Using Social Media Data Visualization For Business Intelligence

Feb 4, 2024 8 min read

Brands everywhere are using social media data to watch over their online reputation. But it's really hard to keep up with everything people are saying about your brand and what that means for how the public sees you. It becomes even tougher for growing businesses that are getting more attention than they can handle.

In this article, we are going to show you how you can make your social media data better with data visualization. No matter what your business does or how big it is, you can always find important insights by paying attention to important patterns of social media data depicted by data visualization.

How Does Social Media Data Visualization Improve Business Intelligence?

  • Improved Understanding: Visuals are processed quickly by the brain, which makes it easier to comprehend complex user data and engagement metrics. Charts and graphs reveal user behavior patterns and preferences that help businesses tailor their content accordingly.

  • Faster Decision Making: With visualized data, social media managers can quickly interpret engagement rates, follower growth, and content performance. This rapid understanding leads to quicker adjustments in strategy.

  • Identifying Trends & Relationships: Visuals help spot trends in user engagement and content virality. Understanding these trends helps you create impactful content that connects with the audience, potentially leading to higher engagement and reach.

  • Improved Reporting: Dynamic visual reports make it easier to communicate the success and areas for improvement of social media campaigns. Clear reports keep stakeholders informed and aware of the performance of the social media strategy.

  • Data Democratization: Making data easily understandable through visualization ensures that everyone on the team, regardless of their technical skills, understands social media performance and contributes ideas.

  • Identifying Errors: Visuals quickly highlight anomalies in engagement or performance metrics to signal when content is not performing as expected or when there are shifts in audience behavior.

  • Telling Stories With Data: Data visualization helps craft narratives about the brand's social media journey, illustrating successes, learning moments, and the impact of different strategies. This storytelling appears compelling in reports and presentations, especially to stakeholders.

  • Improved Team Collaboration: When teams easily understand social media data, they collaborate in a better way. Clear visuals ensure that everyone, from content creators to strategists, is on the same page, which leads to a more cohesive social media presence.

  • Competitive Advantage: Quick, informed decisions based on well-presented data lead to more successful social media strategies.

11 Social Media Data Visualization Techniques For Business Intelligence

1. Line Charts For Changes Over Time

Line Charts For Changes Over Time

Knowing where your brand stands today is really important for monitoring social media. It's just as important to spot the main trends that are changing how people see your brand. Even if things aren't great now, seeing a positive trend means you are moving in the right direction.

Line graphs are a great way to see how data changes over time. For instance, you could simply track how many times people mention your brand on social media each day. Here are some questions you can answer with this Line graph:

  • Are more or less people talking about your brand?
  • What days are better for getting people engaged?
  • Did people talk more about your brand after certain posts or events?

If you see more mentions on certain days or weeks, it's a sign that what you did then is working. The number of times people talk about your brand can change for many reasons, but you always want to see more engagement over time.

You also need to compare your brand to others to really understand your graph. For example, you might be excited to see a lot of engagement around strong bioBlack Friday. But it's not so great if it turns out other brands got even more attention than you did.

2. Pie Charts For Market Share

Pie Charts For Market Share

A pie chart is a circular statistical graphic divided into slices to illustrate numerical proportions. Each slice of the pie corresponds to a category, and its size is proportional to the quantity or percentage it represents. Pie charts provide a visual representation of parts-to-whole relationships, which makes them particularly useful for displaying market share distributions.

You can't really understand your social media presence without looking at your competitors. Pie charts are great for this because they show how much of the market you have, not just how much people are talking about your brand.

A good social listening tool like Statusbrew will give you detailed pie charts about important areas of social media engagement you care about.

You can also use pie charts to better understand your audience's demographic or psychographic segmentation on social media. For example, a pie chart can illustrate the distribution of different age groups, locations, or interests among the followers or engagers with the brand's social media content.

3. Bar Charts For Follower Count

Bar Charts For Follower Count

Bar graphs are charts or graphs that present categorical data with rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values they represent. The bars are plotted vertically or horizontally. They are useful for comparing follower counts across different platforms, accounts, or time periods.

A bar graph can visually compare the follower count on each platform to understand where you have the strongest and weakest presence. Bar graphs can also be used to show the growth of followers over specific periods, such as monthly or yearly. Create a bar for each period to visually track your growth trends and identify periods of particularly high or low growth, which can then be correlated with specific campaigns, events, or content strategies.

