Social Media and Political Communication - A Social Media Analytics Framework
Stieglitz Stefan, Dang-Xuan Linh
In recent years, social media are said to have an impact on the public discourse and communication in the society. In particular, social media are increasingly used in political context. More recently, microblogging services (e.g., Twitter) and social network sites (e.g., Facebook) are believed to have the potential for increasing political participation. While Twitter is an ideal platform for users to spread not only information in general but also political opinions publicly through their networks, political institutions (e.g., politicians, political parties, political foundations, etc.) have also begun to use Facebook pages or groups for the purpose of entering into direct dialogues with citizens and enabling political discussions. Previous studies have shown that from the perspective of political institutions, there is a need to continuously collect, monitor, analyze, summarize, and visualize politically relevant information from social media. These activities, which are subsumed under “social media analytics,” are considered difficult tasks due to a large numbers of different social media platforms and large amount as well as complexity of information and data. Systematic tracking and analysis approaches along with appropriate methods and techniques in political domain are still lacking. In this paper, we propose a framework for social media analytics in political context. More specifically, our framework summarizes different politically relevant analyses from the perspective of political institutions and according scientific methodologies that could be applied to analyze political communication in social media.
social media; social media analytics; framework; political communication