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How to Collect and Analyze Social Media Data

Jun 22, 2021 9 min read

If you are a company or an organization struggling with choosing the right social data analytics tool or are not even sure you need it at all, this article is for you. Here we discuss social media data, why social media data is important, how to choose the right analytics tool, and how to use the data to your advantage.

What is social media data?

Every social media platform relies on inputs from its to serve them appropriately. Some of the data includes metrics like the number of likes, increase in followers, number of shares, engagement duration, and more. Social media data is any information collected from social media platforms that provides insights into the activities of users on the platform.

The collection of personal data is a sensitive subject among online communities and the legislative community as a whole. This is because, while it is okay to collect data concerning the activities of users on various social networks and is considered somewhat ethical, the collection of personal data is not.

Companies can influence more than just the buying habits of their customers with their personal data. They can influence something as important as their election choices. A good example is the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Social media data collection is not as simple as it sounds, for many reasons. The type of data collected depends on the platform and the relevance of the data to an organization.

For instance, the data obtained on Facebook will include the number of likes, number of shares, and follower increases. Twitter's data would include the number of impressions, retweets, and likes. For Instagram, data like hashtag usage, engagement rates, and active followers are important.

Why should you collect social media data?

So, you might wonder, "even if you have all of this social data from various social media platforms, what use does it offer? This is where the fun begins.

Having access to raw data provides you with the opportunity to understand your customers better, and develop an effective content strategy. When you obtain data, you can know the interests of your audience and tailor the content you create for real people.

Here are five marketing goals that social media data collection can be used for:

Content optimization

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 57% of marketing executives admit that on-page content development is the most effective SEO tactic. Every organization at this point knows that SEO is a huge part of customer reach in the online marketing world.

It comes as no surprise that one of the main targets of many online and traditional businesses is to achieve the highest level of engagement with their audiences.

Optimizing content has been tested and proven to be the best way of achieving high levels of engagement with existing audiences and potential customers. Thanks to the technology available today, you can easily optimize your content for brands and customers.

Social media data collection ensures that you have enough data to satisfy the needs of your audience based on their preferences. By collecting data, it becomes easier to know which of the social media platforms are most popular among your audience.

Social media data collection also ensures that you know exactly what type of content appeals to your audience, what time of the day you should post, and how to achieve maximum reach.

Content optimization is a very important aspect of any business marketing strategy.

Social media strategy development

The best part of social media strategy development is that it essentially insures your company for future developments. By having a media strategy in place, you can be sure that your business has a contingency plan in place for sudden changes in social platforms.

By collecting social media data, you can identify what your customers share and post about. This means you can easily solve their problems because you already know what they are. Twitter is a very important platform for businesses that need to know what their customers think of their business.

A social network strategy ensures that you provide content that addresses the issues of your customers, and stays authentic. According to estimates, 80 percent of consumers consider "authenticity of content" to be a major influencer in their decision to stick with a brand.

Better SEO strategies

SEO makes up a huge part of the full picture when it comes to social media marketing. While it is easy to think that simply producing more content would equal better engagement, it is not always true.

Social media data ensures that you can formulate the right strategies required to retain your customers and appeal to potential customers. This way, you can create the essential content for any particular context as gathered data gives you access to customer needs.

Some of the important terms on most social networks are keywords, hashtags, and engagement.

In terms of search, social media platforms are used along with search engines like Google and Bing.

In 2012, it was estimated that Facebook alone handled over one billion search queries in a day. In contrast, Twitter handled over 19 billion searches in a single month in 2010. To ensure that you cater specifically to the needs of your audience and not just to the search engines, you need data.

Brand image management

Did you know that brands in the United States lose $41 billion yearly due to subpar customer service?? Social networks are very useful for finding out what your customers are saying about your brand. With data collection on various social media channels, you can tell what people are saying about your brand, either positive or negative.

This ensures that you can find effective ways of keeping your customers satisfied and catering to the complaints that they have. Some brands have gone on to find new customers with the use of Facebook messages to collect information about how to best connect with them and identify their needs.

Easily spot effective social media influencers

Of course, social media influencers can be found by word of mouth, and by popularity. However, finding an influencer that suits your company's needs perfectly might be a little more complicated. This is where social media data collection comes in.

Social media influencers have the power to influence the buying decisions of their followers with their social media posts. Brand influencers can be a huge part of your marketing strategy when done right.

