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The Social Media Research Centre is a research house and consultancy that strives to make social media research better


Who are we?

We are here to understand social media and make social network research better

The Social Media Research Centre helps people and organisations carry out social media research. We offer consultancy, research services and advice on how to examine and understand social media networks. We are experts in taking social media research from inception to completion. This includes expertise in social media platform data gathering, social network content analysis, audience analysis, data analysis methods, digital research ethics and how to interpret social network data. We also provide communications consultancy so that reports made on social media can make the best impacts. We know how to develop impactful digital research that can lead to national and international coverage, real world change and powerful stakeholder impacts. 


The Social Media Research Centre also develops our own research, examining core areas of the impact of social media on society. Our research includes the analysis of mis- and disinformation, political campaigns, the impacts of digital networks on national and international institutions, and how we communicate with businesses, governmentspoliticians and each other online. Social media is rapidly changing society and we know very little about what is going on, thus we develop and publish reports of interest that can help people understand these rapid shifts to our lives. Our experts analysis has been of central interest to governments, think tanks and media organisations including; Reuters, The Economist, FTThe Observer, New Statesmen, The DrumEvening Standard, BBC, Sky News and The Telegraph. You can learn more about us here.

Our services and expertise

The Social Media Research Centre offers a variety of social media research consultancy services, including advice on data gathering, data analysis, report building and dissemination. Our areas of expertise includes:

Quantitative research

  • Data gathering of social media data of various types across all social media platforms including: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit and WhatsApp​​

  • Social media content analysis

    • Quantitative content analysis and typology

    • Automated text analysis

    • A/B testing

    • Spatial/relationship analysis via tools like Gephi

    • Engagement and interaction analysis

    • Audience retention analysis

    • Competitor analysis across content and engagement

  • User demographic research

    • Traditional polling of social media users

    • Online polling of social media users

    • Analysis of representative surveys

    • Analysis of demographic trends and social media usage patterns from data sources such as Facebook Audience Insights

Qualitative research

  • User and socio-demographic study of social network users undertaken online and offline

    • Focus group analysis

    • Interviews

    • Surveys

    • Non representative polling

  • Typological analysis of content

Mixed methods research

  • Report building using both quantitative and qualitative methods

    • Analysis of quantitative social media data in conjunction with focus groups, surveys and interviews

You can learn more about what social media research is, how it works, what it can offer and how we are of use here.



Electronic Board


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We do two things:

  • We help people undertake and make the most of social media research

  • We examine social networks and develop reports and analyses to help the world understand better the impacts of social media

We can help you examine and understand social media, our expertise covers many different areas of social media

We have vast experience in a range of fields from political communication to data gathering of social network data.


We know how to get the data you need, how to answer the questions you have and make the best impacts possible from social media research. The Social Media Research Centre is here to help you understand the world of social media in an ethical and rigorous way.


Given the massive public usage rates of social media and the impacts social media platforms are having on how we communicate, purchase, study, promote and exchange ideas; the study of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has never been so important.


We are here to help you achieve your goals through social media analysis.

  • Politics and campaigning

    • Digital democracy and online participation

    • Political campaign effects on voter behaviour

    • Online activism, slacktivism, hacktivism and digital protest

    • Big data and algorithmic decision-making

    • Fake news and misinformation

    • Social media and political organisation

    • Targeted advertising

    • Organic campaigning

    • Satellite campaigning

    • Surveillance and freedom of expression online

    • Social movements online

    • Political discourse online, including hate speech and content policies

  • Culture

    • Meme's and internet humour

    • Groups on the internet, such as fandoms and interest based groups

    • Novel online communities such as 4chan and Reddit

    • Viral content dynamics

    • Emerging new content trends across social networks

  • Marketing

    • Audience retention

    • Reaching new audiences effectively

    • Competitor analysis

    • Brand reputation and crisis management

    • Influencer analysis, micro and macro influencers

    • Content impacts on consumer behaviour

    • Content approaches and engagement, campaign performance

  • Trends in use

    • Audiences of the social networks​, changing demographic patterns

    • How people use and access social media

    • Analysis of how and why people pay attention to social media

    • Analysis of the growing impacts of social media

  • Healthcare

    • Healthcare communications

    • ​Covid-19, Coronavirus healthcare communications​

    • Health dis- and misinformation

  • Education

    • New trends in learning online

    • The potentials and pitfalls of digital education

  • Media trends

    • Traditional/ legacy news media on social media

    • Digital journalism, citizen journalism and social media

    • News consumption, trust and engagement with mainstream media

    • News consumption, trust and engagement with alternative media

    • Fake news and misinformation

  • Regulation

    • Competition regulation of social media & big-tech

    • Transparency regulation of social media & big-tech

    • Regulation of social media use in political campaigns

    • Regulation of social media use in marketing campaigns

    • Regulation of data held on the public

    • Regulation upon opening up data access for research and the public

    • Regulation upon protecting users data

    • Regulation upon protecting internet data, such as data of public interest

    • The complex debate between freedom of speech versus protection from harm

    • Regulation of online harms including how can we reduce hate speech online, dis/misinformation and fake news

Our areas of expertise include:

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Why do you need the Social Media Research Centre's services?

Social media can tell us a huge amount, but with it getting harder to gain clear insights from social media data due to growing complexity, and a lack of data access or appropriate tools. It seems like strong insights into social media and data are only open to the few. This has created a very competitive environment for charities, think tanks, individuals and businesses that use social media.


Good social media insights have become so important to success online, meaning it has become vital to use social media research expertise.  Having a firm understanding of the different platforms, data and analysis tools and what questions can be answered through social media data has never been so important. We provide this expertise to make high quality social media research insights realisable.

We work to your brief, research questions and goals

Watch our introductory video

Social Media Research Centre

Social Media Research Centre | About Us | Our Services

Social Media Research Centre
Social Media Research Centre | About Us | Our Services
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Social Media Research Centre | About Us | Our Services

Social Media Research Centre | About Us | Our Services

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What are Virtual Members? Short Explainer Video.

What are Virtual Members? Short Explainer Video.

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Political A/B Testing - A Dangerous Game? Evidence from the 2019 General Election

Political A/B Testing - A Dangerous Game? Evidence from the 2019 General Election

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"We can help make your social media research count" 

Founder -

Dr. Tristan Hotham

Who our experts have advised: