How do online opinions impact companies?



Consumers share about 500 billion impressions per year on products and services of companies with other individuals (Bernoff & Schadler 2010). Unfortunately most of these opinions are given separately and dispersed throughout social media and therefore are neither visible nor aggregated. Due to this lack of visibility and aggregation it is very hard to determine the overall sentiment towards different topics. Of course there are possibilities of aggregation using natural language processing techniques, but those techniques still misinterpret a certain amount of statements and are unable to solve the problem of secretly advanced opinions.

Project Goal

To overcome these problems we recently started a project to explore the information content and newsworthiness of polls in social media and to study how opinion platforms like Voycer, Sodahead and Facebook questions can generate news and impact media and other companies. We are particularly interested in:

  • How do questions asked in social opinion platforms and social media attract user to cast their vote?
  • How do the emerging results become relevant to other users, media and companies?
  • How do media and other firms react to content, opinions and survey results produced by the internet?

We are also interested in determining the role and impact of users, media and companies in different settings in this context.


The settings for this research are directed social graphs embedded in different social networks like Facebook, Sodahead or Voycer. Those graphs contain information about users, their relations and activities within the social network. Additionally we will pursue data collections and empirical studies about the impact of this user generated content on the online strategies of companies with a special focus on media companies.

If you are interested in more information on the projekt, please contact Dipl.-Wi.-Inf. Frederik Zeidler.

Project Team

Dipl.-Wi.-Inf. Frederik Zeidler
Dr. Philipp Sandner
Prof. Dr. Isabell Welpe

Chair of Strategy and Organization, TUM School of Management

To conduct this research we cooperate with the Voycer AG - the provider of the largest European social opinion network.