Social media may have started out as a platform to connect people, but these days it’s so much more! Social media is used to share new ideas, keep up to date with important news and events, and of course, many brands use it for marketing and promotion.
Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin (or any other social network), you’ll have noticed that social media is truly the best place to keep up with what’s happening in the world! This is why using social media for classroom research is totally viable and a wonderful tool for learning.
How can you use social media for research?
1. Source new ideas
If you’re stumped for ideas for a project (be it a long thesis or a short essay assignment) social media provides a wealth of information in the form of views and opinions. Twitter is especially fast-moving and highly topical, providing a real-time view of trending opinions and issues.
2. Hot off the press info
Social media platforms typically provide all the latest news on any topic, with links to articles that are relevant and recent. This gives you access to information that is less likely to be outdated.
When sourcing articles from social media, always be wary of fake news. Check that the information source is a legitimate and reliable news website. If the information seems controversial, verify it on Google and Snopes.
3. Collaboration and networking
Many minds are better than one! Collaborating on a project is a wonderful way to ensure high-quality work, with multiple contributors adding value with their unique skills. And with a network already in place, your favourite social media handle is the perfect place to connect with like-minded people.
4. Collecting research data
If you need to collect data for analysis, there’s no better place than social media. Your request for data is more likely to be shared and seen, and you’re more likely to receive relevant, up to date information. You’ll also save costs on things like organising focus groups, plus there are apps like Typeform that make collecting data simple.
Social media is such an important source of ideas, opinions and news, making it a useful starting point for any research project or assignment that deals with current issues. Just bear in mind, that not everything you find on social media is true, real or valid – and you will always need to check your findings with reliable sources.