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Social Media Analytics: Using Data to Understand Public Conversations

How can you discover what’s being said about the things that matter to you on social media platforms, including Twitter?

39,464 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Learn how to use powerful digital tools to analyse conversations on Twitter.

What are tweets and the cultural politics of Twitter? Learn to use TAGS and discuss the implications of accessing social media data.

What are the pros and cons of analysing social media data in real time? Learn how to use Tableau to analyse data, identify trends and patterns and explore how social media have been used in times of crisis and during political campaigns.

During this social media analytics course, you will use Gephi to visualise data networks, discuss the benefits of using digital tools to analyse social media data and consider how such analyses may be supported by other methods.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Jean: Social media can feel noisy. How can we get beyond the day to day to see the big picture? What if you could unlock the meaning behind all the noise? How can we reveal the conversations inside the huge amounts of data we generate everyday?

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 seconds Axel: Maybe you’re an activist who wants to know who’s saying what about climate change, or you want to know what people really think about your product or service. Digital methods can help you discover a whole world of meaningful data, and make sense of it, no matter what you’re interested in. What will you find?

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds Tim: This course will take you through a step-by-step approach to making sense of social media conversations on Twitter. From forming a research question to visualising your data, your quest will be to find answers that are personally meaningful to you. You will learn these tools and techniques from world leaders in social media research, based at the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT. We will share real case studies in politics, crises and other events we’ve studied using social data.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds We’ll also look at the big picture: what is the value of social media? What does it mean to our everyday lives? What are the implications? You will be able to share your own ideas and work with your peers, and use what you learn in your life beyond this course.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds Axel: It’s about you being part of conversations and understanding those conversations.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds Jean: Join us, and start making sense of social media.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds Welcome to Social Media Analytics: Using Data to Understand Public Conversations.

What topics will you cover?

  • The role and structures of social media conversations
  • Methods for and implications of gathering data
  • Key metrics used for analysing Twitter
  • Methods for identifying trends in social data
  • The theory of social networks
  • Methods for creating and interpreting data visualisations

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Access social media data and understand the ethical implications of doing this
  • Apply digital methods to recognise and explain the significance of patterns in social data
  • Create data visualisations and use them to identify features of social networks
  • Draw personally relevant conclusions about social media that apply beyond the course

Who is the course for?

This social media analytics course is for anyone who wants to develop a critical understanding of how digital media are used and gain skills using three digital tools. This course will allow learners without coding skills to access, analyse and visualise their own social media data.

What software or tools do you need?

Everything you need to succeed in this course is provided or can be downloaded for free. There is no special prior experience or knowledge required to join in. To make the most of this course, you will need to:

  • install or access TAGS, Tableau and Gephi
  • use a laptop or desktop computer so you can install and complete activities with these tools
  • ensure you have both a Google and Twitter account.

We will guide you through the set-up of these tools, step by step, as you progress through the content of the course. Using these tools will really give you a powerful learning experience, letting you explore your own interests and put the theory to the test.

What do people say about this course?

"I've learned a lot about networks and social media. Also about the topic of my research on political discussion and networks on social media, I started off with a question that was very broad and learned a lot from taking a little stab at it and seeing how the research unfolded. I definitely want to continue what I've started!"

Who will you learn with?

Director of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. Professor of Digital Media. Expert in the uses and politics of social media, as well as new digital methods for studying them. http://goo.gl/fhAoiv

Professor in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. President of the Association of Internet Researchers. Expert on the impact of user-led content creation and participation. http://goo.gl/NQD9Cy

Who developed the course?

Queensland University of Technology

QUT is a leading Australian university ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide by the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Located in Brisbane, it attracts over 50,000 students.

  • Established

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 180Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

Endorsers and supporters

content provided by

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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