Of all the research struggles that communication faculty and students face, probably the most visible is the lack of authoritative, quantitative information on current topics of social media.
Social media studies, as a subset or overlap of general media studies, is a rapidly expanding field of scholarly inquiry. Certainly it’s very possible today to find excellent literature on the impact of tools like Facebook and Twitter on any number of traditional social science issues. But when it comes to more detailed questions — like “how many U.S. companies use social media as part of their core marketing strategies?” or “what are the comparative demographics of the online social gamers around the world?” — information is still fairly limited, with only a few groups, companies, institutions conducting original studies and regular market analysis.
eMarketer is one such company, which has made its reputation based on the creation of reports specifically geared toward the Internet, social media, and digital marketing practices.
With new reports published daily and a source list of over over 4,000 research firms, consultancies, government agencies and universities around the world, eMarketer is an excellent authoritative resource for communication researchers interested in a wide array of online media topics, not to mention professionals in fields such advertising and PR.
In addition to its useful reports, downloadable charts, and comparative estimates sections, the eMarketer database include a special “Digital World Map” feature, which allows users to browse and compare statistics on leading digital countries around the world. This emphasis on worldwide digital information is yet one more reason to investigate eMarketer, especially as interest in the field shifts to non-U.S. issues of social media penetration and use.
Check out eMarketer by visiting the Library’s Databases A-Z page, or by clicking here (AU authentication required).