What is social data and why do I need it?

Thu, 15/03/2018 - 08:24

Marketing in the modern world has changed dramatically with the innovation of Facebook and other social media platforms. Marketers have had to change their tactics to keep up and have had to use the social media platforms and the information they provide on audiences to do so. This information is known as “social data”. But what exactly is social data and why do you need it?

What is social data and why do I need it?

Social data: the what

Social media data, or social data, consists of the the raw insights and information collected from clients’ social media profiles and social interactions. It tracks how customers engage with your content on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This data is a collection of numbers, statistics and percentages to help you ascertain the performance of a specific social media post. 

The social data that is collected from social media platforms includes shares, likes, conversions, comments, mentions, impressions and most importantly, clicks. The metadata of clicks is vital for understanding more about what leads are interested in. 

Analysing this data will allow you to discover what your target audience truly enjoys and which social media posts they are more likely to be interested in seeing more of. You may find that some social media ads perform better than others, allowing you to change your marketing strategy for the better. 

Social data: the how

Now that you understand what social data is, you are more than likely curious about how it works. Social data is collected using the tools of the social media platform, with Facebook offering their own Analytics program as well as Twitter. This data is collected and analysed to ascertain what is and is not working by showing the percentages and statistics mentioned above. 

You can use this social data to build social data analytics to make sense of it all. Think of a social media post as you would a recipe: you need the basic ingredient list in order to put together the entire cake. And this ingredient list is what social data provides. Without the ingredients, the recipe would be useless. 

Social data does not only show you what you are doing wrong, but also what you are doing right. You can compare information with monthly, weekly and even daily filters on Facebook in order to have a side-by-side comparison of how your campaigns are performing. You will need to track the metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) from each social media platform separately to gauge what each different audience reacts to. 

In order for social data analysis to be effective, you will need to define both your least and most important metrics. If you want to know how much your Facebook audience has grown, you will need to look at engagement rates, new followers, post reach and paid and organic likes. The most important data to look at for new social media campaigns is any data that highlights your ROI. 

Social data: the why

Continuing with the cake analogy, if social data is the ingredient list, social media analytics is your recipe. Social data is needed to create these analytics, making them highly important to any business that wants to answer pertinent questions about their social media performance. 

You can craft a campaign strategy: Using social data, you can find out which networks contribute to the most lead generation and conversions. By understanding which networks are popular, you can tailor your campaigns to suit these networks. You will also be able to discover what content leads audiences to clicks, shares, likes and conversions. Social data also allows you to see which posts are bringing in leads. 

You can measure ROI effectively: Not only will you be able to see which posts garner the most likes, shares and clicks but you will also be able to measure your ROI. Some of the more updated social media platforms have analytics that allow you to see how many contacts (and hopefully leads) your social media efforts have brought about, which is an important metric for any client. Using the social data you can craft more posts that will increase your ROI.

You will save time on content creation: Social media content creation can become something of a “throw something out into the world and hope it sticks” method, which can take up valuable time and may not result in the conversions you were looking for. Using the social data, your content creators will be able to craft campaigns that your audience truly wants to see in a shorter period of time. 


Social media data allows for more engaging content for your audience and more personalised sales outreach possibilities. By collecting social data, you are not only able to tie social media to ROI but also use this data in your entire marketing ecosystem. Integrating analytical data such as this will allow you to see the bigger picture of your customer’s journey and deliver a more engaging and rewarding content experience.

Need Assistance with Digital Strategy?

Rogerwilco’s team of strategists, business analysts and data scientists is here to help.