Search, collect and analyse social media for data to inform your research.

Social media platforms allow users to create and share content. The content can include text, images, video and audio. There are a range of sites that contain social media content, including blogs, forums, image and video sharing sites, and platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Many news sites allow users to post comments and are, therefore, a source of social media data.

Search social media to find:

  • public knowledge and awareness
  • opinions or developing ideas
  • reactions to events
  • social trends
  • key people in different fields - researchers use social media to disseminate and comment on their research.

Comprehensive, systematic searches of social media platforms can be challenging due to the:

  • vast amounts of data
  • limits of the search tools available
  • use of non-standard terminology and expressions
  • poorly described audio and video.

Check our guide on planning your search before you start. Think about the main concepts and identify synonyms, terminology variations and different spellings for the topics you are researching.