Businesses are investing in communications companies and even hiring data scientists to interpret massive data and turn it into actionable insights that can be useful in developing products and generating effective marketing campaigns to drive sales.
Social media is a great way to check and measure how your brand is doing in this competitive market. Big data collected from engagements on various social media is crucial in discovering strengths and opportunities of your brand or business.
The never ending stream of data collected per minute of every day can provide an understanding of the behavior of consumers and thus, an advantage in generating marketing campaigns based on focused group or segmented demographics.
How Data Grows
The kinds of data received by a specific social media platform are pretty much specific compared to other data received by other websites. Due to the huge amount of data shared by users through social media or other web activities, big data companies provide the necessary tools to store accumulated data and retrieve them when necessary.
Companies wishing for these data should know what they want to get out of the data they are analyzing in order to not get lost in a sea of information.
How Social Media Data Is Gathered
Data is gathered based on how users interact and share things on social media. Facebook, for instance, can gather information based on topics talked about on status updates, images, videos and articles shared, and the simple “likes.”
These are the reason why third-party websites that are composed mostly of businesses, give you the option to connect your accounts to Facebook. They can gather information that can greatly help them improve their products and services.
How Social Media Data Is Used
Social media have their analytics and can measure data algorithms to predict the current trends and create a larger topic of conversation for deeper engagements.
An obvious example is Twitter. Twitter gather hashtags and trending topics to create a worldwide trending topic or even hot topics within your area. These allow them to tailor fit the advertisements depending on taste and geographical location.
These can also be used by businesses within the area. For example, if there are a particular events, festivities or even unfortunate incidents in a specific area, establishments can take advantage of certain products or services people wish they can avail and are tweeting at the moment.
These are just some basic example of how social media data is used. Aggregated data gives data scientists a more solid source of information to be able to predict trends, particular interests and common dislikes and other things that might help any research or studies in understanding society.
This infographic shows how users from around the world utilize different social media platforms.
Infographic by smartpaperhelp.com
Referring to the infographic above, how can you use the information to improve your products and services?
1. Measure engagements based on statistics.
Usually, business utilizes social media to make new products known to public so they can get a feel of how potential customers feel about it so they can further improve the product or services before the actual launch.
Facebook for business or pages has their own charts and tools you can use to measure user engagements. You can utilize these data in order to have a general feel of what will work or what won’t for your company.
2. Identify trends and integrate them into your products and services.
Trends are now easier to identify more than ever. Businesses take advantage of rising trends by incorporating them into their products or advertising campaigns to get “viral” and gain more product exposure.
With 1.5 billion of users worldwide, it is easy for pictures, videos and topics to get viral on Facebook if they peak the interest of the users. This is how companies can spot trends.
3. Create campaigns directed to the target market.
If your target is millennials, the 20% of millennials on twitter might be able to give you a general idea of what they like and dislike based on the current trends. Advertisements are the main moneymaker of companies. Successful campaigns can drive more traffic to the company’s site, increase the following and boost sales.
4. Check users’ opinions and suggestions.
The good thing is these data are voluntarily given by users to be exploited by businesses. Gone are the days when it would take so much time, effort and money to conduct surveys and interviews just to gather necessary data for certain products and services, only to repeat the same process to keep up with the ever-changing world.
Companies do not need to waste a huge chunk of their resources to collect data. They can take advantage of analytics and social media statistics to gain opinions and suggestions in improving the efficiency of services.
5. Monitor particular interests as well as dislikes.
You can predict consumer behaviors and particular interests of a segmented market or a specific type of demographic based on how they use social media. For example, a company that caters to a specific type of business can take advantage of improving a product based on a particular interest and avoid what people generally do not like.
How You Can Protect Your Data
In this digital world where a simple funny image can get viral within minutes of posting, it might seem hard or almost impossible to protect your data online. Even when you delete content, it does not guarantee the permanent deletion of that content.
It will still exist somewhere in the site of web especially when other users were able to see or interact with it. In short, the things you share on social media can be permanent.
What you can do is to take necessary measure to protect your data and what you share on social media.
- Log out of each site you visit when you are done, instead of keeping it constantly being signed in.
- Turn off cookies. Twitter gives users the option to turn off cookies.
- If the option is not available on other platforms, you can always tweak some privacy settings to keep your post to yourself or within your closest circle.
- Control what you post. Sometimes it is as easy as controlling yourself from posting content you might regret later on.
- Surf using incognito or private browsing to avoid cookies from tracking your data.
- Download apps that can block any third parties to track your web activities and prevent them from taking your browser history and web searches for their own end.
- Download plugins you can use to protect your data from being tracked.
- Google gives users an option to turn off the browsing history. Although this doesn’t block advertisers, the amount of data you are giving out is still less than usual.
In a nutshell, there is gold in data mining. Users and businesses can take advantage of the data collected to make sense of social media, spot major trends, reduce cost and improve the efficiency of services.
Sometimes, you do not need big data companies or data scientists to analyze data for you. You can just utilize the data you can gather from social media and use it to your advantage.