Data is one of the founding principles of the modern digital world.
It’s always been important but, in the past, it’s been difficult to collate large amounts of data.
Today, with technology, and the internet, this has changed.
Every business can benefit from data scraping. The internet offers up personal information on billions of people.
This information can help you devise workable marketing strategies, reach new customers, and even keep your own customers satisfied.
But, you can’t collect all that data manually, there is too much of it. You need the best social media scraping tools currently available.
Social Media Scraping Tools Explained
Social media scraping tools are designed to visit hundreds or thousands of web pages a day.
The scraper uses an army of bots to penetrate each page and extract the specified data.
All you have to do is tell the bots which data fields they need to read.
For example, you could choose the name, location, and number of friends someone has.
Once the bots have read the information they place it in a file.
Once the task you’ve set is finished the file can be viewed. All the names will be in one column, locations in the next, and so on.
The final file can be created in a variety of formats, allowing you to read it or import it into your customer management system.
To get the information a bot will send a request to a webpage and, if the request is approved, they get to scan the page and remove the data.
It’s too time consuming to do this manually.
However, social media platforms don’t generally like you taking their information.
It’s not illegal to do so but they would rather keep this data themselves.
To help with this they set up programs to detect bots and to detect too many requests coming from the same IP address.
That’s why you need the best social media scraping tools. They need to be able to avoid the social media bots or get around them.
Alongside this, your chosen scraper should use proxies.
This allows them to send requests from multiple IPs and avoid triggering the social media defenses.
If your account gets caught scraping data most media platforms will block your account.
Best Social Media Scraping Tools in 2023
It is possible to scrape data from social media sites by writing code and then adding it to a web scraper.
You will need to examine the social media site you are targeting to read the HTML code and look for repeating patterns.
This will give you an opening to extract data.
You’ll then need to be capable of writing the code you need. Once you’ve tested it you’ll be able to run it and collect the data it captures.
You can then store this and do what you want with it.
If it sounds complicated then that’s because it is and you need to be able to write code.
It is much simpler and generally more effective to use one of the best social media scraping tools.
They do all the work for you.
Phantombusters regularly tops lists for the best scraping tool This is partly because it’s very effective and also because it’s easy to use.
You can try this tool for free with their 14-day trial although the range of features is limited.
Once you’ve signed up you can enter the tool and choose one of the pre-set data tools.
These have pre-defined the fields to be collected. They can be started instantly.
Although there are over 100 predefined tables, you can also set your own fields, to ensure you get the data you need.
This tool can scrape any page on the web but it is particularly good at targeting social media sites.
As well as creating the data file and, if you wish, automatically uploading it to your system, it can help you interact with potential customers.
You don’t need to know any code, there is an excellent customer service team waiting to help, and it will benefit your business.
2. Oxylabs Web Scraper API
Oxylabs is another web scraper at the top of its game.
You’ll find it’s very good at accessing social media sites and extracting data without getting you blocked.
Again, you don’t need to write any code. There are over 100 ready-to-use templates that will collect data for you.
Or you can define the fields yourself using the simple point and click technique.
Oxylabs offers a free 7-day trial. You can access 5,000 results and use either 5GB of bandwidth or 5 IP addresses during this time.
That’s enough for you to appreciate how good this scraper is.
Once you decide to sign up you’ll find the pay as you go scheme starts from as little as $15!
3. Bright Data Web Scraper IDE
Bright Data offers a comprehensive and easy to use social media scraping tool. Accessing the service is simple, as is getting started with the intuitive dashboard.
You can choose from their extensive collection of data scrapers or create one targeting specific fields.
The system talks you through every step of the process.
Bright Data also offers a free 14-day trial, allowing you to get a feel for the product.
They even offer a first-class customer service team.
The predefined data scrapers benefit from AI to help improve the results every time you use them.
You can even refine your search for data with keywords.
Best of all, Bright Data has an array of proxies available to help you scrape data in secret. Their proxies are mainly residential and automatically rotate.
In short, it’s the whole package.
ScraperAPI offers a free 7-day trial to help you familiarize yourself with their system.
You’ll be able to make 5,000 free requests without paying anything!
This social media scraper can handle 10 scrapes or visit over 100 million pages a month.
You simply need to choose the right package for your needs.
ScraperAPI doesn’t limit your bandwidth and allows you to customize any scraper plan.
They also offer proxies, with over 40 million IP addresses available you’ll find it easy to search from a different address every time.
