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Social media has drastically altered the way people communicate, work, interact, and conduct business activities and much more. With hundreds of millions of users on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, these certainly are the places where people have been hanging out the most. Thousands of check-ins, photo uploads and recipe shares are continuously proving to be important tools for marketers. Companies are literally digging out the social space and building databases on your content and the information you share.

This gives us yet another reason to be careful about what and how we post stuff on Facebook, Twitter, blogs or public forums. You’ll have no idea if a comment you just made on a website gets added to some unknown dossier. While, this might sound derogatory to us, most users find no discomfort in sharing their personal information with Amazon and similar sites, which use it to recommend you buying items, for at least what we see of it.

Technically speaking, Social Media Mining is the same process that involves extracting actionable data patterns and trends from raw social media content, then analyzing and representing it to form usable databases. Here, mining means the same as industrial mining that is the resource extraction process used for rare minerals. Likewise, social media “mining” requires data analysts to sift through massive amounts of raw social data to discern trends. These trends are of interest to companies that study patterns and user trends to design strategies for reaching these users (and selling their products or services to them).

Tailored Customer Experiences

Almost every big company today, make use of crawlers to gather and search for information on forums, websites, social networks, newsgroups, blogs and everywhere there’s a possibility of availing consumer information. This information benefits companies, say marketing companies, to help their clients identify the right customers. Now, once they know the right customers and have appropriate information about them from all the online content they’ve posted, marketers plan strategies and personalized experiences that let them reach directly to their intended audience group.

In response to this tailored experience and the high-level service offered by the particular brand, customers tend to buy the product or service being offered. Therefore, the power a brand gains after knowing its customer well is much greater than we’d ever think of!

The Limitations

Privacy Issues

Concerns about the personal privacy on digital media have been increasing recently. Because of these privacy issues, people hesitate from letting their personal information being collected and used. There always lingers a fear of misuse in an unethical way that may potentially cause them troubles.

Security issues

Security is another issue that bothers online media users. Sensitive information like social security numbers, birthdays and payrolls may not be taken care of properly, allowing mugging, hacking and identity theft. There have been cases where a company’s big data of customers were accessed and stolen.

In addition, this technique of data mining is not perfectly accurate, which means that there can be times when inaccurate information forms the base for decision-making, and might end up posing serious consequences. Social media and the process of mining therefore, have both good and bad aspects like most other things in this wide world. It’s completely up to the users as to how they wish to use it.

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