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This introductory guidance aims to raise awareness and explore the potential of social media research. It is primarily aimed at government social researchers and analysts, but will also be of interest to policy-makers and researchers working outside of government.
The guidance discusses how social media data has a range of attributes which are not found in ‘offline’ data and how as such, new approaches and techniques are required. It covers an introduction to social media, use of social media in government, social media as a research tool and ethical considerations. The document also provides a number of working-level resources which it is hoped will guide researchers unfamiliar with the topic through their first social media research projects.