How To Use Residential Proxies For Social Media Data Collection
Social media has become a well of information of all kinds, from news to consumer trends to the latest comedic takes on culture. If you’re looking to analyze the way people are responding to a brand, there is no better way to do it than social media. People with public accounts who are discussing products and services they like are sort of acting like focus groups without having to get them all together in a physical room. Using residential proxies for social media is an absolute necessity for brand research and figuring out your messaging to consumers.
When you’re doing research about customer and potential customer responses to your brand, you want to make sure you’re getting unfiltered information. Even if you were able to set up a survey and get data from that, customers respond differently when they know the information is going straight to the brand. The benefit of doing social media research with residential proxies is that they can help you collect data and monitor responses to your social media presence without having to do it manually. In this blog, we’re laying out all the best reasons for using residential proxies for social media.
Residential Proxies for Social Media
Before we get into how to use proxies effectively, we’ll define the basics behind them. A proxy is a service that gives you a proxy IP address that hides your personal device’s IP address. A lot of individuals use proxies for global access to the Internet or general privacy. Since IP addresses are tied to a device’s location, you have certain access based on regional availability. Proxies can have datacenters anywhere in the world, so it gives you the ability to surf the Internet as freely as possible. Global locations have a lot of benefits for individuals.
However, many social media websites are hyper-attuned to datacenter proxies these days. For a website like Facebook or an app like Instagram, you have to use a residential proxy to avoid bans. A residential proxy is a proxy IP address that is located in your country of residence, so it looks less like a cyber-criminal to websites that are likely to enact large-scale bans against suspicious IP addresses.
Bans don’t mean you’re necessarily doing anything nefarious, but websites are super sensitive to bot-like behavior. Companies might use bots on websites for a lot of different reasons, but chief among them is to make certain processes easier. Manual data input or collection can be an inefficient process for individual employees, so businesses are always trying to find ways to speed things up. Especially for social media research, web scrapers are a faster way to get the research done and give it to your analysts so they can get started on implementing smart and effective campaigns.
If you’re using a web scraper for social listening campaigns (collecting data about your brand or company across social media websites), you need to use a residential proxy. Web scrapers and bots that collect information for you send a lot of requests in an inhuman amount of time, so websites are likely to ban the IP address through which the requests are coming. However, you can solve this problem by having a residential rotating proxy, which we’ll discuss more below.
How to Use a Residential Proxy for Facebook
Facebook allows a lot of different types of posts for companies to track, which can give you a variety of opinions. From photos and videos to long written posts, it’s a treasure trove of information of people talking about your brand and their opinions about the products or services you provide.
When you’re using a web scraper to collect data, you can easily direct a web scraper what to grab and how to organize it. The manual process of collecting social data would be agonizing—copying and saving every post in which your brand is tagged, or searching your brand’s name and collecting all of the untagged posts. Then, you’d have to pull all of this information together and figure out how to organize it. A web scraper does that collection and organization for you.
Using a residential proxy with Facebook also means that you’re collecting data from customers who are based in the same country as you. This is extremely helpful for building strong local and national campaigns—you’ll be able to understand the specific concerns of the locals and how to cater to them. Residential proxies let you travel around the country (depending on where the proxy IP address is located) and assess what your business needs based on customer reviews from there.
Residential proxies for social media, especially on Facebook, are a good way to research what people are saying about the competition. With a residential proxy for Facebook, you can monitor comment threads on posts about competition’s products and services and figure out how to tailor your messaging based on those comments.
Why Residential Instagram Proxies are Necessary
Instagram has recently cracked down on the way you can use proxies on their platform. They have totally banned IP addresses from datacenter proxies. Although they used to work pretty well with the platform, now you’ll have to move on to residential proxies to do the type of social listening campaigns that benefit your company.
Going further than just mentions of your brand, a residential proxy for Instagram can help you do a ton of keyword research to analyze a wider consumer base and figure out how to target them with effective advertising and brand messaging. Residential proxies for social media can help ease your research and collect more conversations relevant to your company without being restricted by singular IP addresses.
Instagram is a great social media platform to use residential proxies for social media because you can get a better sense of the network reach of your product. You can optimize how to appeal to followers and reach IG’s massive market. When you web scrape on Instagram using residential proxies, you can still get a pretty big selection of data because Instagram is such a globally-resonant platform.
The Benefit of Rotating Residential Proxies for Facebook and Instagram
Using residential proxies for social media is a super helpful infrastructure for a variety of reasons, but you have to make sure you get the correct one for your business. There are some public proxies and free proxies that you’ll find online when you search around for proxies, but they’re a really bad idea. They’re much more susceptible to data breaches and they don’t have guaranteed better network speeds because there are probably a ton of people using them. If you’re using an Instagram residential IP proxy or a Facebook residential proxy, you’re probably collecting a ton of data that will lead to proprietary research.
Types of residential proxies
When you start looking into proxy providers, you’ll find a few different types: semi-dedicated, dedicated, and rotating. Dedicated and semi-dedicated proxies are best for individuals or companies that are just using proxies for security—they give one proxy IP address to one device (dedicated) or one proxy IP address for a few users (semi-dedicated). This is totally fine for basic security purposes or certain kinds of video games, but it doesn’t work for web scrapers that need proxies in order to collect data.
A rotating residential proxy for Facebook will allow you to keep collecting information even if an IP address gets banned. A rotating IP address switches out IP addresses as often as you need, so you can keep pulling user-generated content on Instagram for as long as you need. Residential rotating proxies send requests through IP addresses that are located in your country of residence, so Instagram won’t see them as threats in the way they’ve classified datacenter proxies.
Rotating residential proxies for social media also helps when you’re using a lot of different accounts from which to conduct research. If all of these different accounts are using the same residential proxy IP, that will look suspicious and get banned. The rotating residential proxy IP addresses will protect you from bans. The rotating IPs make your residential proxies for social media more effective and longer-lasting so you can conduct a large volume of research.
Blazing SEO Residential Proxies
Blazing SEO uses top-notch residential IP addresses that are smartly (and fairly) sourced using ethical practices that are good for everyone. Real ISP addresses from real users who are compensated for their utility. Fair use is a top priority for us, and we believe everyone benefits from better business practices. Always ask the right questions about ethics when choosing your residential proxy provider and expect Blazing SEO to deliver the highest integrity product.
Our proxies are fast, reliable, fair and ethical, and backed by real people who are there to support your use so that you get the best product possible. Sign up for our residential beta and explore all the reasons that make our residential proxy clients successful and sustainable for good business.
Overall, using residential proxies for social media is the perfect way to level up your ability to cater to consumers and improve their experience. Researching keywords and competition is also an invaluable asset when you have a residential proxy for Instagram or Facebook or any other social media platform where your target consumers are congregating. Since social media has become a kind of de facto public square, it’s where we can find out about people’s opinions and understand trends around what customers are liking these days.
The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.
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