How Web Scraping Can Benefit Your Social Media Efforts

Social media has become one of the most effective marketing platforms for your brand or business. These high-traffic platforms make it easier to connect directly with your target audience on a global scale. Not only that, but since these platforms are so active every day, you have a much bigger chance of getting new leads, conversions and sales by utilizing social media marketing. There are many different ways to use social media for marketing purposes, but how do you find the one that works for your brand, and how can web scraping help you?

In this article, we’ll look at how web scraping can help you with social media marketing and one of the biggest untapped resources you could use. We’ll also be looking at the role of proxies in keeping you safe while web scraping, avoiding bans and how a location-specific proxy like a Canada proxy from Smartproxy can help you target new audiences. Keep reading to discover how web scraping can help you identify opportunities in social media marketing.

How Can Web Scraping Help You With Social Media?

Web scraping or harvesting has proven to be a very useful tool for businesses. Perhaps you’ve heard the term before and maybe even used it on occasion? Or maybe you’re completely new to the process? Have no fear; before we start looking into how web scraping can be used for your social media marketing, we’ll briefly introduce what it is and how the process works.

What Is Web Scraping?

Web scraping is a process of collecting a lot of information across the internet and social media sites and compiling the data in a single format, such as a spreadsheet. If this sounds too technical for you, let’s simplify things. Say you wanted to know what your competitors’ prices were, you could go onto their website and copy and paste all the products and their prices into a spreadsheet. This was the original way web harvesting was done. Now, there are scraping tools that automate the process for you. With these tools, you input the data you want to collect, press a button, and the tool will start collecting all the relevant data and compile it into your chosen format. 

Web scraping can monitor competitors, market trends, finances and opportunities. It can also be used to gather information about your target audience, monitor customer sentiment and find social media influencers for your brand.

What Can Web Scraping Do for Your Social Marketing?

Web scraping can also be used in different ways to improve your social media marketing efforts. For one, you can scrape social media for any mentions of your company, products or brand. This can give you valuable insights into how far your brand’s reach extends, what the customers feel about your brand or products and even if they’ve had negative experiences that you can improve on. However, these are not the only ways to use web harvesting to benefit your social media marketing strategy.

Finding Brand ‘Evangelists’

By scraping social media platforms, you’ll also be able to identify brand evangelists. These are loyal followers that are already promoting your brand regularly by sharing, recommending and interacting with your posts. Knowing who your evangelists are, means that you can target them whenever you release new content. Because they’re already invested in your brand or product, they will continue sharing the new content to their channels, bringing in new leads and increasing sales.

Finding Influencers

Another big benefit of using web scraping for your social media marketing is finding influencers. While the term influencer marketing is relatively new, the concept and practice have been used for many years across many different industries. Currently, only 33% of retail businesses in the US that haven’t or never intend to use influencer marketing. This means that a staggering 77% of retail companies are already benefiting from influencer marketing of some kind. 

An influencer is someone with a large, loyal following. If the influencer recommends a specific product or brand, the chances are much higher that their followers will also try the products or brand. This increases your chances of getting new leads and sales exponentially.

However, good influencers can be difficult to find. You already have big-time influencers, but these will likely be expensive. You may want a micro-influencer with a smaller but active following within an expertise niche. Although they may have a smaller following, they are usually very involved and active, with a higher chance of listening to the influencer. You can use web harvesting to find these micro-influencers. By scraping any mentions of products similar to yours and profiles of the posters, their following and other details regarding their influence on the topic, you can quickly get a shortlist of potential candidates to consider.

Should You Use a Proxy When Scraping Social Media Sites?

Proxies are a good idea for any business online, even more so if that business uses web scraping for market research. A residential proxy is the best to use for web harvesting as the IP addresses are from real devices, making them appear as real users. This is an effective way to keep from being tracked and avoid being banned from social media sites.

You can also use location-specific proxies, such as a Canada proxy, to make it look like you’re accessing the internet from within Canada. This is useful for gaining access to geo-restricted content and targeting a local audience.

Final Thoughts

Influencers are an important part of your social media strategy and can have a massive impact on your brand. The right influencers can bring in a lot of new traffic, leads and revenue to your business. Web scraping can help you identify the influencers that will best benefit your brand.