Social Media Data and Conflict
Posted by Donald Ellis
The issue of social media and political conflict is relatively under studied and the site for important research. Actually, my next book project will be about social media and conflict. But first we have to look at some demographic data to learn more about how these media are being used. The data below come from here. First a few bullet points of brief explanation.
- Instagram has become the most approachable social media network
- No surprise to anyone, Pinterest has a primary demographic of women.
- If you’re looking to capture the attention of the young and upcoming generation of Internet users, get creative with Snapchat, Vine, and Tumblr.
- LinkedIn is great for B2B, which is also no big surprise. One area that is often overlooked with LinkedIn is education and high-level professional marketing. LinkedIn has the most highly educated and high-income users consisting of 44% Americans with an average income of $75,000 or greater.
- Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest most particularly are not aging well. They aren’t holding on to their users or engagement. They aren’t capturing the younger generation and their attempts to do so are failing.
- Twitter has stood the test of the time better than other older social networks.
- For how recent Pinterest experienced their massive growth, they just as quickly experienced complete indifference from their once excited users.
- Facebook seems to be the way everyone stays in touch, but the social network fewer and fewer people actually use. The anticipation of how they will maintain popularity or what brilliant idea may replace Facebook keeps us all on the edge of our virtual seats.
We must consider how information is delivered across each of those networks.
Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have nearly the same demographic numbers according to this graph, but they are entirely different social media networks.
Facebook has a sense of consistency, but a problem of actually getting your content seen.
Twitter is a mayhem of hundreds of posts per second, yet they are becoming increasingly visual and you can practically do no wrong. With Twitter, you can post 10-15 times a day and only be seen once by a follower.
Google+ has a more technical and international demographic. Google+ readers tend to connect to Google+ at the same time of day that they connect to their personal email accounts—briefly in the morning and most certainly at night.
While each of these networks appear to be practically the same, they all have their perks and deliver information very differently. Just the same, many users exist across all three of these popular networks, but almost everyone has just one favorite. It is important to speak to your demographic across each of these channels to reach them in their time, in their way, and the way they expect to hear from you.
The data from above isall basic business demographics designed primarily to market products. But if we extrapolate its political implications remain pretty interesting. I will be quick here because we will take up this issue in future posts. But, for example, new digital media allows us to “meme track.” Meme tracking is identifying the flow of the specific concept to determine its movement from individual to individual and its influence. Phrases and words can be tracked across different electronic media and help answer the question of whether or not ideas move from the blogosphere to the mainstream media or vice versa. Meme tracking has implications for conflict resolution as well as understanding how ideas are taking shape in influencing the initiation of conflict. The future post will explain in more detail how this occurs.