More than three billion people use social media today, with an average of 11 new accounts being created every second.
And, by the time you finish reading this article, there will have been tens of thousands of new posts on various social media platforms.
We can safely say that social media is a major source of big data, but what can you do with it all? How can businesses make sense of the data available to them?
With the amount of data being generated and accumulated through social media, data mining is useful for businesses to gather insights and other information about their audience.
Through social media data mining, you can uncover hidden information. That’s why in this article, we’ll be taking you through some different methods to mine data from social media.
What is social media data mining?
The term ‘social media data mining’ refers to the process of extracting information or ‘data’ from social media. For the first time, social media data mining goes beyond the confines of a company’s internal databases and systems.
Data from various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others, are typically used in this process to discover patterns and trends, draw conclusions, and provide useful and actionable information for businesses.
Data about consumers has long been gathered by businesses. Keeping track of who purchased what and when allows vendors to plan their sales accordingly.
At first, this information was collected through simple observation, noting information about a consumer when they were shopping and what they purchased. Now, in the age of digitalization, social media is one of the most important sources of information, along with data gathered from e-commerce platforms and others.
Social media data mining is based on the collection of what data?
It is a non-negotiable for businesses to be interested in learning more about their target audience and this is where you can use social media data mining to gather information about your target demographics and their interests.
People’s attitudes, connections, behaviors, and feelings toward a particular subject matter, product, or service are typically reflected in the collected data.
You can use this data to figure out how many people are following you on social media and how many of those people are commenting on your posts, as well as how many people are liking your posts and how many people are sharing your posts if you’re looking at Facebook data for example.
This is important to understand what kind of content and what products (or services) are garnering more interest in terms of their social media performance. This should be considered a direct audience survey.
How does social media data mining work?
Statistical techniques, mathematics, and machine learning are commonly used in the mining of social data.
As the first step, it is necessary to gather and analyze social media data from various sources. Apart from Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform where users interact and leave comments, a data mining expert can also extract data from various blogs, news sites, or forums.
Before moving on to the next step, all of this data must be processed. The methods you employ would depend on the amount of data you have and the quality (and intensity) of insights you’re looking to gather through the practice.
You may wish to analyze the data yourself to get a better understanding of your audience, however, if you have major decisions like expansion policies dependent on these results, then you might want experts to conduct the analysis.
Once the data has been gathered and processed, various data mining techniques can be used to identify common patterns and correlate various data points in large datasets more quickly and easily. It’s not uncommon for social media data mining techniques such as keyword extraction and sentiment analysis to be combined with other techniques like classifying, associating, tracking patterns, and forecasting.
A number of social media data mining software solutions are also used to optimize the social media data mining process. Microsoft SharePoint, Sisense, IBM Cognos, RapidMiner, and Dundas BI are some of the most popular data mining software solutions. Machine learning may also be used by data miners if a more in-depth analysis of data is needed.
Visualization is a final step in the data mining process, and it’s used as a way to convey information to those who need it most. Data visualization tools like Infogram, ChartBlocks, Tableau, and Datawrapper are some examples of tools commonly used for this purpose, as are social media analytics.
Examples of data mining software for social media
A wide variety of social media data mining software options are available. The primary function of data mining software platforms is to provide you with important metrics and formulas that you can use to make comparisons and measurements. Using data mining, as with most other business intelligence tools, it is possible to discover the connections between a range of business indicators.
Listed here are some examples of data mining software applications:
Sisense is the best BI software for quickly transforming your data into actionable information. Interactive BI dashboards allow you to filter, drill down, and further explore your data. You can easily prepare and analyze large or disparate data sets using the software’s tools. In addition to being an AI-driven business analytics tool, Sisense has a user-friendly UI designed to help you dig deeper into your data.
It’s possible to build interactive dashboards using a drag-and-drop web user interface that combines multiple data sources into one model. To quickly test out new ideas, the platform also has features that let you add new data sources to already-governed models.
Faster than any other data preparation and analytics system on the market today, RapidMiner has over 1,500 built-in algorithms and functions.
The platform is also an end-to-end data ingest and transformation platform, allowing you to work with data from multiple sources.
Using pre-created use-case templates, the software provides a simplified solution accelerator. With RapidMiner, you can select, validate, deploy, and optimize ML models in production processes automatically.
You can use the software to increase revenue, reduce financial costs, and avoid potential risks. Sharing predictive analytics processes and valuable and repeatable data pipelines with your team can also be accomplished by organizing team-based data science projects.
Microsoft SharePoint is one of the best options for both commercial and non-commercial users when it comes to analyzing large amounts of data. It integrates seamlessly into all Microsoft Office products and provides a wide range of customization options. Predictive analytics and powerful data models can be built using Microsoft Sharepoint.
A variety of development scenarios are available to you thanks to the software’s information management and security features. Data visualization and exploration is also possible using this tool.
Your social media accounts are a great place to engage and interact with your customers. But there is a lot more you can do to stay ahead of your rivals. Even though data mining is yet another task to add to your marketing plans, you’ll soon discover that the additional effort is well worth it.
It’s important to know how to use the data you can gather from social media platforms to your advantage. We don’t have these social media data mining tools by accident. For data-driven business decisions, use these tools and techniques.
Guest Author: Neeraj Agarwal is a founder of Algoscale, a data consulting company covering data engineering, applied AI, data science, and product engineering. He has over 9 years of experience in the field and has helped a wide range of organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies ingest and store enormous amounts of raw data in order to translate it into actionable insights for better decision-making and faster business value.