If you’re in the business of understanding and interpreting how people act and think online, Facebook is a treasure trove of usable data for a wide variety of purposes. The year is 2010. I’m a freshman in high school. And there is no greater pride than posting the ultimate profile picture on Facebook. Not online is all of that information contained in profiles, Facebook groups, marketplace data, and everything else ready to be gleaned now, but Facebook has also been accruing this valuable data for well over a decade. Digital life is booming, and Facebook is the house in which an entire generation of online users was built, making connections through social media that gather measurable and decidedly usable data in completely new ways.
Ten years and several world-shaking events later, Facebook remains a behemoth of the social media space. Despite the proliferation of new platforms in the past half-decade, none has managed to dethrone this giant. Even more, the platform has established itself as a go-to for businesses and their customers to interact with over 80 million small businesses now operating there. One thing has not changed, though. People’s likes and dislikes, their approval and interests–they’re all fully available every time I log on to the app. People continue to go there to express their sentiments about life, business, and branding on a global scale. So how does a data-driven business find out what millions of people are saying about them? How do they go through millions of posts to determine the sentiments of their consumers? Here’s where Facebook sentiment analysis comes in.
In this article, we’ll delve into the details of Facebook sentiment analysis, how to access Facebook data, and the benefits of performing sentiment analysis on Facebook data. Feel free to use the table of contents below to skip to the part that most interests you.
Table of Contents
What Is Facebook Sentiment Analysis?
With over 2.7 billion monthly active users and over 2 billion search requests fielded daily, Facebook has the largest audience in the world. No matter the industry you are in, if your customers have heard of the internet, they are probably on Facebook. This large number of people generate a lot of data on their likes, dislikes, and feelings about life, business, and brands. Amid 2 billion searches, there a few (relatively) talking about your business or a close competitor. And if you are like me, you want to know what they are saying. Or even better, you want to know what they are feeling. Sentiment analysis offers you a way to do this. So what exactly is sentiment analysis?
As a human, you can detect tone, mood, and sentiment when you read or hear a statement. You can define if a statement is happy, sad, tired, etc. This is very handy when you are dealing with five, maybe ten people. However, when you are trying to determine the collective sentiment being expressed by thousands of people in the midst of millions of Facebook posts, the human ability cannot keep up. We have a limited processing capacity.
In contrast, computers do not have the innate ability to detect and identify sentiment, but they have a lot higher processing capacity than humans. And that is the basis of sentiment analysis. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and machine learning, we can train computers to analyze text data and identify sentiments. Along with their high processing capacity, we can then carry out mass analysis of text data to determine a particular audience’s collective sentiment.
There are several types of sentiment analysis, but the most common is polarity detection. A polarity-detection sentiment analysis model allows you to carry out Facebook sentiment analysis to determine a particular dataset’s polarity. The three common degrees of polarity are: negative, neutral, and positive. However, advanced models can sort into more degrees of polarity like extremely negative, slightly negative, slightly positive, etc.
With the volume of people that express views, sentiments, and business opinions on the platform daily, Facebook is a treasure trove of data that can be analyzed to determine what consumers in your industry feel about your products and services or that of competitors.
But one little problem remains. How do you access the data you need to carry out Facebook sentiment analysis successfully? While you can access profiles and pages and even groups manually, collecting data on a large enough scale to justify implementing a sentiment analysis strategy requires a specialized data collection method. Here’s where web scraping comes in. Before we delve into how you can use web scraping to collect Facebook data, let’s look at how you can use Facebook sentiment analysis to improve your business.
Benefits of Using a Facebook Sentiment Analysis Tool
If you’re like me, you still have a massive list of liked pages at the bottom of your Facebook profile. Since when do I like cycling? I mean, I know what a bicycle looks like. I vaguely recall how not to fall off one. That counts as a legitimate like, right? Other than the obvious need to rethink my choices, those liked pages are glorious fodder for businesses. Public pages consist of everything from the band Cake to cake recipes by Ina Garten. With such a wide variety of topics, Facebook is an endless pool of scrapable data. Why does any of this matter to you and the success of your company? Well, goods cannot be sold unless consumers want to buy them, and to pique a consumer’s interest, companies need to know what’s popular and what will make them money. It sounds a little harsh to speak about consumers in a transactional way, but customers benefit from Facebook sentiment analysis just as much as companies.
