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Social Media’s Role in Survey Research

April 13, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Social Media’s Role in Survey Research

The ubiquity of social media in the world today presents new opportunities and challenges when it comes to social research. This course considers the use of social media in survey research. Throughout the survey lifecycle (questionnaire design and testing, subject recruitment, respondent tracking and longitudinal panel retention), social media platforms offer some new ways to reach respondents at a time when traditional methods have seen declining participation.

This course will present specific examples of the use of social media in survey research, highlighting the topics, methods, and ethical considerations that accompany this growing sub-discipline. We end with considerations for the role of social media in public opinion research in the future as this area of research evolves.

Examples of issues that will be discussed include:

  • defining social media for the purposes of determining its potential role within survey research
  • the motivation for tapping this source of behavioral and attitudinal measurement
  • the availability and quality considerations inherent in social media data analysis
  • current uses and evaluations of social media in research
  • the legal and ethical issues that must be considered when considering social media as a resource in research
  • challenges and questions on the road ahead in developing best practices for social media in survey research, including validation of social media data; addressing coverage, sampling, and differential access challenges; designing better integrations of surveys and social media; leveraging the unique features of social media; and continuing to refine the understanding and guidance on privacy and ethics

Instructor: Joe Murphy

Joe Murphy is a senior survey methodology at RTI International. His research focuses on the development and application of new technologies and modes of communication to improve the survey research process. His recent work has centered on the use and analysis of social media to supplement survey data, with a detailed focus on Twitter. Mr. Murphy also investigates optimal designs for mobile data collection platforms, data visualization, crowdsourcing, and social research in virtual worlds. He is a demographer by training and survey methodologist by practice.

To register, click here. Registrations will not be accepted on or after April 9, 2017. 

This course will count as 4.0 CPSM short course credit hours.


Registration fees

  • CPSM Students: $20
  • UNC Students: $35
  • Others: $45

Cancellation/Refund Policy: A full refund will be given to those who cancel their registration no later than 10 days prior to the course. If you cancel within the 10 days prior to the class, no refund will be given. Please allow 30 days to receive your refund.

Waitlist/Walk-ins: There may be a waitlist for the courses. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Each attendee must register and pay prior to 3 days before the start of the course.


April 13, 2017
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
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219 Davis Library
208 Raleigh Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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(919) 962-1151
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