Firstly, you need to realize why it is increasingly becoming essential to cite social media content to your research papers and reports. These socializing platforms are mostly for people to feel at home with like-minded and related personalities. It can be your professional associates, your friends and families and new contacts. Through engaging with such group of people, we only build on our reputation. We gain popularity, demonstrate our personality. Eventually, we work towards migrating in a higher yet better level of social authority. The accuracy of content, relevance, presentation of the same; therefore matters very much. The public visibility is a pressure here. We get to force ourselves in behaving in a thoughtful manner or at the least to bring up a new dimension in the discussions on Facebook, Twitter or even in our emails.
Secondly, shift your view from the personalities and identities that get engaged in the socialization through content to the content itself. You do not put up old information. You show up your zeal with the most updated information. You back it up with links and information sources to shine your informational credibility. You also add up different dimensions to it by putting these claims, thoughts, ideas and views to test by everyone engaged with the content. A reciprocation occurs as a result which brings more suitability to the content to be used as a reference-able material.
Further to above, one needs to be aware of the fact that even certain reciprocation occurs on content on socialization platforms; they may not stand for the academic or research procedural quality. Still, it is the latest and it can create appeal and engage people together. End of the day, it is the academia beyond the conventional academic view. So, there are indeed utilities of social media content that are user-generated and more closely dated than published journals. Even the content from periodicals does not certainly match up the benign nature of Twitter tweets or Facebook posts or even YouTube videos! The periodicals force journalists to follow editorial guidelines that may or may not limit issues at their veracity. We usually do not take that even by chance on social media. That too is an exaggerated expectation. So, let us put it together next.
Yes, you can cite. You can cite almost everything that you see on social media. Whether it is a tweet, a Facebook post, an email sent to your inbox or a video on YouTube; you can cite them all to your academic papers as long they are relevant. Putting up social media thoughts to your academic assignments like case studies, essays, term papers or even the dissertation require you to follow the academic writing norms. An email has the mandate of getting cited and referenced in your homework and assignments as personal communication. There is no way to be careless even when you are using social media content. You must cite them and put them up for your reference.