Importance of Social Media Data Extraction
The drastic rise of social media platforms in recent times has been so astonishing. More so, the influence of social media is evident in every sphere of our lives.
Recently, social media repositioned itself from being the mere communication and “keeping-in-touch” tool to a powerful marketing tool. Also, social media has become a powerful influencing tool, thanks to the post, view, comment, tweet, replies, and other notable features on social media. A recent study showed that there are currently over 3.1 Billion social media users – which equals to about 42% of the world population – and this figure is growing. With this figure, social media is fast becoming a veritable destination for anyone and everyone who wants to perform some actions.
For instance, you can decide to go on social media to enhance the visibility of your products and services by posting information about your products and services to your target audience. You may want to express your opinion or announce your grievance about a product or service by posting it for billions of people on social media to view. You may decide to sample people’s opinions about a particular brand, product or service by reading comments and posts of other people about it. If you want to try out a new product or service, you may choose to read reviews about it on social media before sealing your decision.
Therefore, only businesses that have decided to stay out of business “very fast” would ignore social media and its ever-growing user-generated content. More so, digital marketers and savvy business owners understand that social media content is very important to know what people are saying about their products and services and to make lots of result-yielding business decisions.
Unfortunately, most businesses are only concerned about posting their own content on social media only and do not worry about finding out how social media user-generated content can benefit their business. Business owners who have an idea about how useful social media user-generated content could be claimed that they don't have the budget to invest in complex and expensive tools that can gather such large reams of content from social media for them. However, they are wrong as they do not need to invest in any complex and expensive tool to extract valuable content from social media – this is where social media scraping comes in.
What Is Social Media Scraping?
Basically, social media scraping is the act and technique of using a specialized computer program to extract data from social media channels into a human-readable output.
Social media scraping involves crawling through the pages on the social media channels to gather pieces of information that can be used for intelligent business analysis. For instance, you can search through a social media site like Facebook and scrape all the posts and comments that have been published that contain a particular keyword. You can then analyze the data to see what is said about the keyword in each post and comment. Hopefully, you can now see how social media scraping can be valuable. More so, social media scraping doesn't require any coding knowledge — all you need to do is follow simple instructions and within a few minutes, you would have gathered all the data needed to develop an intelligent business decision.
Benefits of Social Media Sites Data
As stated above, social media has become one of the best sources of data that can be used to grow your business in several ways. This makes social media data becomes very crucial and scraping the data so relevant to your business.
Here are some of the benefits of social media sites data to get a competitive edge:
Monitoring Your Competitors
Since all business owners, including you, leverage social media for their business’ growth and success, social media becomes the best platform to monitor your competitors and their activities, which will help you to take counteractive steps to either keep up with your competitors or take over them.
To watch your competitors and know what they’re doing or up to, you can scrape social media channels of posts, comments, and all mentions of your competitors’ brand, products, or service. You can use this scraped data to learn more about your competitor’s activities on social media to help you take respective measures to build a competitive edge.
For instance, social media data can help you to know what users are saying about your competitors, either good or bad. You can adopt a similar style if it’s good or use bad comments to develop a better strategy for your business. Also, social media data can help you know whether your competitor is running any special promotional offer that you can study to develop something better.
Though this looks like a simple feat, it can actually improve your business, especially if you’re in a highly competitive market, such as the e-commerce industry.
If you’re not making use of social media scraper to monitor your competitors, you could easily get left behind within a short time in this fast-growing business scene.
Solving Customer Issues Promptly
Social media is built for the masses, which are always vocal about their experience with different products and services and ready to post it on social media channels. Therefore, if you have a client whose issue was left unresolved, you’ve just given the client a good opportunity to vent his or her frustration on social media.
But you can be smarter. Watching out for such instances and correcting them promptly would not only help you to retain this customer but would also stop him or her from ruining your brand’s image – remember, social media is also a powerful influencing tool.
Sometimes, you may post content about your business on social media that rather meet with cold receptions and critics. Taking out this post promptly before it generates so many issues can save your business a lot.
By analyzing social media sites for posts, comments, tweets, replies, and other mentions of your brand, products, and services will help you to easily find out if there are such grievances from your customers or target audience.
Did you know that your customers can make or break your business? So ensure that you find out unhappy customers and quickly solve any issue, which may eventually hurt your business in the long run. Therefore, use data from social media channels to serve your customers better.
Social media user-generated data plays an important role in helping you to understand customers’ sentiments. Yes! Social media is a very good platform to gather data to run a sentiment analysis of your product and services.
There is a lot of information on social media platforms that business owners who are very concerned about their online reputation management can use for sentiment analysis. Scraping social media sites can help you to quickly find out how people are relating to your products on social media.
Smart business owners can extract data for sentiment analysis from profiles, news feeds, pages, groups, comments, posts, etc. to examine the operation of any particular product or service. Data can be generated from Facebook, which is currently the largest and most popular social media platform with the largest number of audiences.
With the help of a social media, business owners can get the big picture of the general perception of their products and services by their users. This will go a long way since comments and feedback from users can help you to fix any unnoticed issue with your business quickly. By rectifying these issues through the help of sentiment analysis, you can make your products and services more appealing to your customers.
More so, sentiment analysis can help you to transform your business into what customers want it to be. And remember scraping social media is the only way to gather this data that can help you optimize your business for your customers.
Various Ways to Scrape Social Sites
Now that you understand the benefits that scraping social media sites holds for your business, it is important to consider the fast and efficient ways to scrape this data from social media sites. There are several ways to extract data from social media. One of them is manual extraction.
Manual extraction involves browsing through and searching the pages and news feeds of social media channels to copy needed content. However, manually scrolling and skimming through millions of posts or tweets doesn’t make any sense. Hence, manual extraction is not an option at all because it is time-consuming, especially if you decide to arrange it in a well-structured format.
Using API is another method of scraping social media sites. Most social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. have API, which users can use to extract data quickly. However, API has some limitations and cannot allow scraping social media for sentiment analysis. Also, it limits the amount of data that can be extracted.
Using Python codes or scraping bots is another method. This DIY social media scraper seems like the easiest, cheapest, and most customized method of scraping social media platforms. However, it is not an option for business owners who have no coding knowledge. Such business owners may end up having complicated issues using this method to get the desired result. More so, scraping bots cannot run on all social media platforms. For instance, some social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have some mechanisms in place that block scraping bots. This makes scraping bots a poor option.
The last method is engaging the service of a social media scraping provider. Engaging the service of an expert and well-experienced third-party data scraper doesn’t only bring about the needed efficiency but also enables the data to be scraped within the required timeframe and in a clean and well-structured format. This method, though comes with a cost, is the best social media scraping method and doesn’t hold any hassle. Social media scraping provider offers scalable solutions and makes it possible to extract large amounts of user-generated data on social media channels with ease. Know about why choosing best web scraping services?
Since social media channels have become a vital part of online businesses, the ever-growing user-generated data on social media channels also become very valuable to businesses across all industries. This large social media data can be used for important business processes, such as sentiment analysis, brand monitoring, gaining competitive intelligence, etc. for business growth and success.
Hence, scraping social media data becomes a necessity. Although there are several methods of scraping social media data, engaging the service of a social media scraping provider is the best – fast, clean, and reliable. So, social media data can help you get a competitive edge and the best way to scrape this data is by hiring a scraping provider.