Best practices to use when collecting data on social media


Among the best parts about social media marketing is its ability to reduce your data collection work by picking up data in real-time. For any marketing campaign, social media platforms will help you see the success of your efforts within a few hours, and also give you more details about your industry and business to fine-tune your marketing efforts.

Social media data is essential to this job, and it usually encompasses user demographics and the social media metrics of your audience. Additionally, it can also involve the content your target audience tends to post on their social media accounts, which you can find out when you use social listening tools; these can include Instagram likes, comments from your audiences, and retweets or shares.

Why social media data is important?

These analytics are essential if you want to comprehend what works for your business and become more effective at communicating with your target audience. It helps you spot the weaknesses your strategy may have and eliminate them, which helps in maximizing your reach and brand growth.

You can use your social media data findings to customize your marketing strategy as well, tailoring it to each social network you are on.

Some of the questions you can answer from your data mining efforts include:

  • The demographics of your social media audiences on each platform
  • The time of day these audiences are most active
  • The most popular hashtags they tend to use and engage with
  • The content your audiences prefer, such as videos or photos
  • The organic posts you should consider paying for to improve engagement
  • The subjects your audiences require help with

You can also use the data you acquire to prove your social media effort values. These can include measuring your success rate through brand awareness, the number of subscribers, and sales.

Also Read: Salesforce Training, Is It Worth It?

The social media data you should track

This will largely depend on your goals as a business. For instance, tracking your brand engagement is the best metric to use if you want to increase awareness about your brand, while conversions are the best metric to use if the goal is boosting or creating sales.

Some raw data you should collect through social media includes profile visits, engagement rates, follower growth over time, your post reach, video views and impressions, demographic data, and brand sentiment.

Regardless of how you collect your information, you must follow data security rules. Most regulated industries have specific compliance and privacy guidelines, but you should also keep these in mind even in unregulated industries. An example is disclosing that your website uses cookies from your visitors to track their information.

How you should track this social media data

While platforms such as Instagram include built-in analytics, it is essential to get a more unified view to make the most of the data available to you. To do this, some ways you can employ include:

Using social media data analytics tools

Using third-party analytics tools will give you a unified picture of your brand reach across multiple platforms, instead of only limiting it to one or two platforms. Knowing this information gives you more context in your data interpretation, since you can see the audience response on different platforms, and you can also tailor specific strategies to specific audiences.

Recording your findings

If you do not have a recording system, the data collection efforts you make can prove overwhelming. You can use multiple ways to record the data, including Google Sheets and Excel spreadsheets. 

Keeping track of these insights will allow you to compare the results you get to the goals you have set and improve any loopholes you notice in your strategy.

Share them in social media reports

Aside from compiling your social media findings to make it easier for you to track your performance, you will also need to make these findings easy for your stakeholders to comprehend. This will also serve you well when you are analyzing and planning your next steps.

Whether you prefer making your social media reports annually or using social media analytics platforms to analyze your findings and create custom reports, you can use reporting templates that will create professional presentations of this information.

Social media data collection is important, but you must remain ethical in this activity to avoid coming off as ‘creepy’. The best method is using social media analytics managers, and ensuring the data you collect is not too personal and benefits your audiences.

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