Social Media Data collection: Why and how you should do it

Social media has many advantages for marketers, including the ability to collect data in real time. You can gauge the success of a campaign’s initial launch with social media data in just a few hours. It provides you with more information about your industry and business over time so that you can make the most out of your social marketing efforts.

You can also use social media data mining to gain key insights about your audience. It is possible to find out what content they enjoy, when they are interested in it, and where they spend their online time.

Bonus: Receive a free template for a social media report to help you effectively and efficiently present your social media performance towards key stakeholders.

What are social media data?

Any type of data that can easily be gathered via social media is called social media data. The term generally refers to demographics and social media metrics that are collected using analytics tools on social platforms.

Data from social media can also be called “social media data”. This refers to data that is collected from public content posted on social media. Social listening tools can help you collect this type of social media data.

Why is it so important to collect social media data?

Social media marketing, like any other business strategy, is most effective when it’s based on real data.

Social media data analytics can help you identify what is working and what isn’t. You’ll also see what isn’t working so that you can make informed business decisions and improve your strategy.

You can customize your social media marketing strategy by collecting social media data. You can even customize your strategy based on location and demographics.

These are some questions that social media data mining can help you answer:

How do you know who your followers are?

Social media can be used to do A/B testing. This allows you to refine your marketing messages element by element, thereby increasing your ROI.

Social media data can help you show the results of your social media activities. You can link social media to real business results such as sales, subscriptions and brand awareness if you have the right data.

What social media data should be tracked?

Your business goals will determine which social media data you should track.

Tracking engagement is a great way to track social media interactions. You’ll want to track conversions if your goal is to make sales.

Here are some of the most valuable raw data that you can gather through social media.

Engagement: Clicks. Comments. Shares.

To create a social media data analysis plan that is effective, you must first establish SMART goals. Next, you need to decide what data points will be used to track progress towards your goals.

Bonus: Receive a free template for a social media report to help you effectively and efficiently present your social media performance towards key stakeholders.

Get the template for free now!

Let’s take a look at how your goals, social media data and analytics work together to create your social media strategy.

How to track social media data in marketing

Where can you find this data? Many social media platforms offer built-in analytics. These give you basic information about your account performance as well as demographics.

To get the most from your social media data, you need to have a unified view. Here are some ways to do that.

Use a social media analytics tool to collect data

Hootsuite Analytics, a social media analytics tool, gives you a complete view of all your social media data across platforms. This gives you context to your data. You can see how your audience reacts to different channels and help you refine your platform-specific strategy.

Hootsuite Impact is a tool that helps larger social media marketing teams to analyze data more deeply. It directly links social media data to business goals, and also provides useful benchmarks.

You can find more options in our post on social media data analysis tools.

Keep track of your observations

If you don’t have a system to record all of the data from social media, it can be overwhelming.

To help you track your social media data, we have created a free template for social media data analysis. It can be used in either an Excel spreadsheet or a Google Sheet. This template allows you to track your social media data across multiple platforms, and to compare them to your goals.

Send the results to social media.

You need to make your social media data accessible for analysis and marketing planning.

Analytics software like Hootsuite Analytics can create custom reports. Do you prefer to create your social media reports manually? To help you create a professional presentation from your social media data, we offer a free template for creating a social report.

5 tips for smart social media data collection

1. Know your goals and key performance indicators

Social media data can be most valuable when it is viewed in the context real business goals and key performance indicator (KPIs). Once you have established goals, social media data can be used to track progress and identify areas that need improvement.

Without goals, social data is without context. You will be able to track whether each data point is moving in a positive/negative direction. However, you won’t understand the whole picture.

Are you unsure where to begin with goal-setting. Here are nine examples of goals that can help you get started.

2. Follow platform-specific social media data

Social media data can provide a great overview of your social media strategy across all platforms. You can also get very specific about your strategy on each social platform with the help of it.

You’ll see trends that will help you determine the best time to post to each of your social media accounts. Hootsuite offers automated best-time to post suggestions that are based on your social media data.

You will also begin to understand the followers of each social media channel. This can help you to build buyer personas that allow you to better target your audience.

3. Establish a program for social listening

Social listening can give you another source of social media data. All of the data we have discussed so far is available through your own social media properties. Social listening allows you to discover data from users on social media who do not have a relationship with your brand.

It will also allow you to place your social media data within the context of your industry.

Social listening, for example, can give data such as:

What percentage of people are discussing your company or products online? (Whether or not they tag or mention you in their posts). What are the concerns and interests people have when discussing your industry on social media? How people feel about your recent product launch (a.k.a. sentiment analysis) Sentiment analysis: Find out if your competitors have any promotions or launches that you should address

Social listening strategies can be creative. Consider how social media posts can be used to provide valuable data for your company.

Researchers discovered that they could use social media data mining text to predict traffic patterns and gain insight into the mental health of college students. Social media data mining is a great way for businesses to predict demand and increase supply chain performance.

One example is a study that looked at social media data from Ottawa, Canada. It found that local residents could use social listening data to determine the most important attributes when choosing where to buy fresh fruit. This information could be used to guide marketing messages and store design, as well as local grocery stores’ marketing.

Social listening can provide valuable social data about online communities. Hootsuite Social Trends 2022 Report:

“The most intelligent brands of 2022 will tap into existing communities of creators to learn more about customers, simplify content creation, build brand awareness, and increase affinity.”

According to the same study, 48% of marketers agree that social listening has increased its value for their company.

4. Respect the rules

Social media security is not something you should take lightly. Over a third (33.1%) of Internet users have concerns about the misuse of their personal information online.

You must be aware of the data privacy and compliance issues that you face if you work in a highly regulated industry. Privacy and security are important issues that social media managers need to be aware of.

The Facebook Pixel, for example, is an excellent tool to collect social media data. It records conversions and the behavior of visitors once they click through your website. This tool uses cookies. To make sure that people are aware of how cookies are used and the data shared through them, include a disclosure on your website.

The privacy and security requirements for data security vary depending on where you live. Discuss any concerns with your compliance or legal team, and make sure you review the terms of service on each social platform.

5. Personalization is important, but not too much.

You can personalize your social media ads using strategies such as remarketing and demographics segmentation. Be careful not to go overboard.

A majority of U.S. internet users believe that brands using personal information in advertising helps them find things they are interested in. 49% also said that it makes it easier for them to find the services and products they are most interested in. However, 44% of respondents said it can be overwhelming.

eMarketer's study of how US internet users feel about brands using their data for marketing purposes

Source: eMarketer

Gartner also found that social messages that include too many social data points can be perceived to be “creepy.”

In my Instagram feed, I see ads for vegan food delivery in Vancouver. These ads are targeted based on two data points (locations and behavior). Sometimes, however, I see clickbait headlines that say, “Women born in Vancouver before 19XX” which, my friends is creepy.

How can you strike the right balance? According to Gartner’s report, users are more open to having their data used for their benefit (the user), than the marketer. To get the most out of social media data, you must help the customer.

Hootsuite helps you track social media data to improve your strategy. You can publish your posts and view the results from the same dashboard. Get it today for free.

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All of your social media analytics in one location. Hootsuite allows you to analyze your social media performance and identify areas for improvement.

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