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Since
the rise of social media usage in the last decade, people have been
seeking to gain information from the crowd as an additional source to
traditional media.
common
to many of them. Because of the amount of the content produced daily
and the number of active users on the platforms, organizations are
motivated to understand which issues and trends evolve to recognize
risks and chances in the communication and derive useful
implications. In addition the amount of content, it is also relevant
for organizations to understand who creates the content and which
actors are the most significant drivers in the communication. Both
businesses and non-profit organizations seek to collect the data
produced by the crowd in order to gain insights into mass
communication. The data is often collected with tools which
communicate with the respective API of the social media platform, if
one exists, and crawl the data.
Among
others, three domains in which social media is important and
generates visible benefits are 1) in businesses, in 2) crisis
communication, mainly in disaster management, and in 3) journalism
and political communication.
Crisis
communication research is an example of a field where social media
data has had an impact. Social media is often used as a channel for
emergency management agencies to inform people in an affected area on
the current status of the respective crisis or how to behave
(Liu,2015).
Finally,
social media platforms have been recognized in recent years as
sources of data on political communication and for journalism and
also uses for freedom of speech. People debate on current issues and
further actions of politicians and discuss the consequences.
Overall,
it can be stated that social media analytics is a highly complex
process with different aspects regarding the respective application
domain and the use of different methods. It is therefore useful and
necessary to standardize this phenomenon to a process model,
considering
each step.

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