This is an academic research project and for the most part I'm focusing on academic resources. But I'm working to understand the specific tools and methods for mining social media data in order to effectively intervene using communications campaigns. The annotation offered here adds to these concepts by introducing "community mining" and techniques for analyzing key players, roles, and strong subgroup connections of communication and influence within a larger social media network. These are key concepts for understanding how opinions within a network are formed, shared, and spread. Or as someone might have once said, it's about influencing a group by influencing the influencers.
The phrase "sentiment analysis" is high on the list of search terms for anyone seeking to understand how to process social media data. It's a component of Natural Language Processing (NLP), where a machine extracts (somewhat) accurate meaning from human language and textual information. This seems really hard, unless I'm wrong, because the whole AI field and NLP seem to be moving forward fast once again. Here's an annotation of a journal article that provides a decent overview.