Create Contests and Promotions on Facebook now! Try it for Free!


Por María Eugenia Guidara |

social media data


The strategy for making marketing decisions based on data (Data Driven Marketing) is becoming a central resource for any type of company or business.

Social Media Marketing can also take advantage of a strategy to increase the effectiveness of campaigns. In this case, we are before a Social Media Data strategy. If you haven´t yet implemented this, let us say that you are missing out on a huge opportunity. The word “loser” is said with affection.



Data Driven features help you work with data

Each click made by a user leaves a mark, a trace that can be followed. This data stream can help you make intelligent decisions. In a publication by the Harvard Business Review (HBR), Thomas c. Redman, “the data doctor ”, names a series of Data Driven features that can help you to start using data focused on Social Media Data.

  • Bring as much data diversity as possible to any situation
  • Use data to allow for more in-depth understanding of your worlds
  • Appreciate variation
  • Get along with uncertainty
  • Recognize the importance of high quality data and invest to improve
  • Integrate the ability to understand data with the implications and your intuition
  • Identifying the decision criteria can vary depending on the circumstances
  • Be good investigators and experimenters
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Recognize that making a decision is only the first step

The change of data and the high-quality data rolls

It´s important to stop on two points of this list. The first one is the variation topic. The process, even if it´s controlled, can change. span lang=”en-US”>Data can vary all the time and this variation is understood with what is going on. Social Media Data, also known as “social data”, comes from social networks that are very susceptible to variation. That’s why it´s important to be good experimenters.

In second place we find the roll of high-quality data. Thomas C. Redman indicates that “high-quality data makes variations to be understood easier and reduces uncertainty”. Accordingly, if you use these types of data you make an easier decision (although the success is measured after the execution).

Important: Without correct goals you run the risk of making wrong decisions

Without a doubt, a Social Media strategy is based on goal objectives. The presence of large volumes of data can be misunderstood with universal solutions. Of course there are possible answers, evidence and visions in this data that in other words we wouldn´t be able to see.

If you haven’t set the right goals in order to achieve the collected data from social networks, there is a great risk of drawing false conclusions and making wrong decisions. 

the right goals

So, with these explanations in your pocket (always at hand), you can start implementing Social Media Data in your campaigns

To begin using “social data” in your Social Media campaigns, it´s important to understand that we are not referring to Social Media data. We are talking about all the information created by Internet users on pubic digital spaces such as:

  • The Social Search: tracking hashtags and the analysis of keywords
  • Social Networks: publications, tweets, favorites, feelings, commentary, shares, etcetera.
  • Platforms for the creation and publication of content: websites, web recommendations such as Yelp or Foursquare, blogs and wikis
  • Multimedia public platforms for the exchange of content: YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, Quora, etcetera.

Without a doubt, sources are missing. But it would be too long to describe all the possibilities in finding “social data” on the Web. To understand the dimension of this digital phenomenon, nothing better than the words of assistant professor of Computer Science, Jure Leskovec, from Stanford University.

“Traditionally: the web is a static library. Search engines search and index the Web. Users perform consultations to find what they want. Today: online information gives us small fragments of real time sources on social networks”.

Then a new Web or a new aspect of this Web exists. A Web that appears, not as a universal library, but as a “source of updated information” where Internet users all around the world (billion) can create and share information in real time.


Example: Diffusion Network (Jure Leskovec)

Example: Diffusion Network (Jure Leskovec)

Social Media Data Transformation Intelligence on Social Media

Many times, are these two concepts used interchangeably. However, they don´t mean the same. Data that comes from social media are the raw materials where intelligent strategies are proposed on Social Media. Which means that, Social Media intelligence is the finished product of campaigns that are made according to collected data. Objectives and criteria are ready to be worked on with raw materials.

Ask yourself then: What business objectives do I need to reach with the help of this information? They can be the following:

  • Find information about your products or services through the analysis of client or potential client´s feelings
  • Measure the ROI (Return on Social Media Investment) of Social Media
  • Improve customer service
  • Discover and modify segmented groups

Different tools exist to track Social Media depending on the chosen objectives. Or you can reach an analysis that provides information to reach several goals.

Data limitations

We have already discussed the data variations and we also mentioned something about false conclusions. It´s worth to insist upon this a bit more. For example, take into consideration the silent spiral of Social Media.

This phenomenon existed way before Internet was in our lives. This is about the resistance of people to speak or give an opinion about something that can be different from what the majority of people think. This also happens on social networks and you should consider this when you analyze data.

The key is to know that users do not always share the most resonant opinions on social media.

In the same way, you must be careful when thinking that Pinterest is a social network primarily used by women, or that Snapchat is only used by the Z generation. Therefore we leave them aside since they don´t represent our target audience.

Finally, we have the problem of false accounts or profiles on social networks. If the main platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) guarantee the elimination of these types of accounts, they can still influence in collected data: likes, followers and reach.

Practical Question 1: How to use social Data to investigate “People Buyers”

Basically a person buyer is a representation of a semi-fictional potential client or final consumer. Segments of the population are worked on. Each segment has names, certain characteristics and a defined personality.

In addition to the types of demographic data, Social Media Data can add to the construction of a buyer person. The focus must be in identifying the real language the ideal clients use to make all types of comments.

Including common phrases of these individuals on your campaigns can give you more opportunities to persuade your clients that your product or service adapts best to their needs.

Practical Questions 2: Extract Social Media Data from contests on social networks

Do you know what a “cohort” is? According to Wikipedia“a group of subjects with a common defining characteristic during a certain period of time”An excellent way to analyze the behavior of time is by a cohort analysis.


An online store launches a discount during the month of September and wants to know if the discount obtained long term results. To do this it analyzes the behavior of clients that made their first purchase during the discounted month. Those users who purchased for the first time during the month of September would define the cohort, but the analysis would extend to the following six months. What data can the store get from the analyzed time period?

  1. Did those who made their first purchase, visit the online store again?
  2. Did they purchase during periods other than the discounted ones?
  3. Did they spend the same amount than the rest of the users?
Cohorts are groups of people that share a common trait within a certain time. Source:

Cohorts are groups of people that share a common trait within a certain time.


Contests have strengthened traffic movements, new followers, and a good number of subscriptions among other benefits. That is why it´s a good idea to apply the cohort analysis to contests.


Suppose you create a contest for 15 days during the month of November. The people who subscribe to this contest during that time period could determine your cohort. Attention: the analysis or tracking of these users must be performed during the following six months (for example).

Made observations:

  • How many of these users (or new subscribers) use the promotions or discount coupons during those six months?
  • Are they more or less valuable people than the subscribers you get through your website?
  • How many of these subscribers you obtained through the contest made a purchase during the analyzed period?

And we could continue to think about more observations. The idea is for you see the value of creating an action like this one. Furthermore, to create contests is very easy. Did you know that with Social Tools you could create contests and promotions on Facebook? 

This app offers you many options: image contests, video contests, and story contests. Timeline contests, survey contests, voting contests and multiple choice contests, among many other possibilities.

We have reached the end of this article. Without a doubt, this has been an overview of basic issues about the use of Social Media Data in your campaigns and some practical issues on how to begin. We still have a lot to develop for our next post.

Now, please tell us: Are you using social data for your Social Media strategies? Do other sources or essential issues exist that you would like to share? Ultimately, what is your experience? We leave you with a number of related articles about something that we are passionate about: social media: