Crawling social networks is a relatively new concept, one which needs to be performed carefully for ensuring compliance with data privacy norms of various social media sites. Most of these sites control the access of information to crawlers (as well as individuals) via APIs, though publicly available, non-sensitive information can also be extracted otherwise. Social media data providers use crawlers for extracting specific information on the basis of specific keywords, profiles, geographies, groups and other demographics. This kind of targeted information is very valuable for companies as running analytics and gauging/monitoring sentiment becomes a rather simple step as one of the most important steps that can make or break the analysis is social media data acquisition.
It makes sense to hire a third-party social media data acquisition vendor such as PromptCloud as it frees valuable organisational resources to be more focused on the analytics part which can be further refined to derive more precise and actionable insights, which is an ongoing process. Acquisition is a part where the actual data is downloaded on an as-is basis and it rather makes much more sense to automate this part having no or minimal manual intervention. But acquiring social data requires a certain degree of expertise, which can either be developed in-house, which may cumulatively be a drain on organisational resources or by hiring the services of a professional social media data provider such as PromptCloud.
Not all social media sites can be crawled and scraped data from. Sites like Facebook and Linkedin are known to block web crawlers aggressively and hence crawling them is not feasible. But there are many popular social media sites that can be crawled to extract insightful data for your business. Sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and many other social forum sites can be crawled without issues and the data can be very useful in analysing user sentiments.
In case you want to explore the option of outsourcing the crawl part of your social media monitoring strategy, we could get started by running a Proof of Concept. Drop us a mail on email@example.com with a brief about your requirements and we’ll take care of the rest.