Businesses can also use bar graphs to compare their follower counts directly with their competitors to easily see where they stand with respect to their competitors.

4. Word Clouds For Engagement Analytics

Knowing how many positive, neutral, and negative comments you get is important for any brand, but it doesn't tell you much about what people are actually saying. To really understand what people think about your brand, you need to understand why they see it differently.

For instance, you might not be too worried if only 10% of the mentions about your brand are negative. But what if most of these people are upset about something that you could easily fix? Just knowing how many comments are positive or negative doesn't give you information about what you need to make things better.

This is where word clouds are useful. They show you the words that pop up most often when people talk about your brand. When you understand what's behind the positive, neutral, and negative talk about your brand, you can focus on doing more of what people like and fixing what they don't. This is a much better way to set specific goals for improving your brand's image.

5. Area Charts For Trend Analysis

Area Charts For Trend Analysis

Area charts are similar to line charts but with the area below the line filled in with color or shading. They are particularly useful for showing the trend of one or more variables over time.

Area charts are used to analyze trends such as the growth of followers, engagement rates, or the spread of a particular topic over time. Businesses can identify patterns and peaks in user activity by visualizing these trends. This way, it helps them understand the best times to post or which content is liked most by their audience.

6. Column Charts For Comparing Data

Bar Charts For Follower Count

Column charts use vertical bars to represent data. Each bar's height corresponds to the value it represents. These charts are excellent for comparing different factors or groups at a single point in time.

Column charts compare various metrics across different social media platforms. For instance, a business might use a column chart to compare the number of likes, shares, and comments each post receives on different platforms to determine where their content is most impactful. Another important use case of column charts is to plot followers and unfollowers data to understand if your following and unfollowing pattern over time.

7. Heatmap Charts For Complex Data

Heatmap Charts For Complex Data

Heatmaps use color gradients to represent complex data sets. The intensity of the color indicates the value, which allows viewers to grasp patterns and variances across a two-dimensional surface quickly.

Heatmaps are used to analyze when social media activity is highest and identify hotspots of engagement or activity. For example, a heatmap can show the times of day when posts receive the most engagement or when certain demographics are most active on the platform.

8. List Charts For Ranking & Order

List Charts For Ranking & Order

List charts, or ranked lists, display data in ranked order from highest to lowest (or vice versa). They are simple yet effective for showing the position of factors relative to each other.

List charts are great for ranking the most popular or engaging posts, hashtags, or topics. Businesses can use them to identify top-performing content and understand what drives user interest and interaction.

9. Number Charts For Key Metrics

Number charts are straightforward visual representations focusing on key metrics or statistics. They typically display a single important number with contextual information like percentage changes or comparisons to benchmarks.

Number charts highlight critical social media metrics such as total followers, average engagement rate, or the number of posts in a period. They provide a clear and immediate understanding of performance and are often used in social media reports for quick reference.

10. Map Charts For Geographic Data

Map charts, or geographic heatmaps, represent data across different geographical areas. They vary in complexity from simple color-coded regions to detailed plots showing data points in specific locations.

Map charts are invaluable for visualizing the geographic distribution of social media users, engagement, or sentiment. You can see where conversations are happening, where your content is most popular, or where potential markets are.

11. Treemap Charts For Hierarchical Data

Treemap charts use nested rectangles to represent hierarchical data. Each branch of the hierarchy is given a rectangle, which is then tiled with smaller rectangles representing sub-branches.

Treemaps display complex data like the breakdown of followers or content types across different categories or subcategories. They help businesses quickly identify which segments are most significant and how different parts contribute to the whole.

Final Thoughts

Social media data is supremely important for today's businesses. But to really make the most of it, you need to understand all the info it gives you, and that's where data visualization comes in. Sure, having lots of data is good, but what's even better is knowing how to use it to grow your business.

Throughout this blog, we have explored various data visualization techniques, each offering its own lens through which businesses can interpret the complex web of social media interactions. They allow you to see beyond the numbers and understand the stories behind user interactions, preferences, and behaviors.

If you want to access all the 11 data visualization techniques given above, sign up for a FREE trial of Statusbrew. Connect your social profiles and start understanding how your audience responds to your efforts.

Statusbrew is an all in one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and even Google My Business.

Rushali Das

Rushali is a B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in writing research-driven blog posts around marketing for B2B SaaS brands.

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