Research shows that 92 percent of customers trust the recommendation of an individual over that of a brand, even if they are saying the same thing. It comes as no surprise that many organizations have recently moved their campaigns to social platforms.

For example, influencers can help with the education of your customers about your products.

Essentially, with social media data, you can pick the right influencer to help represent your brand and grow your customer base. Influencers can assist you in creating relevant posts, providing market insights, starting a conversation about your brand, establishing trends, and providing appropriate access to your organization.

Social media analytics: why is it so important?

Twitter is a platform that relies heavily on the analytics of social media data to cater to its users. Of course, Twitter is not the only platform using data analysis to better serve its users. Other platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, also use it to pick the content that they recommend to their users.

There are several applications for data analysis in business. Marketing agencies, for instance, have to analyze the social media data of several clients at once.

It would be almost impossible for this to be done manually or based on intuition. This is where data analytics tools come in because there is no such thing as "guessing" in the analytics conversation.

Social data is a form of big data and is obtained from a company's profile across every social media site that the organization is on, including YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

All of the uses of data collection come into play only after the data has been analyzed. Ranging from the usage of a platform by customers to concerns about brands, to providing insights into the use of a social website, analyzing trends, posts, and more, data analysis is very important to an organization.

When getting started with data collection for the first time, it can be quite overwhelming to sieve through the data collected. Also, until proven otherwise, every social media platform is important.

It is, however, very important to cater to Instagram. This is because data (see another use of data analysis) shows that Instagram has a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%, which is 58 times higher than the engagement rate on Facebook and 120 times higher than that of Twitter.

With Instagram being the second-most-popular social media platform (30%), behind Facebook (60% of users). It is estimated that 90% of all Instagram users are younger than 35, therefore providing a younger user base that is more likely to spend money on products available online.

Social media analysis is an important part of the data collection process, and the quality of the data analysis determines how many positive results can be expected.

Analyzing social media data - tools and methods

There are several tools available for marketing companies and organizations that need to analyze social data for their clients.

Choosing the appropriate tool for social data analysis is critical not only for obtaining the most accurate results but also for ease of presentation. It is important to use tools that make it easy to interpret the results of social data analysis regardless of the social platform on which social media data collection is conducted.

You can ensure that your organization focuses on creating the right posts for the right market by using the right technology and algorithms.

Most social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all have their own analytic tools. However, since most companies use multiple social networks and each platform measures their data using different metrics, there is a need for tools that can be used to analyze data on every social media platform.

While you can use free tools like Google analytics, we would suggest using a more dedicated tool. Choosing a great tool for data analysis is the best way to ensure your company's social presence in the future.

The best way to understand how people consume and engage with any content that your brand produces is with the use of the right software.

Picking the best social media analytics tool

Here are some of the factors to pay attention to when choosing the best social media analytics tool for your company:

  • Comprehensive data collection
  • Optimal customization
  • A user-friendly result presentation system
  • The ease of profile swapping and grouping
  • Link authentication for security
  • Competition benchmarking
  • Active comparison features for paid and organic traffic
  • Good customer support

Common analysis metrics to consider

  • Ad Analysis
  • Demographic Analysis
  • Content Optimization
  • Audience Analysis
  • Engagement analysis

Courtesy of Quintly

A major social data analysis tool you can try is Quintly's Social Media Analytics Tool for Agencies.

Pixlee's free Instagram analytics tool is also a good one to try out.

FAQ

What type of data is collected by social media?

Social media data is all the raw data collected from users of social networks. The data collected by social media sites vary from one platform to another. However, some of the commonly tracked data include:

  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Mentions
  • Impressions
  • Shares
  • Conversions
  • Engagement time
  • Clicks (most crucial)

Note: click metadata is important for understanding the behaviors of social media users, and what influenced their decisions.

Which social media collects the most data?

According to Clario, it is stated that out of all the data a business can legally collect about you, Facebook collects 79.49%, and Instagram comes next.

It is estimated that Instagram (a Facebook-owned app) collects 69.23% of all available data, which includes the hobbies, height, weight, and sexual orientation of its users.

TikTok collects up to 46.15% of available data on its users, which includes facial recognition, voice data, and images.

Whatagraph team
Written by Whatagraph team

The Whatagraph blog team produces high-quality content on all things marketing: industry updates, how-to guides, and case studies.

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