Secondary Observation as a Method of Social Media Research: Theoretical Considerations and Implementation
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to present the methods of conducting research in the social media, with a detailed reference to the method of observation and the analysis of secondary data. By indicating the methodology of methods analysed, the author translated them into opportunities of the environment within which observation is made, i.e. social media. Moreover, the author drew her attention to the necessity of pointing at the source used in the observation, through proper definition of the method. Then, the application of the proposed research method defined as the secondary observation was presented based on the example of profiles of the companies from ICT industry in Facebook and Instagram. Design/Methodology/Approach: The presented research constitutes the third part of the research project in which the described research method was applied. First, the analysis of literature was performed (desk research). Then, surveys were conducted among entities being subject to research. After classification of the areas of interest and definition of the methods, the last stage consisted in own research carried out by the author with the use of the research method proposed - by secondary observation. Findings: On the basis of the analysis of literature, the author stated the absence of a defined and qualified research method of social media based on the analysis of existing data. Research made using the proposed method showed how it was implemented and an example of interpretation of the results. Practical Implications: Practical implication arising out of this article is the possibility of using the aforementioned method by researchers to conduct own research in the social media. Originality/value: The article contributes to reference literature in form of the defined research method and a well-defined method of conducting research in the social media in the areas proposed. Moreover, it may determine the direction of extending the scope of application of the method described.