Many institutions conduct research on areas that touch on social media. Collaborating with universities, through grants, internships or Master's/ PH.D. projects could quickly help elevate the status of social media AND help address some of the questions around impact and ROI.
Examples of specfic areas include the role of social media to support behavior change (i.e. stop smoking); network analysis (to see how information flows across social) networks, use/ effect of social media in emergency situations, etc.
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