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Many employees in the corporate sector have sought desk jobs away from the uncertainties of an ever-changing career path. With the rise of social media data scraping, companies are able to access information that can be analyzed properly. And with 2022 just around the corner, this trend is expected to increase exponentially.
By 2021, it is estimated that up to 85% of all human interactions will happen on social media platforms. So while they may be fun for us mere mortals, they hold significant value as a research tool in business.
Social media helps maintain contact with customers, drawing them closer to the brand and increasing sales. When used effectively, social media offers a virtual window into the minds of your consumers.
It gives companies an opportunity to know their customer base like never before. They can then tailor their products/services/campaigns to suit each customer’s needs. With this information at hand, companies can tailor marketing campaigns that could make them relevant again.
With social media growing in prevalence, there will be a lot of innovation in 2021 for exponential growth.
Definition of social media scraping
When it comes to social media, scraping is the process of extracting and cataloging information. This ‘data mining’ can include activity from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. The goal is to gather as much data as possible about your audience so that your company can use it in marketing campaigns and other ways of making money from social media.
The process of scraping is not always a conscious one. One way that social media platforms can protect their users is by having security measures in place. However, there’s still the possibility that they might be able to obtain this information without any permission from the user.
Benefits of social media scraping
The most important benefit is that it provides companies with the ability to profile their customers. This is a way for companies to understand how their viewers respond to advertising. Later they can use this information to craft future campaigns.
It also allows for more efficient workflow within the company. With the right software, your company will have access to all of its data at once, meaning that you can spend less time researching and more time making money from the information gathered by social media scraping.
Types of data
Data scraped may include: Twitter handles, phone numbers, personal email addresses, postal addresses, dates of birth, education level. Facebook also has an Open Graph protocol which is a way to access information about likes and friends on Facebook.
Social media scraping software collects this information automatically through the search functions of social media profiles and posts. This allows your business to collect extensive profiles of people they otherwise would not have access to.
Why social media data is useful
By analyzing social media posts, companies can discover how their audiences are feeling about their products. This gives them a better idea of future sales as well as the general public’s reaction. With this information, companies will be able to develop marketing campaigns specific to their audience that will have the best chance at reaching their target market.
Example of social media data and social media scraping
The example below shows how companies can gather a lot of information about their audience on a closed social media platform.
Imagine that you have an iPhone and run into your friend on a bus. Instead of not knowing what someone is up to, you can use a social media app to access their Facebook profile. Through this method, you find out that he’s in London visiting friends but hasn’t told anyone where he is staying.
This gives you a lead into the possibility of selling him a product that is showing ads on TV. If he has an iPhone, there is a good chance he has also purchased headphones for his device – and if these headphones are available in the UK, that could be an ideal in-road to sales.
Social media data is able to deliver even more revenue than just this example. Over time, companies will learn which products their audience likes or dislikes and how they feel about certain brands.
Methods of scraping social media data
There are a few techniques available to scrape data from social media profiles. These include:
when users tag their questions, comments and updates with user-defined hashtags, they make these posts available to datamining programs such as social media scraping software. This type of information is the public domain which the companies can access easily.
Some platforms don’t have access to this type of data, so you’ll have to find tweets with certain hashtags. However, this method is still useful as long as you keep your terms relevant.
Social media scrapers can use the location data found on social media to collect information on where different people live. You can use this data for marketing as it provides additional insight into the interests of your audience and how they feel about certain products and services.
Social media scrapers can search for specific usernames to gain access to account information from within the platform. This method usually requires that you have preexisting knowledge of which user IDs are linked to which individuals.
There are certain risks involved with this method; for example, if a user changes their user ID, all scraped data for that individual will be lost.
These are highly coveted as they give the ability to access any user’s data within the platform. There are a few ways that you can gain access to these tokens. Facebook Graph Search is one of the most effective methods of social media scraping as it allows you to search for specific data on a large scale.
This form of search allows users to find detailed and specific information about who has “liked” particular products or services, what links have been shared by friends and what groups they belong to.
Social media data scraping is going to be one of the most important aspects of any business by 2021. With the recent advancements in technology, many organizations are reaching out to the public in order to learn more about their customers.
The main benefit of mining for audience data is that it allows companies to understand their audience better. Then they can use this knowledge can in future marketing campaigns. It also allows for more efficient workflow within the company, with the scraped social media data through software that organizes all collected information into one place to access it easily.
There are certain risks involved with this method; for example, if a user changes their user ID, all scraped data for that individual will be lost. Access tokens are highly coveted as they give the ability to access any user’s data within the platform. There are a few ways that you can gain access to these tokens.
This company stores all the scraped information to better understand and improve its marketing strategies. They can also collect more information about their audience.