Social Media and Big Data Are Creating a New Generation of Millionaires

Social media marketers need to use the best big data tools and know what to track if they want to be successful.

August 3, 2017
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MySpace was launched nearly 15 years ago. Few people would have predicted that such a platform could be the birthplace of many online fortunes. As new social media platforms took the world by storm, a number of social media stars used their newfound popularity to become wealthy. Big data has made capitalizing off of social media even easier in recent years.

Many people believe that becoming a successful social media superstar is all about being funny and attractive. However, successful social media marketers need to be very analytical as well. I recently spoke with my friend Eric, who runs a boutique social media marketing agency. Eric said that he and his colleagues wouldn’t be able to offer quality service without highly sophisticated tracking tools.

“Most people think Marketing is all about creative and optics, “Eric said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I would say that 40% of your success is attributed to your creative’s and the other 60% is due to your data. The reality most new social media marketers fail to grasp is that you can never know what will and will not work. It all comes down to testing. It all comes down to data. Without data, your social media strategy is doomed to fail from day one.”

There are plenty of tools on the market that make it easier for marketers to make informed decisions. Most of these tools rely heavily on big data extraction. They include:

  • HubSpot. HubSpot is a CRM tool that is used by marketers around the world. They use it to manage social inbound marketing and email marketing campaigns. HubSpot used to have a simple SQL database system, but has since transitioned to a database that uses parallel Hadoop analytics clusters.
  • HooteSuite. HootSuite is a bulk social media automation and analytics platform. It used to rely on Hadoop for big data analysis, but recently switched to Amazon’s Simple Storage Solution (S3), which was a more scalable model.
  • Brand24. Brand24 is a brand monitoring tool that has been used by Volvo, Uber and other well-known brands. It has enough to storage to archive up to a year’s worth of social data. They allow their users to analyze five analytics categories: Mentions, Analysis, Sources, Quotes, and Comparison.
  • Buzzsumo. BuzzSumo is a competitive analysis tool that specializes in analyzing content marketing strategies. It has unique APIs that store and extract data in structured formats. Their standard API can be easily integrated into other applications. They make it easy to develop GUI analytics dashboards, fetch share counts for URLs and build internal reporting tools.

As social media companies collect more data on their users, they are able to provide more detailed information to marketers. However, marketers need to understand the importance of using data to optimize their strategies.

Here are some social media millionaires that are leveraging data to pad their bottom line.

social media entrepreneurs

Sam Ovens

After being unhappy as a corporate executive, Sam Ovens left his job to become a consultant. Most of his success is attributed to his social media expertise. Ovens said that data is integral to every business, particularly those that depend on social media.

“Where most entrepreneurs go wrong is they don’t know what things are working and what things are not, meaning they cannot Six anything,” Ovens writes in his ebook. “The solution to this problem is to measure everything so that you can use data to make decisions instead of your using your gut. Every business has its critical numbers and whatever business you’re in you want to Sind out what they are and put systems in place to keep track of them.”

Liz Eswein

Liz Eswein is quite possibly the most influential Instagram user in the world. In 2010, she never planned on becoming a professional photographer or artist.

Her life changed forever after she joined Instagram. She discovered a hidden talent for photography and quickly became one of the most popular Instagram users. Today, she gets paid up to $15,000 for every picture she takes in shares on Instagram.

Eswein obviously couldn’t have become popular without being an amazing photographer. However, she also needed to look objectively at data to make smart marketing decisions. She registered in number of Instagram accounts to amplify her social media presence. After reviewing the social media metrics of her accounts, she found that only a couple of them generated enough traction to be worth the investment.

She now focuses most of her time on her main account, which has generated most of her revenue. If she didn’t pay close attention to the data of her followers, she would’ve spread herself too thin managing a number of accounts that didn’t contribute to her bottom line.

Amalia Ulman

Amalia Ulman is an Argentinian artist that used Instagram to launch her fame. She didn’t just take an ad hoc approach like most other social media wannabes. Ulman was extremely analytical and data focused, which set her ahead of the competition.

Ulman spent months studying the hashtags, headlines and other elements of successful celebrities on Instagram. She used this data to optimize her own social media strategy. Within five months, she amassed nearly 100,000 Instagram followers. Her impressive Instagram presence made it incredibly easy for her to sell her art and charge premium rates.

Big Data is Crucial to Every Social Media Strategy

One of my mentors, David Ford, has consistently said that the secret to success in online marketing comes down to three things “testing, testing and testing.” You need a lot of data to really make it work. Social media marketers need to use the best big data tools and know what to track if they want to be successful.