The rise of social media truly shaped the digitally-connected world we live in today.
There are now 4.70 billion users on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – about 59% of the Earth’s total population.
With such vast and fast-paced growth, there has never been a more perfect time for businesses to explore big data on social media and maximize its potential for long-term success.
But what is big data?
It’s a new and effective way of synthesizing analytics to improve the customer experience. When applied to social media marketing, it lets businesses share information and communicate with their audiences to help brands widen their reach.
In this article, we’ll dig into how big data on social media changes the ways businesses approach this ever-evolving digital space.
Table of Contents
What Is Big Data?
Big data refers to large volumes of structured and unstructured information that is overwhelmingly hard to manage using traditional data processing methods.
Thanks to AI, deep learning and modern storage solutions like the cloud, dealing with big data has become much easier nowadays.
But where do these datasets come from?
Organizations collect such information from various sources like the following:
- Large and small business data analytics
- Internet of Things (IoT) smart devices
- Hardware/industrial equipment
- Videos, images, or audio content
- Social networking platforms
The process is all about taking a huge chunk of data and understanding patterns that can be used for many purposes like market intelligence, consumer behavior and so on.
Businesses and organizations employ big data strategies to turn such information into helpful insights that drive overall success.
Now, let’s talk about big data on social media.
How Is Big Data Affecting Social Media?
For regular users who use social media casually, big data may seem like a completely irrelevant tool. But not when you're a business owner. Big data is pivotal for online companies that thrive on understanding social interactions and aim to drive better results from their digital efforts.
No surprise there, especially now that social media marketing is taking center stage in this digital era.
In 2020, Facebook stated that over 10 million active advertisers were using the social networking platform to promote their products and services.
More than 92% of American businesses use social media to launch their marketing campaigns.
So, among the many uses of big data, social media clearly shows one of the most significant shares.
Most of the time, businesses use big data to monitor their customers’ online behavior. That way, they can craft and introduce better options (product, service, or communication) to the market.
Consequently, many organizations are now investing in social monitoring tools, particularly on giant social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Engagements in these online platforms, such as likes, reactions, comments and shares, are the significant components that help shape big data strategies.
In reality, successful businesses have one thing in common – they care about what customers say about their products or services online. Positive feedback can lead to business growth, and negative feedback can make or break a brand's reputation.
Companies are also using big data in social media to enrich their marketing analytics on future projections. The reason why a lot of enterprises invest in big data solutions is to track the customer experience in real-time to come up with near-accurate predictions for customer behavior.
All in all, here's a look at the bigger picture:
Big data isn’t just used to understand how social media works. Understanding big data allows businesses to be more adaptable to the needs of their customers online. Also, digital companies immersed in big data on social media can speak to a targeted demographic more effectively through improved marketing and advertising efforts.
The Benefits of Leveraging Big Data on Social Media
Big data can spell the difference between success and failure for most businesses. Many social media marketing campaigns or initiatives wouldn't be as effective without big data backing them up.
Through the years, marketers have learned to set more laser-focused campaigns that support the directions and goals of a business. And in return, have allowed them to curate a better and more profitable customer experience.
If you're opting to deploy an outsourced social media marketing agency, it will make the following steps that much easier for you. Let’s dive into the good side and see how injecting heaps of insightful data into your analytics can help you in the long run.
The extensive data available to businesses allows them to understand their customers more. Relevant information such as web browsing activity, online shopping behavior, customer feedback and market research are user insights gold mines. When these data types are studied, organizations can create sounder market intelligence strategies. As a result, they’ll have better mechanisms for key business aspects like brand management, product launches, cost-effectiveness, expansion plans, and so on.
With big data, businesses can get instant insights into users’ activity on social media. That includes the ads or links they clicked, pages visited and followed, likes and dislikes, comments posted and many more. All these variables come into play when conducting a successful market study. The sooner you get these insights, the farther you get ahead of the competition!
Big data heavily relies on real-time and historical data to come up with good future predictions. For example, big data-driven AI tools can identify customers' product choices based on their previous purchasing activity. That’s less work figuring out what your customers like on your end!
Machine learning models that process big data on social media retrieve information from varying sources. Think personal data, locations, preferences, media and content, and many more. With access to that wealth of insights, you can start narrowing your demographics and target the right audiences with your social media content strategy.
Streamlined Information-Gathering Methods
With AI's help, big data processing makes it easier for omnichannel businesses to gather the needed information from a wide array of resources. For example, online signups are great for marketers to gain insights into their customers and their online activities.
Be honest. It's cool to see personalized ads on your timeline, right? It seems like the computer or your mobile is listening to you. Customers love it when they're hit with tailored and personalized offerings. That’s why companies invest in the best white label social media management services in the first place! With the help of big data, companies can communicate with clients more personally and display ads that audiences can relate to.
Big data on social media greatly influences how companies lay out their campaigns and efforts to increase their success rates. How? Big data strategies allow marketers to test their campaigns before launching them, analyze the results, and refine their final outputs. This is where campaign methods such as A/B testing and online surveys come in. With sufficient information, they can identify what works and what doesn’t, then apply it to their next marketing campaigns.
Using Big Data to Analyze Social Media Engagements
By now, we’ve established that social media and big data go hand-in-hand in today’s digital space.
Now, how can it be used to understand social media participation better?
As we’ve explained earlier, big data is so large or complex that it’s practically impossible to process it using traditional data processing methods. That's why when assessing big data, analysts use advanced machine learning algorithms that detect patterns in the data, letting them come up with better predictions.
As it's a massive and ever-growing landscape, big data has become a practical resource in analyzing large-scale social media engagements on a micro and macro level.
By collectively looking at users’ impressions and engagements, businesses can understand their audiences’ overall brand perception and learn how existing and prospective customers interact with them.
Organizations can also use big data on social media to gain insight into how customers receive and interact with their offerings, how customers use their products or service, and what happens to them afterward.
And most of all, big data comes in handy when analyzing user activity to influence how businesses respond to such behavior, create more defined business solutions, and eventually achieve better ROI in the long run.
Big Data on Social Media: Key Takeaways
A lot of people think that in the context of social media, big data simply represents the number of followers you have on Instagram or the number of comments you get on Facebook. But big data extends far beyond that.
Big data involves taking a massive amount of information to generate valuable, real-time insights about a specific group of people. It means understanding your online audiences’ collective sentiment by looking at thousands of posts and feedback on various social networking platforms. Through complex algorithms and AI models, big data can go as far as determining whether or not a person is happy just by looking at their online activity.
As such, big data on social media is one of the most valuable resources for businesses that want to achieve long-term online success. And that's because of its unrivaled benefit: It provides sufficient insights into your customers, competitors and whichever industry you're in.