What To Know About How Big Data Is Affecting Social Media

Ever wondered how big data is affecting social media? Here's how it's making a major impact on such an important and powerful medium.

November 17, 2018
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Big data is the term used to describe the insurmountable volume of information that internet users generate every single second. The word “big” doesn’t adequately sum up what marketers and businesses have available to them.

A chief generator of big data is social media. With billions of active users on social platforms daily, artificial intelligence, automation bots, and analytics collectors glean copious amounts of information that can be used to improve marketing schemes and make the user experience better online.

In turn, this changes the social media experience. With the influence of big data, businesses and consumers alike enjoy a new experience catered by the constant influx of data.

Marketing strategies must adapt to include more automation.

The experienced marketer is no stranger to adaptation while incorporating the latest strategies into their campaigns. This is essential because big data requires constant adaptation. Primarily, we’re seeing an increase in the use of automation.

Automation in marketing has mixed reviews. Some say it’s a huge time saver that they can’t live without while others are concerned that it leads to fake engagement. With big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, automation is becoming better than ever.

For example, you can use an Instagram automation bot to increase real engagement on the platform. It will comment and like posts so that you don’t have to be on social media 24/7 to get your more Instagram followers for example. Thanks to the information that big data provides, bots are learning more about context and how to respond on social platforms in a more human-like manner.

The user experience is more centered on users.

One reason that social platforms prioritize data collection and distribution is the benefit for them. If they can use the information to provide a more tailored user experience, they’ll generate more daily users, increasing profits.

For this purpose, social platforms rely on a machine learning algorithm. It tracks customer behavior and their interactions with businesses, and if brands are annoying to customers, the algorithm makes it harder for your business to be seen in social feeds. It could also suspend or ban your account if it seems like you’re using unethical means to interact with users.

This is an important lesson for any marketer. If you want to keep up with the social algorithms, you must provide an authentic experience for your followers.

Targeted advertisement is more powerful than ever.

Many marketing teams don’t buy traditional advertising because they feel that targeted advertising on social media is more powerful than any other form. An article published on Towards Data Science illustrates the effectiveness of targeted advertising as follows:

“…Let’s say a family-friendly restaurant wants to place an advertisement on social media. By analyzing user data, they may realize that on Facebook, there are many middle-aged women who have marked their status as ‘Married’ and listed their children on their profile online from 10AM-11AM on weekdays. As this is their target demographic, they can choose to play their advertisement only from 10AM-11AM on weekdays, and reach a greater proportion of viewers who are more likely to become customers.”

Of course, this kind of targeted advertisement is only possible through platforms that are run by artificial intelligence. It also requires automation to get your posts in front of the right people at just the right moment. If you don’t post when your users are on, your engagement will decrease.

Consumers are surrounded by attempts to influence decision making.

Social media used to be a place where you would primarily interact with friends and family, but thanks to data, it’s morphing into a business-marketing platform. A consumer’s motivation for entering the site might stem from a desire to connect with friends and family, but before long, they’re engaging with brands and shopping for products and services. Some sites, like Instagram and Facebook, even allow consumers to make a purchase without leaving the social site!

Social media has also become a hub to post and read reviews, helping customers make decisions about what and where to buy. It’s constantly producing data for consumers, but the data is also used by businesses to form advertising campaigns and customer profiles.

Everyone can access big data now.

“There was a time when Big Data was thought to be a luxury only the Fortune 500 companies could afford,” writes Michele Nemschoff of CMSWire. “Now, thanks to low-cost platforms like Apache Hadoop, along with inexpensive data storage in the cloud, enterprises of all sizes can store, manage and analyze social media marketing data effectively and affordably to gain a competitive advantage on a much more level playing field.”

Marketers can access a lot of information about their targeted audience through the free analytics provided on the platform of choice. There are also useful tools that collect information and present them in readable dashboards, providing insights that you can’t get through the social page’s analytics. Good marketers take this information and put it back into their posts, influencing consumer decision making even further. It’s a constant cycle in the favor of businesses and consumers alike.

Automation, through big data, leads to higher ROI.

There’s nothing worse than feeling like the money you’ve put into a marketing campaign was poorly spent. There are often too many expensive moving pieces without enough return to make it worthwhile. Automation, with the help of big data, on the other hand, increases the average return of investment of a marketer or business.

“ROI is return on investment, and technically that’s just what it is,” Jesse Brodsky, Head of Membership, CEO of Lawyers of Distinction told Forbes. “Think of the amount of time, human resources, and money you invest in a social media marketing campaign. What you get back in returns from that investment – sales, email subscribers, traffic, downloads, brand visibility or customer trust – is your ROI number.”

Data makes it possible to do more with your social platforms without sacrificing your precious time. It also makes it easier to measure the success of each campaign so you can recognize required improvements.

Adopting social media automation tools can be the key to utilizing all the incredible data social media provides and creating strong platforms for your platform’s success. When you’ve mastered the use of data for social marketing, you’ll see clear results in your ROI.