This service is particularly good at getting around CAPTCHAS and even headless browsers.
However, it doesn’t offer an automated service, you will need to define the criteria and guide the tool to get the best results.
Apify was originally designed to help you automate any action.
This makes it easy to keep up to date with social media posts and can be used as part of your social media scraping campaign.
In fact, Apify has dedicated tools for scraping Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube.
It should be noted that this scraper was originally designed for use by developers.
It’s designed to work with NodeJS, meaning it’s a little more complex to use than the other scrapers on this list.
Once you’ve set the parameters it’s easy to access the relevant data and create your desired file format.
This can then be imported into your system.
Apify works over the cloud, making scheduling easy and allowing you to scrape at any time without worrying about memory restrictions.
All data is retained for 21 days in the cloud.
There are a variety of plans you can subscribe to and as many as 100 shared data centers to help ensure you are not detected.
The free plan is a nice introduction to the system and lasts for 30 days. After that, prices range from $49 to $499, depending on what you need.
Octoparse was specifically designed to help those without coding knowledge. It allows you to start the data extraction process in just three simple steps.
All you need to do is point your mouse at the field you want to collect and click, it couldn’t be simpler.
Of course, there are standard templates you can use if you prefer.
Its algorithms are designed to improve the quality of your results every time you use it.
To help you get started and see how useful this social media scraper is, they offer a 14-day free trial.
The software can be run from the cloud or your computer.
It works well with proxies and automatically rotates IP addresses for you.
You can even set up a schedule to collect the data on specific days. That’s useful when you want the latest data.
After the free trial you’ll need to choose one of their plans. They are competitively priced, ranging from $89 to $249 per month.
ScrapingBee will rotate your proxy IP addresses for you, helping to ensure the social media scraping task is completely automated.
It’s a lso great at handling headless browsers.
You can try their service for free with the 7-day free trial and then choose one of their paid subscriptions. These vary in price depending on what you need.
Because this is designed for people with no coding knowledge it has an array of data scrapers ready to go.
You can also point and click to choose the fields you want to collect.
Interestingly, you’ll only get charged for a successful search. That guarantees you won’t be wasting money, provided you choose the right fields.
In short, Scraping Bee handles everything, giving you fast and reliable results.
8. Web Scraper
Webscraper is actually a Chrome extension but it is very efficient at scraping data from social media sites.
You’ll appreciate the point and click approach, allowing you to get started instantly and choose the data you want to harvest.
As long as you have Chrome this tool is actually free to use.
The data is compiled into an easy to read file or it can be extracted to the cloud, if desired. You can even automate the process.
Webscraper offers a limited range of services but it’s an excellent way to start scraping social media sites.
Advantages Of Scraping Social Media Platforms
People put an amazing amount of information on social media.
The basics include names and even addresses. But, they also list likes, locations, hobbies, and many other pieces of information.
Extracting these allows you to understand each person better and develop the right marketing strategy to sell your goods and services to them.
The right data can help you raise awareness of your brand and even help improve your customer service.
Here are the top reasons to scrape social media sites:
Accessing social media sites allows you to extract contact information and use this to create a list.
Everyone on the list is a potential customer that can be contacted, especially if you refine the list with additional criteria.
You’ll find scraping LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook is very popular to create a list of leads.
Accessing the data within social media sites allows you to understand customer needs better and make sure your product caters for them.
It can also help you assess how the competition is faring. People are very good at being honest about products online.
There is no better way to test market response than by creating a few posts and then scraping the data concerning responses.
You’ll instantly know what the public opinion is and whether they are ready for your new product or service.
Boost Brand Awareness
A simple scrape can tell you how aware people are of your brand and allow you to create a targeted advertising campaign.
The aim is simply to boost awareness of your brand.
Trends in business change quickly and, if you miss the change, you can be left with a lot of unwanted products.
Social media web scraping allows you to stay on top of the latest trends and plan for them.
It will help to ensure your business stays relevant.
It’s not a matter of whether the best social media scrapers will be useful or not, it’s simply a case of deciding the one that works best for you.
That will be based on your coding knowledge, budget, and the number of searches you need to do.
Just remember, it’s best to send no more than 100-page requests a day to ensure you remain undetected by the social media sites.
If you’re detected your IP address will be blocked, which is why you use a proxy.
Scraping social media data is legal provided you are only accessing freely available data.
Scrape responsibly and you’ll find it’s a great benefit to your business.