Social Media Analytics

Marshall Sponder

Published by

McGraw Hill





Reviewed by

Dean Burnell MBCS


8 out of 10

Social media has become increasingly important over the last few years, yet it is a medium that many struggle to understand, let alone predict. In the future, failure to harness the power of this medium is likely to mean the difference between success and failure for any business enterprise.

This book attempts to describe the best ways of mining and analysing information from social media to improve understanding of customer behaviour and help businesses be more effective in their marketing and public relations initiatives.

The book considers a broad spectrum of online social media from the standard social networks (Facebook et al) to virtual worlds and micro-blogging. It is broken down into 12 easily digestible chapters covering essential questions such as:

  • how do you determine the value of social media?
  • how do you extract the information you need from all the noise in cyberspace?
  • how do you determine the ‘worth’ of nodes within a social network if you are to plan a marketing campaign?

Many of the themes in the book relate to established fields of computer science such as natural language processing, sentiment analysis and opinion mining. The book considers the state of the art of these fields and predicts where these may develop in the future, partly driven by business appetite to analyse information to gain a competitive edge.

The book highlights the difficulty in providing multicultural models for social analytics due to the different perspectives cultures place on the use and form of written language (e.g. irony and sarcasm).

The book goes on to provide models for balanced scorecards, which can be used to define the key data required to analyse social media data, and provides useful guidance on how to utilise them. It also includes relevant case histories, which serve to further illustrate the points made.

The book is well written and researched and is an essential read for anyone considering how to truly harness the power of social media.

Further information: McGraw Hill

December 2011