Web-based application programming interfaces (APIs) provide researchers studying online social networks with a sophisticated route into those networks that can allow them to study the activity of users in detail, given ethical constraints and specific limitations of the APIs. Writing in the International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics, a team from India reviews the state-of-the-art in this constantly evolving realm. In their review, they reveal the challenges that might be faced in using an API, the suitability of a given API for particular research purposes. They also discuss how social media analytical tools might be adopted to support knowledge-based business strategies.
Pooja Nanda of Sharda University in Greater Noida and Vikas Kumar of the Central University of Haryana, suggest that their review will be useful for organizations hoping to identify the various tools on the market for assisting in the making of knowledge-based strategic decisions.
Fundamentally, analysis can find out, at scale, what it is customers and potential customers are saying about a company and its products and services in great detail. Social media in this context is so much more than an advertising or marketing vehicle for those products and services it is a rich seam of opinion and user knowledge to be tapped to allow companies and improve their “offering,” how they market it, and how they adapt to consumer opinion.
As the team’s review suggests, to get the most from such analysis, careful consideration of the available tools, their benefits and limitations, is needed. “Available social media analytics tools should be mapped to the specific knowledge needs of the organization and they should be implemented and monitored accordingly,” the team writes. “Outcomes from the social media analytical tools need to be well understood and combined into the business strategy to reap their actual benefits,” they conclude.
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