication strategies; utilizing technology platforms for social good; leveraging partners for innovating products and services; improving workforce collaboration and efficiencies; building customer communities and crowd-sourced customer support systems; and monitoring their reputation as people increasingly share their experiences online.

The iSchool’s research can help organizations harness the power of social media for more effective collaboration within work teams or by engaging customers in order to evaluate the success of product/service offerings.

Applicability

The iSchool’s expertise and research in social media can assist organizations in the following ways:

  • Using social media as a collaboration platform and for shared data
  • Crowdsourcing help solutions for customers
  • Integrating multiple social media platforms to communicate to customers, partners and employees
  • Analyzing data from social media sources to identify issues and opportunities
  • Understanding the user experience
  • Improving organizational impact by transitioning operations and leadership to social/open technology platforms

Projects and Research

Visualizing Social Media Information
The iSchool is developing a tool-kit that researchers and organizations can use to analyze, visualize and apply findings from massive amounts of social media content. The analysis gives insights into virality, the life cycle of interest networks and the dynamic behaviors of network/information gatekeepers. The Social Media Lab recently won a large grant to support this effort.

Wiki Display
An iSchool-developed tool allows users to quickly display information that is otherwise scattered amongst millions of Wikipedia pages.

Virtual Work Teams
As more and more businesses try to leverage the Internet and social media platforms for distributed work teams, the iSchool is conducting research to understand what work processes and online tools have the best outcomes.

Faculty Experts

Bob Boiko
Katie Davis
Bob Larson
Bob Mason
David McDonald
Karine Nahon
Wanda Pratt
Jochen Scholl
Emma Spiro