Abington professor receives award for social media research

Abington marketing

Lei Song, assistant professor of marketing at Penn State Abington

Credit: Penn State

ABINGTON, Pa. — Lei Song, assistant professor of marketing at Penn State Abington, recently was honored for his research, which helps businesses use social media to develop and promote new products. To recognize the contribution and impact of this research, Lei and his colleagues have been presented with a prestigious 2020 Emerald Literati Award for Highly Commended Paper from Emerald Publishing.

Lei and his colleagues’ paper, “Unlocking value through an extended social media analytics framework: Insights for new product adoption,” was published in Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal.

“The paper provides a framework for businesses to develop and promote new products by analyzing consumers’ postings on social media,” Song said.

The paper proposes a five-step process to understand these postings:

  • formulate (forming research questions)
  • determine (deciding on research design and data collection methods)
  • capture (downloading and pre-processing social media posting data) 
  • understand (analyzing social media posting data)
  • and present (summarizing, evaluating and presenting research findings)

The research not only provides businesses with the above steps to draw consumer insights from social media postings, but also creates guidelines on how to use social media analytics techniques, like text mining and sentiment analysis, to analyze postings related to new products such as iWatch and Google Glass.

“The research helps businesses create effective and efficient social media strategies for developing and promoting new products,” Song said.

The award is chosen based on seven criteria: research that creates impact and generates real change beyond academia; the contribution of something new to the body of knowledge either in terms of approach or subject matter; excellent structure and presentation; well-written; rigor in terms of argument or analysis; relevance – to practice and further research; and up-to-date – demonstrating that the latest key works in the field have been cited.

The Emerald Literati Awards for Excellence rewards the outstanding contributions of authors and reviewers to scholarly research. It was established by global academic publisher Emerald Publishing in 1993.

Song's research focuses on providing business insights by exploring how cultural, individual, and social factors affect consumers’ purchasing behavior in both online and in-store retail contexts. In the online retail context, his research adopts both behavioral and quantitative analytical methods to understand the impact of user-generated content from social media and e-commerce websites on consumers’ product purchases. In the in-store retail context, he examines how cultural, individual, and social factors affect consumers’ responses towards various products and services.

Song earned his doctorate in marketing from Drexel University and teaches marketing strategy, marketing research, and marketing principles at Penn State Abington.

About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century, public higher education within a world-class research university. With about 3,700 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 22 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more.