The more companies understand their customers, the less likely they will be to falter in their marketing, PR, and sales. Think about it, would you trust a company to make an advertisement that speaks to you if that company knew nothing about the target audience they’re addressing? Or would you trust them to know what you want if they pay no attention to your feedback? No. Not even. Market research is imperative, and with over 1 billion people using Facebook regularly, that research will reach about 1/8 of the world’s population. Where else on the planet, online or in person, do you have the potential to reach that many people? Even better, you can also find out how people are responding to your marketing messages, your sales tactics, and your overall business strategy. With a polarity detection model, you can determine if people are giving a positive, negative or neutral reaction to your business tactics.
How To Scrape Data From Facebook Using Web Scraper
As I mentioned above, web scraping is a specialized data collection method that can get you past the headache of how to collect data in large volumes. Web scraping bots work by crawling through the source code of a given webpage and tagging datasets according to some preset parameters. Then an extractor collects this data and downloads it into a spreadsheet. This data is collected so that it is already organized, and you can implement it into your sentiment analysis strategy straightaway.
Web scraping offers an efficient means for you to go through thousands of Facebook pages and extract the data you need to perform sentiment analysis.
A large majority of companies have active pages on Facebook. These pages operate like any other page on the site. This means potential customers can grasp a feel for the company, what they stand for, and if the company values align with their own. Not just that, customers also drop reviews and feedback on competitors’ pages. With web scraping, you can collect this data and feed it into your Facebook sentiment analysis model.
Also, you can use web scraping bots as Facebook data mining tools. Data mining involves using software to analyze large datasets and identify patterns and trends to develop useful business intelligence. Since web scraping bots allow you to collect data according to preset parameters, you can easily collect data with similar tags or pertaining to a particular industry. This makes data mining Facebook easier as similar datasets will yield more trends and patterns. Data mining from Facebook is also a form of sentiment analysis since sentiments are also patterns in text.
The Very Best Facebook Scraping Tool
The list above is not the end all be all when it comes to Facebook scraping. There are plenty of possibilities for application. But the choices above are all examples of business practices that affect almost every company out there: knowing the competition, marketing, and consumer outreach. With all this talk surrounding web scraping Facebook data, you might be wondering where on this Facebook-centric earth you can find the best scraper on the market. Here at Scraping Robot, we value quality and are here to provide you with the very best scraping service out there.
Our developers are on standby to help you create your perfect Facebook scraping tool. To get started, all you have to do is send a message detailing what you want. We can even collaborate with you and help you to design a custom-built data solution that works just for you. If you’d like to try your hand at some DIY scraping, you can check out our pre-built Facebook module. It costs only $0.0018 per scrape. With a customer service team that’s available 24/7, your questions or concerns are answered in a timely manner. Take all the worry out of market research and collecting public data on Facebook, Scraping Robot has you covered.
Final Thoughts on Scraping Facebook
I view my Facebook as a time capsule, housing precious photographs, ridiculous videos, forgotten conversations, and moments I’d give anything to relive, but forever remember with fondness. For all the controversy surrounding social media, this generation is lucky to have a treasure trove of digital keepsakes. With every like, with each event I show interest in, I’m helping companies I invest in understand what I want and the things I care about. Instead of making companies work twice as hard to provide me with products or services I want, how about encouraging those companies to invest in a different kind of product. Hello, Facebook scraper. Here we meet again to wrap everything up.
With greater knowledge of how to scrape and use Facebook data and some solid attempts at sentiment analysis under our belt, we can buy with confidence. Scraping Robot isn’t a company that operates by halves. We charge ahead at full speed, recognizing the wants of the consumer along the way. We make products with the customer in mind and nothing less. With the assistance of our scraping service, your company will be ready to take on the competition, market goods with precision, and meet consumers on positive terms. Don’t fuss around with scraping data on your own, allow Scraping Robot to present you with the finest scraping technology to be found online. Who knew your relationship with Facebook could be even richer.