This document provides a summary of the research design used in Strand 1 of the Cultural Value of Shakespeare Lives project, which delivers qualitative analysis of social media interactions around the 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme across five languages (Arabic, English, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish), and visual analysis of Instagram posts. We will give an overview of our approach to data collection and analysis across the social media platforms studied (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, VKontakte and Sina Weibo), and how this was adapted across the three phases of our research. This document will also provide information, where relevant, on the search terms used and number of social media posts analysed for each language and the visual (Instagram) analysis, with the coding frameworks used available in full in the appendices.