Business social media analytics: Characterization and conceptual framework

Clyde W. Holsapple, Shih Hui Hsiao, Ram Pakath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


A substantial portion of internet usage today involves social media applications. Aside from personal use, given the vast amount of content stored, and rapid diffusion of information, in social media, businesses have begun exploiting social media for competitive advantage. Its popularity has led to the recognition of Social Media Analytics (SMA) as a distinct, albeit formative, sub-field within the Analytics field. Against this backdrop, we examine available characterizations of SMA that collectively identify various considerations of interest. However, their diversity suggests the need for adopting a concise, unifying SMA definition. We present a definition that subsumes salient aspects of existing characterizations and incorporates novel features of interest to Business SMA. Further, we examine available conceptual frameworks for Business SMA and advance a framework that comprehensively models the Business SMA phenomenon. We also conduct a survey of recently published SMA research in the premier, academic Management Information Systems journals and use some of the surveyed papers to validate our framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-45
Number of pages14
JournalDecision Support Systems
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ramakrishnan (Ram) Pakath is Professor of Finance and Quantitative Methods, at the C. M. Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky, USA. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University (India), a master's degree in Business Administration from University of Madras (India), a master's degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in Management (MIS) from Purdue University. Ram's research articles have appeared in the following forums: Behaviour and Information Technology, Computational Economics, Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, European J. of Operational Research, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Information and Management, Information Systems Research, J. of Computer Information Systems, J. of Electronic Commerce Research, and J. of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce. Ram has contributed refereed material to the following books: Cases on Information Technology Management in Modern Organizations, Decision Support Systems: A Knowledge-based Approach, Handbook on Decision Support Systems 1 — Basic Themes, Handbook of Industrial Engineering, Management Impacts of Information Technology: Perspectives on Organizational Change and Growth, Multimedia Technology and Applications, Security, Trust, and Regulatory Aspects of Cloud Computing in Business Environments, and Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence. He also has several invited/contributed conference presentations and proceedings to his credit. He is a Senior Editor at Decision Support Systems and is an Editorial Board Member at J. of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce. His research has been funded by IBM, Ashland Oil, the C. M. Gatton College of Business and Economics, the University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Analytics
  • Business social media analytics
  • Conceptual framework
  • Social media
  • Social media analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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