What Pew’s Twitter analysis means for brands

Although the way Twitter users feel about a topic or event isn’t reflective of the general public, such research shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.

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It’s all too easy to use your blog or Twitter account to only draw attention to studies that back up what you’re selling.

It’s probably a conservative estimate to state that at least half of the content social media users share informs others of how wonderful it is in one way or another.

And yet, I wonder how many people would continue to read a newspaper if half of it was dedicated to how important newspapers are and how everyone should read one.

This is why I draw your attention to a recent study by Pew Research. It suggests, on the surface at least, that social media research may offer less value than many of us working in the industry claim.

The year-long study concluded that “the reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys.”

The report stated that “the overall negativity on Twitter over the course of the [US presidential] campaign stood out,” adding, “For both candidates, negative comments exceeded positive comments by a wide margin throughout the fall campaign season.”

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