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Audience Analysis : Home

This guide covers resources and research strategies for analyzing audiences for applied social media research.

Overview for finding information for social media

A quick guide to terminology!

'Data' refers to facts. A population count, a grade on a paper, a number on a scale, dollars in a bank account, whether people in a household are married or not.

'Information' is the story that collections of facts tell. For example, population changes over time, streams of income or patterns of spending, all the grades across a semester. Another way to think about this: information is the context that allows people to make analysis and decisions. 

  • A lot of information you may be seeking will be available thought searching in Google, Ecosia or other search engines, and it might be more effective to search on the internet rather than searching in GALILEO.
    • Demographic information such as age, population, marital status, education, employment, etc. are widely available
      • Once you find information, it can be useful to look in GALILEO to find academic resources that can help contextualize or frame the information that might be necessary, or to combine information in multiple ways. 
  • On the other hand, a lot of specific information may not be available, for a few reasons. 
    • People who live together as unmarried partners are not always accurately documented, for example. 
    • Some combinations of information may not be available simply because it wasn't counted.
    • If information has value to a company or competitive industry, the data may not be publicly available.
    • Some data is not always counted regularly. 

Link to multiple statistics sources

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Sources for information

Here's a quick profile of social media usage 

Who Uses Social Media Most Frequently?


Social Media Fact Sheet

Research process & searching strategically

  1. Use search engines and chase citations. You may hit some dead ends.
  2. Look for primary sources and information published by organizations.
  3. Build profiles piece by piece--some combinations of information may not exist.

Reference Librarian

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Catherine Bowers