Social Media and the Use of Big Data
Social media has swept over everyone’s daily routines and its technology has shifted behaviors, decisions, and industries in its tide. Just imagine how businesses lost millions, billions even while marketers had headaches when Facebook and Instagram went down for a day. These high-impact consequences are just proof that beyond the freedom of connecting with people and sharing interests, social media is mapping out our digital habits. We are a part of a wider algorithm called big data.
In rough estimates, the volume of big data is already accumulating trillions of gigabytes as we speak. Encrypted in these are photos, statuses, and videos that users have posted on their social media pages. It’s like a big machine made up of our combined digital behaviors.
Businesses use these numbers as the basis of every digital marketing strategy, where a marketer or a data engineer extracts data and analyzes between the numbers. From here, they generate insights that build the foundation of a successful campaign—like understanding the behavioral and buying patterns of customers.
Big Data in Social Media Marketing
As social media evolves into marketplaces, big data serves as their social listening tool to personalize their content marketing. It enables businesses to target a specific market group that aligns with their products and services.
In addition, marketers can forecast future trends and behaviors of their consumers. Big data lets companies be more precise and agile in drafting data-driven decisions, especially now that social media has already become the main source of leads for businesses.
Big Data in Social Media Content
Scrolling idly does not mean that they are not tracing us. Big data is also recording our screen time and the digital diet that we most often consume. Notice how Facebook offers a video relevant to the cute puppies we just watched? Through big data, our timeline is being tailor-fitted based on our interests. Social networks pattern future content based on the things that we often engage with online.
However, this pattern can be a double-edged sword as it can also act as a purveyor of misinformation. If an undiscerning person stumbled upon clickbait or propagandist content, it is more than likely that related discussions and posts will appear on their feed and timelines. We all know how dangerous misinformation can get.
How does this affect me?
Big data is already shaping the various aspects of our daily lives. Raising the newer generations with the imminent existence of the internet and technology makes up for their apparent dependence on social media. This makes big data even more prone to threats and predators. A hacker can access sensitive information about you and take advantage of your bank account, photos, and personal information in just a snap.
Organizations, apps, and businesses that can access the data of a specific population are also more exposed to serious cybersecurity threats. With advanced hackers using sophisticated ways to set threats in motion, avoiding cyber-attacks can be harder to stop.
As Verizon reported, hacking-related attacks are considered the most prominent type of cyber threat right now, followed by malware. Significantly, social media is the third enabler of cybercrimes. Hackers maximize platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to gain access to information that they can use to deceive their victims.
Take the case of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica, where millions of Facebook data and profiles were misused to advance a political agenda. Many people did not know that their psychological profiles from Facebook were leaked and became propaganda machinery.
It is just one of the most recent attacks on cybersecurity that happened in a while. And whether we like it or not, we, along with our digital footprints, are part of a complicated algorithm that can be converted to leads, sales, or even votes.
What can we do to safeguard our social media data?
An attempt to attack big data from social media is not just an individual problem. It requires proper regulations, regulatory bodies, and laws designed and lobbied with the best interest of the many in mind.
As individuals who have fair shares in this wider algorithm, we also have a role to play. It’s important to stay discerning about the content we see online. In a time when technology bounds us more than ever, we should also be vigilant in our social media and internet usage.
Regulating our screen time and practicing cybersecurity awareness on our digital diet is another way of safeguarding our data.
Conclusion: Big data in social media is the future of marketing.
Just like any other technology, social media, and big data have their advantages and disadvantages. But we can’t deny its ability to influence our decisions, purchasing behaviors, and even our self-perception.
As we navigate through the digitalization of industries, it’s important to find the balance in our online consumption. Sometimes, it’s better to put our phones down for a while and see the world outside our screens.