Social Data: What is it & Why Do Brands Value It?

Social Data

Social data is a valuable type of metadata. By using social data, brands can have the power to easily increase their overall reach, boost engagement, increase marketing performance and more.

Social data is a valuable type of metadata. By using social data,  brands can have the power to easily increase their overall reach, boost engagement, increase marketing performance and more.

People spend on average two hours and half a day on social media applications. Social media has become one of the best marketing places for companies to connect with consumers.

There is no denying that social media has taken the world by storm. In the last two years, the number of social media users exponentially grew, leading to today when nearly seven-in-ten Americans actively use social platforms to share information, engage with popular topics, and stay connected with one another. With so many people using social media, it has become one of the best marketing places for companies of all sizes to connect with consumers. That’s because personal data is more valuable than you think.

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In fact, for many people, social media has become a staple in their daily routine. With an average time of two hours and half hours a day on social media applications, Americans are unknowingly providing essential social data to fuel market research on everything from sunglasses to politics and everything in-between. But what if you could capitalize on your own social data? Read on to learn more about the impact of social data and how you can make it work for you.

What is Social Data?

Social data, also known as social media data, is the essential metadata collected from new and potential customers through online activity with these applications (apps). This data tracks how users engage with content, gathers the raw percentages and statistics, and then analyzes and applies those metrics to create an accurate online portfolio of who interacts with what content. While Facebook and Youtube are the most widely used over other social platforms, there are still plenty of others to gather social data, including:

  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Nextdoor
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit

When people agree to the terms and conditions of these applications, they are willingly sharing public information, also known as metadata, which modern marketers can use. Metadata examples include:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Interest
  • The device used to access each application


This information is highly sought-after by companies and modern marketers because it helps provide vital and direct feedback on marketing campaigns.

Types of Social Data

Most people are not aware of how public their social data is, which allows companies easy access to it. Think of it this way, every time you are scrolling on Instagram, casually liking or sharing posts, your interaction is being assessed by those business profiles. Social data is truly brimming with possibilities for marketers since there are so many ways they can gain insight into consumers’ perceptions of products or services. Some different types of social data collected include:

  • Facebook posts
  • Pins on Pinterest
  • Check-ins on Yelp
  • Favorited Tiktok videos
  • Likes on Instagram
  • Tweets and engagement on Twitter
  • Location tracking

Every time you engage on these social media sites, you provide essential feedback to big tech. Marketers can then collect this information, utilize your social data, and then create targeted ads for each user.

How is Social Data Collected?

Social ROI (rate of interaction) depends on the collected social data and how a company utilizes it. A great example of how social data is collected and analyzed is how ads are tailored to fit people with similar metadata.

If someone follows several musicians, a company could then send targeted ads for upcoming concerts. Companies can take this desired social data and then target other users who have similar metadata to hopefully have them buy their products or services. This works by creating general profiles for different customers and creating algorithms to target people based loosely on their likeness to each profile.

Another way that this helps companies is by informing them of the best places to advertise. The use of collected social data allows companies to narrow down their target audience, understand the best places to advertise, utilize the essential metadata of users, and then create specific ads for those users. This social engagement allows companies to grow and continue interacting with their existing customers.

What’s the Value of Social Data

Since companies rely on the analyzed insight collected from social media users, this data needs to be properly collected and efficiently analyzed. While online marketing campaigns can be more measurable and quantifiable than social data, its best to think of social data as raw material, collected from some of the following metrics: mentions, shares, likes, impressions, comments, conversions, & clicks.

While all of these metrics add to the overall portfolio, click metadata is crucial to understand what is captivating and holding consumers’ interests. Tracking lead conversions is a way to follow the entire buyer journey, from clicking a link to buying a product or service. This process allows businesses to get a deeper understanding of their target audience and even helps with deciding their next marketing moves.

One of the major goals of collecting social data is to help companies leverage that information across multiple platforms to set and reach attainable goals, help influence future products, and get a clear idea of customer impressions. Not only should it benefit sales, but it needs to translate to customer support as well. Check out some good examples of how you can use social data to improve your marketing and overall consumer experience.

Audience segmentation is a valuable way to create custom-fit experiences for your recipients. Think of it as helping categorize consumers into different groups so that businesses can craft strategic advertising for each group. The language, tone, and phrasing included will differ between audiences.

  • Deliver content based on what popular topics customers like.
  • Understand how specific posts lead to better click conversion models.
  • Use behavioral insights for different consumer profiles to create tailored content.

Both companies and people can benefit from audience segmentation because it helps create a more enjoyable online experience. Brands can use social data in a few different ways.

Marketing Campaigns

By closely monitoring social data, brands can harness it’s power to develop marketing campaigns. Marketers analyze the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, and gain valuable insight for the development of future products and services.

Persona Development

Social data allows brands to develop accurate personas for marketing purposes. It enables marketers to collect valuable insight into who their customers are and they can create personas to accurately reach their target audience.

Product Development

Much like creating marketing campaigns, social data allows brands to source information on the success of their sales and products. They can use this information to further develop a product or make minor adjustments to increase the quality of user experience.


Using social data, brands can consolidate and manage particular candidates for a given role. This type of information allows a brand recruiter to quickly hire top talent before the competition can.

Social Data Limitations

Social data needs to be collected from user engagement, and then it needs to be analyzed to determine the reach, influence, and relevance. This allows businesses to determine when their target audience is online, what posts they are enjoying, and whether or not there is any viral activity with each post. Since these details are necessary to create an accurate portrait of a company’s online presence, it’s imperative to ensure they are correctly analyzed.

Now, the caveat of social data is that it has certain limitations based on how much users choose to share about themselves. Some users may not share their location, gender, or age which can limit the results. Additionally, there may be fake accounts, or bots, that tarnish results as well. Furthermore, any algorithms trying to decipher sentimental analysis about products may find it challenging to create a solid picture since many comments may be either neutral or highly polarized.

What’s the Value of Social Data for Brands?

Social strategy and data analysis work hand in hand to provide the groundwork for a compelling listening tool for what holds potential customers’ interest.

Social marketers analyze social data from reviews, product surveys, questions, complaints, and online consumer engagement to uncover new trends, reach new customers, and create stronger brand loyalty. Using these initial insights, companies can then understand what people are thinking, how they are using their time, and ways to craft compelling tactics to gain new followers.

With worldwide internet users spending an average of 145 minutes a day online, there is a constant need to create compelling content. Social data is more than counting likes or shares; in fact, it provides businesses so much more about how audiences choose to engage with a company.

When your audience uses social media, they want tailored experiences based on their interests. The better marketers understand what their audience loves to read, watch, or listen to, the more they can improve the content experience for different users.

Take Control of Your Social Data

Now that you know just how valuable your social data is to big tech, wouldn’t it be nice to have a content feed that treats you like the client – not the product? Understanding how vital social data is to marketers can empower you to take back control of it. One of the best ways to push back against corporations monetizing your data is by using an online platform that gives you a cut of the profit that your data generates.

Invisibly is a content feed that’s designed by you, for you. Not only can you earn and spend with your data, but you will get an online feed that’s uniquely cultivated for your interests. With more companies looking to profit off of social data, Invisibly provides people the chance to own their algorithms. Sign up today to start putting your social data to good use.




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