The widespread adoption of social media platforms has provided scholars with numerous opportunities for research. The massive amount of data gathered and processed by social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter is an unprecedented source of freely available information. More importantly, due to its diverse and multifaceted nature, the information from social media platforms can be applied to a broad range of social sciences and reach conclusions useful for multiple fields. For example, one of the findings by Goel, Hofman, and Sirer (2012) suggests that there is a strong relationship between the patterns of browsing history and certain attributes of the users, such as ethnicity and household income.
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Aside from the advantages offered by these findings in the marketing sphere, the obtained information could be applied to improving the accessibility and efficiency of various public policies. Besides, such insight into principles of online behavior improves the understanding of the mechanisms behind the effectiveness of increased access to information and, by extension, public health trends. The easiest example of the latter is ChatterGrabber, a data processing toolset used for public health surveillance. In addition to the advantages detailed above, ChatterGrabber offers several unique opportunities for public health agencies. First, it does not require the impacted population to seek help to retrieve the data, thus eliminating the constraints of the formal procedures. Therefore, the immediacy of the data and the responsive capacity of the agencies increase dramatically. Second, it offers immense coverage of symptoms and signs related to the specified condition.
From the information above it becomes apparent that the opportunities offered by social media trend processing are enormous. While the necessary tools are currently in the early stage of development, it is reasonable to expect numerous enhancements in social sciences and public health associated with them in the nearest future.
The abundance of features and functions of Hootsuite can definitely be a problem for new users. The tool is compatible with a wide range of social media platforms, which necessitates a certain degree of complexity. Considering this, it is possible to describe the resulting diversity of features and means of control as “acceptable.” Besides, once the user becomes familiar with the tool’s functions, the said complexity turns into an advantage and can dramatically improve the effectiveness of use. For example, the tool provides two possible ways of communication – through inbound interactions (i.e. directly within the suite) or through one of many third-party solutions integrated into the platform. For the new user, this will likely look confusing and may lead to some mechanical errors. However, once this aspect is mastered, it allows saving time on managing different sources and increases the speed of response, which can be crucial for some organizations.
Another example is the number of streams that can be monitored by the tool within each resource, ranging from obvious ones such as hashtags and mentions to more sophisticated ones like feds of the competitors (Hootsuite, n.d.). For the new user, such diversity will certainly pose a problem and make the learning curve much steeper. In some cases, the users will not even need all of these functions and will perceive them as distractions. However, once mastered, the tracking of streams increases the responsiveness of the company and enhances the monitoring possibilities of the operator. Besides, some of the stream monitoring aspects are enhanced with functions that the new user will probably not even notice, such as automatic and manual scheduling of responses to mentions. A seasoned user, on the other hand, will be able to make use of the said features. Therefore, the experience of using Hootsuite will improve over time.
Goel, S., Hofman, J. M., & Sirer, M. I. (2012). Who does what on the web: A large-scale study of browsing behavior. Web.
Hootsuite. (n.d.). Analytics. Web.