Insights Can’t Flow from Social Media Data Alone – a News API Completes the Picture
Most of the digital world’s interaction today is via social media – making it a critical source of information to track when trying to understand global conversations, trends, brand engagement, and more.
Yet for brand monitoring, crisis management, market intelligence, political analysis, trendspotting and more – data from social media alone may not be sufficient to create the deep insights that organizations require. The right news API can complement social media data to provide a more complete picture of events, trends, and consumer behavior. Here’s how:
The power of news API and social media data
Social networking platforms offer massive amounts of user-generated data that can contribute markedly to creating insights for businesses and governments. One of the key advantages of social media for businesses is the ability to ‘take the temperature,’ at scale, of specific markets. Media intelligence, financial intelligence, and risk intelligence like supply chain risk – all are facilitated by the effective use of sentiment analysis leveraging social media.
Yet data from social media, as extensive and important as it is, cannot paint a complete picture. The Internet has countless news sources, in multiple languages, and multiple formats. Only by integrating data from a rich selection of these sources, together with data mined from social media, can sentiment analysis platforms generate truly accurate insights.
Advanced news APIs (like Webz.io’s) gather and parse data from news sites, company sites, blogs, podcasts, influencers, and more. These tools use Stanford Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to recognize categories, sentiments, topics, persons, dates, events, and other parameters. Then they deliver it to monitoring platforms in a machine-readable format with contextual meta-data.
What’s more, a quality news API can offer a more complete and less biased view of current events by looping in historical data for additional perspective – news, blog posts, discussion threads, reviews, and other relevant background material.
News API and social media data: Use cases
The fusion of social media and news data offers better insights in numerous use cases, including:
Brand monitoring with news API and social media data
Brand and media monitoring are an integral part of most organizational marketing efforts and aim to analyze masses of online data to generate insights into industry trends and brand equity.
The addition of a stream of structured news data via a News API can provide a far more detailed and comprehensive view of how a brand is both perceived and discussed.
Advanced news APIs (like Webz.io’s) offer data coverage that includes news sources from multiple counties, in multiple languages, and historical data going back at least a decade. Moreover, these vendors allow searching news data by level of social engagement – empowering brand monitoring providers to more easily identify relevant brand-oriented news stories that went viral.
Crisis management with news API and social media data
Social media can be a powerful tool during an organizational crisis – enabling stakeholders to conduct more personalized and authentic conversations with users or consumers, without the formality and etiquette of official press releases or press conferences.
At the same time, social media can be a double-edged sword during a crisis. Social media’s inherent speed allows comments to spread exponentially and uncontrollably – thus potentially escalating a crisis far more quickly. What’s more, while organizations can control the content they post on social media – they can’t control user interpretations, comments, or sharing of that content.
For this reason, crisis management teams need access to a real-time feed of reliable and updated content that only an advanced news API can provide. Sharing authoritative third-party sources offers the organization in crisis a crucial neutral voice to cool negative sentiment. Moreover, to respond and pivot quickly if necessary, a news API brings enriched data that clarifies customer sentiments with full text – backed up by clean metadata that includes entities, sources, categories, author name, publication date, and more. And finally, powerful news APIs enable searching news data by level of social engagement – keeping a finger on the pulse of the crisis from all sides.
Market intelligence with news API and social media data
Social media is a rich source of data about products, services, places, events, consumer trends, and preferences – yet it is not a magic bullet for data-driven insights. Social media alone can’t provide a complete view of the market because the market is not influenced by social media alone.
New sources – from traditional publications to expert blogs and everything in between – still shape markets and consumer thinking in a very real way. A news API can deliver valuable insights into broader market trends, industry developments, and competitor activity by helping market intelligence tap into insights based on thought leadership. What’s more, advanced vendors like Webz.io offer a fully featured Reviews API that complements traditional news sources with data drawn from hundreds of thousands of reviews in multiple languages from all over the globe.
For example, competitive intelligence collects, synthesizes, and analyzes data from published and non-published sources with the goal of protecting a company’s competitive edge. Effective competitive intelligence draws on social media, of course. Yet without information drawn from a wider range of news sources, competitive intelligence can be skewed. Competitive intelligence supplemented by a news API offers analysts more reliable, better-rounded access to industry trends, customer preferences, and emerging products and technologies.
Trendspotting with news API and social media data
Trendspotting is the process of identifying trends before they go mainstream and analyzing how a given trend may affect your business. Social media is a valuable tool for trendspotting. Yet keeping pace with fast-changing trends demands constant research. Organizations often resort to simply collecting huge amounts of social media data in the hopes that an easy-to-find trend will emerge. This makes it difficult – if not overwhelming – to sort through all the noise.
Integrating structured news data feeds into the trendspotting process can help identify and contextualize emerging trends by providing a more comprehensive and structured view of a particular topic.
Political analysis with news API and social media data
Social media has become a critical source of political discourse and activism. In democracies, social media can facilitate accurate forecasting of citizen voting intentions or offer a snapshot of public opinion on political parties, leaders, or policies. It can also offer an easily accessible and cost-effective alternative to traditional polling.
Yet social media can be a breeding ground for disinformation and propaganda. To correctly interpret the scope of this, political monitoring firms balance a broad selection of web-based data, which includes news from credible and authoritative sources of information. Integrating a news API into the political analysis process can help political monitoring providers understand the broader political landscape. What’s more, data drawn from government databases like sanction lists, watchlists, PEP, and regulatory sources can be a valuable source of supplemental and reliable information.
While it is important to gain as much reliable information as possible at scale for brand monitoring, crisis management, market intelligence, political analysis, and trendspotting – data from social media alone is simply not sufficient to derive actionable insights. The right news API enriches these efforts and delivers better-informed and more accurate insights. Talk to one of our experts to get started.