12.16 Informational or Analytical Report: Examining Tweets and Other Social Media Posts (Objs. 4, 5)
Select a Fortune 500 company that appeals to you and search recent tweets and Facebook posts about it. Soon you will recognize trends and topic clusters that may help you organize the report content by criteria. For example, if you use the hashtag to conduct a subject search for #Coca-Cola, you will obtain a huge number of tweets about the company and brand. They will range from fan posts, buying tips, exhortations to recycle plastic, and specious cleaning tips involving Coke all the way to urban legends (e.g., the acid in Coke will completely dissolve a T-bone steak in two days). Many returned tweets will be only marginally interesting because they show up just because #Coca-Cola is mentioned.
If you explore Facebook, you will mostly find official pages and fan sites, most of which display favorable posts. You would have to look hard to find negative posts, partly also because companies moderate discussions and often remove offensive posts according to their user agreements.