Content Marketing Blog

Can big data help track social media trends?

Trends pop up across social media on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. Some may stem from a shocking news event, while others crop up after a dramatic finale of a popular TV series or from the result of a sporting competition.

Monitoring these trends can help businesses conducting content marketing to better understand the thoughts of their consumers. However, due to the massive amount of unstructured data on social media, gathering this information isn’t always easy. That’s where Big Data comes in.

Perhaps the best source to demonstrate what major events are worthy of sparking global attention on social media is Facebook. The social networking giant recently released the 10 most talked about topics of 2013.

The death of former South African president and political activist Nelson Mandela earlier this month prompted millions to take to social media to express their thoughts.

Although this was the major topic of conversation for days, Facebook listed Nelson Mandela as the tenth most talked about topic of conversation for the year, with the newly elected Pope Francis coming in at number one.

Current events such as the typhoon that hit the Philippines earlier this year and popular celebrities like controversial singer Miley Cyrus also made their way into the top 10.

Facebook monitors these trends by tracking popular keywords, but it also uses big data to increase the effectiveness of advertising on their site. Facebook is taking big data seriously, employing famous computer scientist and big data expert Yann LeCun, who announced his new job on his Facebook page.

Big data looks at all the information available on social media and extracts a value from it. It reveals what consumers really think about a products or brands, and also helps monitor real-time events that brands could make use of in their social media campaigns.

Although big data is still in the early stages and many businesses do not use it yet, in the future it will undoubtedly help improve the effectiveness of many content marketing strategies.

Posted by Dylan Brown