What a Social API Does (And How it Makes Your Life Easier)

What a Social API Does (And How it Makes Your Life Easier) Colin Zalewski Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

Awesome Things That a Social API Enables

Moving to a new city has taught me a lot of things — for instance, I need to find a better way to explain my job. I’m facing a challenge I rarely experienced living in tech-centric Seattle. In Sacramento, many people work in the medical and government sectors. Telling someone I work with APIs complicates the “What do you do?” conversation pretty quickly.

Many of you analysts out there can probably relate. APIs are critical to making your job possible, but making sense of them, especially when it comes to social, is never easy. Analyzing outcomes and building custom reports requires you to have all the puzzle pieces in front of you in a tool purpose-built for analyzing your organization’s entire data pool. While a dashboard from say, Simply Measured, may perfectly fit the needs of the social marketers at your organization, you rely on tools such as Tableau, Power BI, or Domo to analyze data across functions and sources.

API Integration
Many organizations lack access to structured social data, making simple visualizations, like this one in Tableau, challenging.

Completing your organization’s data puzzle requires you to use APIs from Google Analytics, DoubleClick, Marketo, and more. But, if you’re like most analysts, there’s always been a missing piece: social. Even if you have this data, it’s likely a hodgepodge of pieces jammed together, demanding loads of your time to manage what is likely a fragile process. Two things make social data different and more challenging than any other data source you work with:

1. Every social data source produces different outcomes. While a channel like display may operate at immense scale with different placement types and locations, the outcomes are consistent regardless of publisher, network, or exchange: Impressions, Clicks, CTR, Total Conversions, etc.

Kelley Blue Book
While a channel like display has many placement types, they all yield the same set of KPIs for the marketer.

With social, you’ve got different properties where users can take different actions and produce different outcomes. I might react to something on Facebook, Favorite something on Twitter, and repin something on Pinterest. With every social network continually making itself more unique, crafting a common cross-channel story is only becoming increasingly challenging.

2. You aren’t the only creator of content. With everything else you do in marketing, your team creates and publishes content in the form of emails, banners, search copy, video, and more. Then, you use APIs to gather data on the outcomes in a centralized tool. With social, consumers are grabbing your web content and sharing it amongst themselves privately through dark social channels, activity you are blind to, and which yields significant mystery conversions. In short, the social data you may be accessing today is incomplete because much of what happens on social for your brand is published by your consumers, not your social team.

You may have heard that we recently launched the Social Analytics API so you can complete your marketing analysis puzzle by customizing and integrating social into your business. I’ll try to do a better job of explaining to you how it works than I do for my new friends in Sacramento.

For a long time our customers have been asking us, “How do I take all the power Simply Measured provides my social team and leverage it on my analyst team and within our BI tools?” We knew an API was the best way to enable you to tap into the social analytics platform we’ve built, but we also knew we wouldn’t solve this problem by spewing unstructured data at you from every social channel.

We built an entirely new platform founded on cross-channel data unification, so you can now make all of the disparate data sources and various channel outcomes make sense. We’ve identified the common threads that cross social channels, and structured the data around these consistencies. Then, we layered on additional enrichments such as sentiment, language, and gender, so you can more easily create the context your organization relies on you to create from the data.

What does this mean? The once unenviable, or in many cases impossible, task of identifying and connecting the similarities across social channels has been done for you. There are now no barriers between you and completing the full data puzzle for your organization.

BlogGraphic-01But we didn’t stop there. We partnered with Tableau to make set-up and integration a turnkey process. Not a Tableau user? That’s okay. You can still ingest the data into any server to query into your tool of choice. We’ve even got folks that can help you get the ETL process set-up.

Competitive API
A little something whipped-up by our in-house Tableau expert using the Tableau Web Connector via the Social Analytics API.

Customers of the Social Analytics API are already analyzing by engagement type, content type, channel, and much more. If you’d like to learn more about how the Social Analytics API makes it possible for you to customize and integrate social into your business, download our guide below. 

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Awesome Things That a Social API Enables

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Colin Zalewski

Colin Zalewski

I'm a marketer with a passion for winning and keeping customers through strategically crafted messaging across the buyer's journey. I'm passionate about product innovation -- and, especially, our Social Analytics API!