Many social media sites have APIs that provide access to textual content, including Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Using these APIs requires, generally, some technical know-how and an access key from the data provider.
Other social media analysis tools:
- Crimson Hexagon is a powerful platform for social media analytics. Researchers affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can request access through Tech Services.
- Documenting the Now collects tweet data (tweet IDs) and publishes them as an Open Access data sets. They also maintain a tool called Hydrator that turns the tweet IDs into full tweets.
- NodeXL is a complex Excel template that can retrieve social media data and supports basic network analysis visualization. Retrieving Twitter data is free; for a fee, researchers can also retrieve Facebook. Youtube, or Flickr data.
- NVivo includes a tool called NCapture for gathering and analyzing Twitter data. This software program is available in the Scholarly Commons.
- Developed at Illinois, the Social Media Macroscope has the goal of providing social media analytics tools and data to students and researchers. Check out tools like the Brand Analytics Environment to see how the public interacts with brands, or download a dataset.
- TAGS (Twitter Archiving Google Sheet)is a complex Google Sheets template to retrieve Twitter data. This platform supports basic network analysis visualization.
Each tool above has its own limitations and strengths; visit the links for more information, or see the Commons Knowledge blog post on social media analysis tools.