In this research article, the two authors demonstrate how social media content - in particular Twitter - can be used to predict real-world outcomes such as forecasting box-office revenues. Because of the enormity and high variance of the information created by its users, it presents an opportunity for harnessing that data. As a result, it can be used when designing marketing and advertising campaigns. That content, strangely enough, remains largely untapped.
Viral marketing: twitter.com
Twitter, an online microblogging service, isn’t only very popular among private users, but it has also attracted the attention of corporations for viral marketing. An increasing number of news organizations also use Twitter due to its enormous reach.
The authors focused on forecasting box-office revenues for two main reasons. The real-world outcomes can be easily observed and there is a considerable interest among social media users in movies. The method the two researchers use is a simple linear regression model that count the rate at which tweets are created. This method can be extended to other products of consumer interest ranging from the rating of products to election outcomes. Social media can be extremely powerful and an accurate indicator of future outcomes.
Sitaram A. & Huberman B. 2010. Predicting the Future With Social Media. International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, 1, 492-499