Tools & Training for Social Media Research

Public Insight Lab Tools & Training for Social Media Research

About the WorkshopSchedule Session Videos
man writing next to scales of justice

About the May 6 Zoom Workshop

Join us to discover valuable approaches to and tools for academic research using social media data. This workshop is presented by the Public Insight Lab at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, with support from The University of Nebraska Lincoln's Social & Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium and the Methodology and Evaluation Research Core Facility. This free Zoom workshop is open to anyone interested in academic research.


Friday, May 6, 2022
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. CDT

What kind of research can you do with social media data?

Session 1: Why social media matters: Examples of social media research

Five-minute Flash talks from social media researchers at UNL, University of Alabama, Clemson, and Louisiana State University. 

Flash talks are 5 min, 1-3 slide presentations by faculty about their social media research 

Flash talk presenters: 

  • Dr. Frauke Hachtmann, Professor, Advertising and Public Relations, UNL
  • Dr. Jason Stamm, Assistant Professor, Sports Media & Communication, UNL,
  • Cole Catherine Dunnam, Louisiana State University,
  • Dr. Andrew Pyle, Associate Professor, Dept. of Communication, Clemson University,
  • Dr. Kelly Helm Smith, Research Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources; Assistant Director, National Drought Mitigation Center, UNL,
  • Dr. Brian Britt, Associate Professor, Advertising and Public Relations; Associate Director, Public Opinion Lab, University of Alabama,
  • Dr. Matthew VanDyke, Assistant Professor, Advertising and Public Relations; Director, Office for Excellence in Science and Risk Communication Management, University of Alabama,
  • Dr. Bryan Wang, Associate Professor, Advertising and Public Relations, UNL,
  • Dr. Jameson Hayes, Associate Professor of Advertising; Director, Public Opinion Lab, University of Alabama,
  • Dr. Ashok Samal, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, UNL,
  • Dr. Jeremy Lipshultz, Professor and Founder of the UNO Social Media Lab, University of Nebraska-Omaha,
  • Dr. Lance Porter, Professor, Communication Dept.; Founding Director, Social Media Analysis and Creation (SMAC) Lab, Louisiana State University,
  • Dr. Brandon Boatwright, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Communication; Director of the Social Media Listening Center; Clemson University,
10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT

Questions for presenters and break

Rich Barchak,

Tom Cook,

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. CDT

Where can I begin exploring questions and getting social media data?

Session 2: Sprinklr 101: Exploring and harvesting social media data with Sprinklr

Presented by: Dr. Valerie Jones, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, UNL,, and Pranay Joshi, Success Manager, Sprinklr

Harvesting social media data can be time-consuming and tedious. This session will highlight how Sprinklr can be used for academic research, from exploring initial hypotheses to downloading historical data from Twitter, news, blogs, and forums, without coding knowledge or data limitations

12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDT

Questions for presenters and break

Rich Barchak,

Tom Cook,

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. CDT

How can I dive deeper into more social media sources and real-time data collection? 

Session 3: Sprinklr 401: From “big data” to the “right data” - Utilizing Sprinklr’s topic search functionality to harvest filtered social data&nbsp

Presented By: Dr. Brandon Boatwright, Clemson University

This session will provide a brief overview of Sprinklr’s “Topics” functionality which enables users to collect data utilizing an array of filtration techniques. Session attendees will have the opportunity to learn specific approaches to collect relevant, context-specific data beyond basic listening functionality.
1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. CDT

I have lots of ideas. How can I design and execute publishable social media research?  &nbsp.

Session 4:  Designing and Analyzing Social Media Research 

Presented by: Dr. Jameson Hayes, University of Alabama

Doing good theoretical research with social media data is hard! The interactive session provides tips on how to design research to answer theoretical questions via social media data, examples of using off-the-shelf and open source packages to build extensive datasets from downloaded data, and ideas on how to analyze the data to answer your questions.

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. CDT

I learned so many good things. Where can I connect with colleagues and discuss a path forward?

In-person Social hour: Celebrate and connect at The Mill, Nebraska Innovation Campus 


Valerie Jones

Valerie Jones is the Seaton Professor of Journalism in the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications and creator of the Public Insight Lab. Her research bridges the professional and academic communities, exploring the intersection of digital media, innovation, and culture, and focusing on how digital media impacts our lives.

Lisa PytlikZillig

Lisa PytlikZillig is the interim director of the UNL Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium. PytlikZillig works on a variety of projects to help SBSRC achieve its mission of facilitating the growth and excellence of Social and Behavioral Science research. Much of her research focuses public engagement processes, especially engagements used to support responsible research and innovation (RRI) and around issues that provoke controversy and conflict.