For 21st century businesses, social media data gives the easiest insight into consumer behavior. Recognizing the importance of data to businesses, various social media platforms provide analytics tools. In addition, there are also numerous free and paid social media analytics tools available. Hence, companies have no excuse to be short on social media data.
Social media data has been very effective in helping businesses understand users’ behavior. The activities of social media users – likes, dislikes, retweets, shares, etc. – when analyzed psychologically, allow companies to understand what users need. Even when users are oblivious of their own needs, businesses can make data-driven decisions through social media data.
Hence, it’s vital to know what social media data is and how to leverage it in business.
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA DATA?
Social media data is information, details, and insights about the persona and behavior of users available on the platforms they connect with others. Also, social media data comprises metadata like location, language, biographical information, and engagement activities.
The accuracy of social media data is responsible for the increased emphasis it gets. Social media is a reflection of users, shared publicly with others on the internet. Also, because users consent to have their data in the platform provider’s database and available for anyone to view, it’s easy to be a part of the study without knowing.
For capitalist institutions, such knowledge of people’s behaviors and habits helps businesses create products and services. Creating products and services meeting people’s needs is a vital growth-related operations activity; social media data can provide the needed insight.
WHAT TYPE OF DATA CAN YOU GET FROM SOCIAL MEDIA?
The type of data collected on social media varies from one company to another. Hence, the company should have goals and must know the kind of user data needed per time. Again, though, a company should ensure a continuous data collection process.
Collecting data from different social media platforms is critical, ensuring variety and understanding of the broader scope. The various platforms have the following differences regarding the data type they collect.
Facebook collects the most amount of data from its users. The high number of content on the platform makes it possible for users to exhibit different behaviors and use patterns. For instance, the Facebook-like button gets used about 2.7 billion times daily. Overall, Facebook collects about 63 different data pieces. Here are the most important metrics to collect from Facebook:
Engagement: The engagement metric details the number of times people interacted with a particular post. Engagement is calculated in the forms of likes, comments, and shares within the last seven days. The engagement data on Facebook also gets compared with the previous week.
Impressions: The impressions count is the number of times a particular Facebook page gets displayed to users. The count here involves both those who engaged and those who didn’t. Once a user sees your page, it’s counted as an impression.
Organic Likes: The organic likes count is the number of people who find their way to your page without ads.
Page likes: This is the number of people showing interest in your page by clicking the ‘Like Page’ button. Facebook does a weekly data comparison for this too.
LinkedIn also collects peculiar forms of data. Being a profession-oriented platform, the social media app sees users behaving differently from what is noticed on Facebook. As a result, the social media data from LinkedIn provide insight that helps improve recruitment and talent retention. Also, LinkedIn is a great tool to schedule LinkedIn posts, collect data about companies you want to work with.
Clicks: the LinkedIn analytics shows you the total number of clicks on a particular post
Engagement: This refers to the total interactions divided by impression count
Followers: this is the follower count you get after sponsored post
Impressions: this is the total number of times people saw your posts
Interactions: this refers to the total count of comments, likes, and shares.
Twitter is a microblogging platform, and the app has grown a reputation of being the fastest news source in the world. Data collected from Twitter helps businesses understand what users care about or are interested in.
The Twitter analytics dashboard provides an overview of metrics on a particular account over a 28 days period. The following are the data tracked by Twitter:
Engagement Rate: this is the total number of link clicks, replies to tweets, retweets, and favorites on a particular tweet.
Followers: This is the total number of people following your account
Link Clicks: this is the total number of link clicks on your profile
Mentions: how many times was your username referenced by others?
Profile visits: how many times was your profile visited by other users?
Replies: this is the total number of replies under all your tweets over a specific period
Retweets: the total number of retweets on your tweets over a specific period
Tweet impressions: the total number of times your tweets were seen by others over a specific period
Tweets: how many times did you publish a Tweet.
Over the past years, Instagram has risen to become arguably the most valuable social media for e-commerce. Also a Facebook product, Instagram provides users with ample data to help them make better sales decisions. The Instagram insights are in two main categories; individual posts and page-wide metrics. The following metrics fall into any of the two aforementioned categories:
Account Impressions: This details the number of times your page posts were viewed, including the stories
Total Reach: This is the count of how many unique accounts were able to view your posts and stories
Website Clicks: This counts the number of people who clicked the link on your bio.
Profile visits: This is the count of how many people clicked on your account page.
Post Likes: This is the number of likes on any post
Post Comments: This tracks the number of times people comment on a particular post
Posts saved: How many times do people click on the save button of a post
Follows: This counts the number of unique accounts following yours over a specific period
HOW TO COLLECT SOCIAL MEDIA DATA
There are several ways to collect data from social media. Some of these are automated processes thanks to data tools. There are, however, times when it’s vital to do manual data experimentation and correction.
The various social media platforms have analytics tools you can use. Also, third-party analytics tools have provided an in-depth understanding of the data collated. Furthermore, the following are ways to collect data manually:
A significant part of the internet is culture contests. When the contest is appropriately executed, engagement increases and data from this can be highly valuable. In addition, the data from contests helps businesses understand new users.
Creating quick online polls on a topic of interest can easily give you access to people’s opinions and knowledge on a particular subject.
Creating viral content helps companies get in front of potential customers faster. Technically, creating viral content depends on luck. Some content doesn’t achieve the viral level, irrespective of how much attention was placed into the creation.
CHOOSING YOUR MOST IMPORTANT METRICS
Beyond collecting social media data, it’s important to identify the metrics that are the most important to your business. The metrics you choose to follow and optimize for are a reflection of what your company aims to achieve.
For instance, if your brand is focused on improving customer service, then it’s best to prioritize optimizing your page for more mentions, replies, and response times. Also, if content marketing is your brand’s current focus, then you should focus on getting more clicks. Also, ensure to know where the clicks are coming from, so you optimize distribution to those channels.
Brand awareness is another company goal that determines what metrics you focus on. Therefore, you’ll have to focus on getting new followers and engagement.
The paragraphs above prove that different companies have different goals and should pursue different metrics. It’s all about figuring out what your business needs and how to achieve it.
Beyond the metrics, you should work on taking action. It takes time to build a successful social media presence and leverage metric insights. Hence, know that social media is the long game. Once you grow your social media accounts to being able to provide you with enough data, then it’ll all be worth it.
IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DATA TO COMPANY GROWTH
The following are the advantages of social media data to a company.
- Having adequate social media improves the decision-making process
- Helps attain increased brand awareness
- Improves lead generation and sales
- Social media data is essential for companies willing to build communities
- It helps business communicate their authority while encouraging engagements.
Social media data is an essential part of marketing. But it takes time to build. It’s not impossible that you need data and insights in the short term. For this, invest in getting data through paid analytics and ensuring proper strategizing and execution.