Social Media Analytics Lab


Our Team

Domain Experts:



1. Crisis Communications in the Age of Social Media: A Network Analysis of Zika-Related Tweets

This study is cited by the Wikipedia page on  “2015–16 Zika virus epidemic” below:

“Many studies have been conducted on the connections and impact of social media mentions of Zika. One analysis found that the primary topics discussed on Twitter before the peak of the outbreak regarding Zika included Zika’s impact, reactions to Zika, pregnancy and microcephaly, transmission routes of Zika, and case reports.[187]During the summer of 2016 when Zika was spreading at a much faster rate, this social media analysis determined that the major topics on Twitter regarding Zika had become concerns about the spread of Zika, criticism of Congress, news about Zika, and scientific information about Zika.[187] The same study also found that tweets from reputable institutions and people holding scientific credentials demonstrated the ability of Twitter as a source to spread information quickly on the internet.[187]

The R scripts to parse the Twitter stream JSON files and construct the retweet network are available at

2. Use of Multimedia Tweets in Health Communication: Analysis of Tweets on Zika Virus 

Impact of multi-media use in Twitter communication in state emergency situations.

3.  Government Social Media Communications during Zika Health Crisis

Accepted by the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, May 30 – June 1, Delft, the Netherlands

Summarythis article examines the use of Twitter by federal, state, and local government actors during the 2015–2016 Zika virus outbreak in the United States. We learned that local governments have smaller network sizes. Federal level agencies
frequently use Twitter for information provision, using URLs and images while leveraging large network sizes. Elected office holders, in general, managed large networks, and leveraged their popularity during the crisis.