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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Using social media to gather and analyse data

Using social media within your public engagement activity/project can be an effective way to gather and analyse data.  

Here are some suggested steps for using Twitter:

1. You promote your engagement activity/event via your project Twitter account (using a #hashtag)

2. You, or one of your team (if you have one!) are live tweeting during the activity itself

3. After the event, you use Twitter analytics to check the reach of your activity among your target audience.  You can explore:

Who engaged?

What was retweeted? - extent of retweets - most retweeted post etc.

What kind of interactions were taking place within the tweets?

4. What does this tell you?

Were your aims achieved?

Has anything unexpected come to light?

What would you change or adjust if you were to repeat the activity again?

What scope is there to continue the dialogue?

5. Congratulations - you have used social media analytics as data to evaluate your public engagement work!

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