Mapping Twitter Topic Networks, The Six Structures

Smart business owners know the popularity of social media is enabling a revolution in big data. Now the big data revolution is spawning some intriguing research with some fascinating conclusions. New research released by the Pew Research Internet Project examines ‘twitter topic networks’. The report entitled “Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters” is a comprehensive look at the structure and complexity of conversations taking place on twitter.

twitter topic network research

It is reassuring to have accurate data to confirm some previously held hypotheses. For instance; an ‘outward hub and spoke’ model for tech support can facilitate good coverage for users of a particular product or service. Whereas the ‘divided’ conversations we often experience on social media are equally reflected in matching report metrics.

Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets. These conversational structures differ, depending on the subject and the people driving the conversation. Six structures are regularly observed: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and inward and outward hub and spoke.

the six sturctures of twitter

For those interested in having their product promoted, views heard, or purpose furthered, this new Pew Center research report [PDF] is a valuable insight as to how one should approach their twitter and social media website marketing. Trying to access hobbyists, professional discussion topics, or the ever-valuable business conference discussion, one can look to the ‘Tight Crowds’ conversation structure and tailor their messaging accordingly. In this case, the messaging would be more ‘intimate’ and ‘familiar’, rather than ‘formal’ or ‘promotional’.

It is possible to imagine any number of ways that these insights could find application for those interested in using social media to promote causes, to engage the stakeholders who are interested in their organizations or missions, and to start or enter social media conversations that matter to them.

For instance, those who run social media accounts for their organizations can explore how some of the conversational “styles” might be most applicable and useful to their work. Additionally, they might see how the “natural” structure of a conversation around their core topics could profit from adjustment. For example, a brand may want to cultivate community, or an in-group might want to open up to outsiders. Using these maps, participants can assess the type of social media network in which they participate and set a target for what they want their group to be like.

Scherr Technology will help you navigate the social media world and establish your social media footprint. All Scherr Technology Signature Websites offers turnkey social media integration through IFTTT. The IFTTT (if this then that) website features scripts called ‘recipes’. These ‘recipes’ automatically integrate the RSS feed from your WordPress CMS blog into your twitter and related social media accounts. Once configured, new blog posts will automatically appear as tweets.

To extend your social media footprint through better use of big data research into ‘Mapping Twitter Topic Networks’ and the ‘The Six Structures’ (of twitter), contact Scherr Technology today.

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