With the right tools, collecting data from social media is trivial. Typically, different social media platforms have multiple levels of security measures and other keep-safes to keep their data siloed in their platform.
Accessing Social Media Platforms
Interestingly, social media platforms don’t even allow access to the data via APIs that they can provide in such a way that they can license data to businesses, but rather, keep the data all to themselves and essentially fail to deliver on what could be very valuable APIs for businesses to use.
Considering that most consumers with relative purchasing power globally are now online, having conversations, speaking their minds, and sharing their lives’ highlights, every brand and product targeting consumers have to monitor and understand what people are saying about their products, and in the case of paid promotions, they have to find the right people to say the right things about their products.
Being able to access this data is highly beneficial to many businesses, as whole industries have popped up over the past 2 decades around social media marketing, influencers, and social data analytics.
Unfortunately, most social media platforms do not have APIs and for the ones that do, they are prohibitively expensive in such a way that they’re only accessible to a small subset of potential beneficiaries. As a workaround, most consumers of social data — for crunching and business purposes, not entertainment — typically resort to scraping the data off the platforms, which can be a tricky process if you’re not using a reliable provider.
Why Scrape Social Platforms?
In any case, different parties scrape social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms for various reasons, which include:
- Learning about the latest trends and what’s currently popular
- Measuring the performance of their promoted campaigns
- Following a specific influencer or set of influencers in a particular niche
- Discovering influencers and hashtags that are relevant to their business interests
- Tracking the growth in popularity of a topic, hashtag, or trend over time
- Measuring general consumer sentiment towards a product or a company
- Monitoring a specific brand or product
Typically, those looking to collect, analyze, and learn from data scraped from social media platforms are as follows:
- Influencers — are always looking to discover and keep tabs on the latest trends, hashtags, and other popular users to make sure their content is relevant to the time period and culturally aligned with what’s hot and trending. Sometimes they might also want to track other influencers in their niche or general areas of interest for inspiration and to keep tabs on the competition.
- Influencer agencies — are also interested in tracking everything influencers do, in addition to other metrics that they could use in their pitches to brands and businesses that utilize their services in marketing on social media. They would also be interested in identifying influencers that are rising stars they can build relationships with to serve their brand clientele. A unique need of agencies is being able to discover influencers that are relevant before they become popular as talent management is one of their key value propositions.
- Brands — want to keep track of mentions of their products and people’s reviews and sentiments towards the company and its products. In cases where they pay for marketing and promotions by influencers and influencer agencies, brands would need to keep track of the performance of the marketing campaign and how well it measures up to their expectations and influences their target segment’s views. In addition to paid campaigns, it’s important for a consumer product company to keep tabs on every mention, piece of feedback, and customer interaction as it can go viral and affect the brand’s image.
- Influencer Data Platforms — aim to aggregate all potentially relevant data points that relate to influencers, they are typically catered towards larger brands that have significant investments in marketing their products via social channels (typically consumer products) and as such would be interested in keeping track of how the campaigns perform on every level (post engagement, likes, shares, and comments) and how it trends over time. Another important ability that these platforms facilitate is the ability to find and identify relevant influencers that could be good candidates for promoting a given business’ products, this is critical for influencer agencies and brands, in such a way that they are able to ensure their marketing dollars are being spent with the right influencers — seeing as it wouldn’t make sense to have a woodworking product promoted by a food influencer to their audience of foodies, but rather an influencer in the same niche.
As you might have gathered from the points above, being able to collect the raw data from social platforms is the first step in being able to make a host of business decisions that could spell the success or failure of a newly launched product, a marketing contract with an influencer agency, or a campaign with a particular influencer.
Many social media platforms do not have all of their content publicly accessible and require sign-ups or user accounts to view content en-masse, which is detrimental to the open web, not to mention that posts on more popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok are likely to be cited elsewhere on news articles and blog posts which serve as public record.
Start Scraping Social Media
Being a data collection platform, ScrapeOwl helps many businesses collect and analyze data from various social media platforms in order for them to be able to operate and provide downstream value to their clients. Occasionally, updates are made to the various platforms, and being able to react to those changes to ensure a continuous flow of data is critical to business operations and is something we take very seriously. It isn’t an easy job, but we aim to have full coverage of what’s on the web and that includes social media platforms.
If you would like to explore our solutions for scraping social media content, sign up and start testing the API, or email us at email@example.com