Can the number of Facebook fans a company has tell you how its stock is performing?
At least one researcher thinks so. Arthur O’Connor, a doctoral student at Pace University in New York, is testing whether social-media popularity — as measured by Facebook “likes,” Twitter followers and YouTube views — is correlated with stock prices.
In a pilot study, Mr. O’Connor found a “statistically significant” correlation, although he tested only three brands — Starbucks Corp., Nike Inc. and Coca-Cola Co — over a 10-month period. The more social-media fans a brand had, the better its stock was likely to do, even accounting for general market conditions.