Social media platforms attract hundreds of millions of people across the globe. From a business perspective, they stand as these massive sources of data. However, extracting data from social media platforms can be challenging.
The operation is so delicate that you might even have to use particular proxy servers, such as residential proxies, to do it. Let’s see why you should go to such an extent to get hold of data on social media and how proxy servers can help.
Why are social networks necessary for business?
To understand why social networks are essential, you need to see how many potential customers use them.
According to Statista, over 3.6 billion people were on social media platforms in 2020, and the projections tell us that the number will increase to 4.4 billion by 2025.
People use social media platforms to do a wide range of things, from sharing their interests and engaging with other people to talking about products and brands. When you look at social media from a business perspective, these sites offer many opportunities, such as:
- Creating an official social media account and interacting with prospects and customers;
- Launching a paid ads campaign to generate new leads and boost sales;
- Expanding your company’s reach and getting more exposure;
- Seeing what the competition is doing.
Social media is even more attractive because you can do almost all of the above (except paid ads) for free.
Social media as a source of information
While many businesses use social media to do some of the things we’ve listed above, one use case escapes many – using social media as a source of information. Yes, you can mine social media for valuable data.
These platforms are excellent sources of information. Here are some examples to help you understand the value of extracting data from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Companies need data to optimize their marketing strategies, so they often mine social media platforms for actionable information. They look for the most engaging advertising messages. They also look to discover the most effective messages among specific demographic groups.
Social media data mining can also help companies source the best, most relevant influencers. They can use this information to cherry-pick the influencers to endorse their products and services.
When it comes to researching a market, social media can provide valuable insights. Companies can discover what their prospects love, prefer, and what problems they need to solve.
They can also learn the consumers’ attitudes toward specific brands and their offerings or research competition or potential partners to facilitate expansion in particular markets.
Gathering intelligence on social media can help businesses compile more complete data sets for predictive analytics. It can help them anticipate the industry trends, market demand, and customer behavior.
However, there is one problem. These platforms have extensive anti-scraping measures to provide an excellent experience to their users.
It means you can’t simply go and extract data from social media without the platforms noticing and blocking you. That is where proxies come in to help you obtain information from these platforms.
Using proxies for scraping social media
Using proxies for scraping social media is a standard process. Social media websites will block your IP address and stop your data-gathering operation if you don’t use a proxy server.
You can’t trick anti-scraping measures even if you use the best web scraper and several different accounts at once. Without a proxy, you will still log in from the same IP address, which will raise red flags.
Proxy servers act as gateways between you and social media websites. They give you access to a pool of IP addresses. When mining data, using a unique IP address can help you achieve your goal.
With some specific proxy types, such as residential proxies and rotating proxies, you will be able to complete your data mining operations without any interruptions.
A residential proxy is unique because it has an actual IP address that no one can trace to a location in the real world. It helps your web scraper appear as a real social media user, thus preventing blocks and disconnects. Once you gain access to organic social media user behavior, you can conduct data extraction operations at scale.
Another perk that proxies deliver is that you can use them seamlessly with your web scrapers, even if you set up scapers to use several social media accounts to execute data gathering.
Social media is a valuable source of information for businesses across industries. However, extracting that data might be problematic.
Fortunately, you can circumvent the challenges and anti-scraping measures thanks to residential proxies and complete your data extraction projects uninterrupted.