There are many reasons why it can be very useful to drill down into the details of what society is thinking. You might want to extrapolate broader cultural trends in order to formulate your business strategy. You might want to dig down into market segmentation. You might want to get a clearer picture of who your customers are. The data that people provide about themselves via social media is one incredibly rich source of this kind of information.
There are numerous ways to benefit from the information people provide about themselves. Below you can find some of the most promising sources.
Google Trends allows you to explore, unpick and gain an overview of the billions of search queries that people make through Google. With Google Trends you can find out about the search volume (as a proportion of total overall searches) for any given query since 2004. Used wisely this tool can be a wonderful way of gaining an insight into trends over time.
You can access Twitter’s analytics for free. This isn’t the most in-depth resource in the world. However, it does allow you an excellent overview of what is working for your company and what is not. You can map your user engagement and dig down into the details of your follower profiles. It can even help you to understand more about your customers or users.
With Facebook’s Graph Search, you can gain access to any information that facebook users choose to keep public. Obviously much of their information is private, but there is still a lot of good mine-able information out there that users have chosen to keep public. You can find what people are sharing and on what they are commenting. You can find out which campaigns are hits and which are not. From the marketing perspective you can gain a better understanding of how to successfully engage your customers.
Like Button is an interesting app that mines Facebook’s public data for hot topics. It can give you some great information about what people ‘like’ at any given moment. This tool is best used as an overview tool. As such, it can help you locate the best areas for further investigation, the best places to drill down and look closer.
Viral Heat gives you access to their valuable hoard of data gleaned from Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. You can create your own self-updating social media charts to help you understand what is driving consumer sentiment. You can also access Viral Heat’s in-house infographics. Viral Heat’s strength lies in its predictive ability. People’s comments on social media sites are more likely to be indicative of actions or purchases that they have already undertaken. Whereas, Viral Heat by quantifying people’s searches allows you an insight into their prospective actions. This could be an immensely powerful tool to aid your marketing strategy.
We hope you’ve found these social media data sources to be really helpful. If you have favorite sources that we haven’t included here, why not let us know via Twitter.