Social Media API Integration: How It Works| Socialinsider

Social Media API Integration: How It Works| Socialinsider

When you work in social media, you know the challenges keep on coming and you have to ride every problem like you’re surfing on big waves.

However, every social media manager’s dream is to MAKE waves with their content and their brilliant marketing campaigns. For this, you have to analyze seas of data (to remain in the same register).

Social media API integration is one way to allow and support interactions between apps, namely a tool and a social media platform, in this case.

If you feel like it’s still foggy and unclear, let’s both take the chance to explore everything there is to know about social media API integration and how you can make your sailing even smoother.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

1. What is social media API
2. Why is social media API integration important
3. How does social media APIs work
4. The use of APIs on social media platforms

5. The benefits of social media API integration
6. Types of social media APIs

Social media API (Application Programming Interface) represents a set of procedures and tools that allows the interaction between applications.

Chances are that this definition is not even remotely clear for you, but bare with me. We’re getting there.

More simply put, social media API is a software interface which can programmatically retrieve data from social media profiles from every social network and allow it to be used by third-party tools, like Socialinsider.

The API works as an intermediary for numerous apps, granting them the chance to exchange data.

Every social media platform has different legislations and rules for their API. That is why, when using Socialinsider, you might see a lot more data when looking at your Facebook account than when you’ll be analyzing your LinkedIn account.

A screenshot from socialinsider with the socialinsider facebook page's metrics

The LinkedIn API is much more restrictive than the one of Facebook’s, showing considerably less data about metrics.

Another thing to keep in mind when looking at profiles’ metrics is that for owned profiles (meaning your own profile that you have signed up for) you can see a lot more data and metrics compared to competitors’ profiles.

A screenshot from socialinsider with mac's facebook page's metrics

And there’s still one more thing that could differ. The insights you get from the native app (let’s say Facebook analytics) may not always be the same with the ones allowed by the API to get through to third-party tools and the estimates could be different.

So if you see different values to metrics in Socialinsider than the ones you get in the native app, there’s nothing broken. The social media API integration sometimes works in mysterious ways.

A screenshot from socialinsider tool with metrics from socialinsider's facebook page's metrics

However, a key aspect is that through a tool like Socialinsider you can access a lot more insights about your profile than by using only in-built analytics for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Even if now it may be pretty self-explanatory, I’m still going to say this. Without social media API integration you wouldn’t be able to use third-party tools to look at data.

Disappointing, right? However, without clear, well-organised analytics insights from social media tools, you wouldn’t be able to craft a social media campaign that is accustomed to your audience’s needs.

A screenshot from socialinsider app with metrics from facebook socialinsider

As a social media manager, your main goal is to transform your audience into a community, managing to solve their crisis with your products and services.

In time, since the development of the first APIs in 1940s, they have evolved to such extent that they deliver flawless integrations.

The APIs that exist these days are very user-friendly and they really support better documentation and secure transfer of data.

Nowadays APIs can cater users’ particular needs, being more accesible for developers.

If you are still wondering why is social media API integration important, I’ve prepared with a longer list of reasons.

1.Social media API integration simplifies your work

This means that, instead of checking Facebook analytics, Instagram analytics, LinkedIn in-built analytics and all these social media platforms’ native analytics, you can see all of them in one place.

Things are simple: to analyze social media data, you need to use API integration to obtain the needed insights. That is why social media managers use third-party tools to look at data or develop reports.

In Socialinsider, you can easily switch between the dashboards with LinkedIn data, Facebook data and all your social media profiles and even download the reports you are interested in. Is this sorcery or what?

For a social media manager it’s easier to use platforms that integrate with one another, keeping all the needed mumbo jumbo in a single place.

Moreover, APIs facilitate service delivery, while also reaching a new level of flexibility of information. The integration of social media APIs has a meaningful contribution when it comes to apps, services and products that are cloud-based.

Also APIs are the ones that help you embed content from different websites into your posts.

When you need a big chunk of data, like metrics and insights, the use of social media APIs helps the automatization of systems, allowing the sharing of data in a safe mode.

2.Social media APIs add a new layer of security

Via API integration, you can make sure that the transfer of information you are looking at happened in safe conditions. Basically APIs apply an extra layer of security between the source and the client.

For instance, the analytics data you get from Facebook about your profile is safely transferred through the integration of APIs into the third-party tool you are looking at to see the values of your metrics.

3.Social media API integration contributes to businesses’ growth

APIs facilitate the integration of more apps, exchanging data and insights. Imagine you own a third-party tool and through social media API integration you are able to offer your clients data about their LinkedIn profiles.

Isn’t that a great opportunity to grow your business?

Thanks to the integration of API many businesses can flourish, due to the collection of data that can help others build reports and look at insights.

A screenshot from socialinsider with metrics from socialinsider facebook

4.Social media API integration help to speed up any process

You will get more data in a blink of an eye with the use of social media analytics tools.

If in the native app you only get to see the tip of the iceberg, with the extra features added through the third-party tool, you will definitely see what lies beneath the surface.

Via API integration, you get to complete your tasks more efficiently. And we all know that a social media manager has a lot on their plate to start off.

We already know that APIs represent a set of programming instructions that facilitate the interaction between two softwares. In our case, it’s between the software of a social media platform and the one of a third-party tool.

A third-party tool uses a social media platform’s infrastructure to collect the data.

Basically, that tool completely relies on the social media platform’s API to deliver the collected data, without establishing any infrastructure for data collection.

A screenshot form socialinsider with metrics from socialinsider facebook

If you perform web scraping, you do not obtain such a complete collection of data as you’d have by using API integration. Web scraping only offers you a slice of the cake.

In case the website changes, the code for web scraping may no longer work.

Now we are going to see how you make use of APIs every time you use your favorite social media platforms for analytics or ads.

You can access a series of LinkedIn APIs for free, such as the APIs for content-sharing. There are other APIs responsible to facilitate recruitment processes, sales and marketing. Lucky you, huh?

The Instagram API helps you efficiently use the app. For instance, the Graph API grants you access from the Creator and Business accounts. Moreover, Instagram APIs allow users to manage their posts and direct messages.

Facebook, just like the rest of social media platforms, also allows the free use of APIs whenever you develop new posts or create ads.

TikTok grants users access to a wide range of tools that can definitely facilitate everyone’s experience with the app.

Without even knowing it, you make use of TikTok APIs to embed and share videos, but also to display different types of profiles.

Twitter APIs help you complete different tasks on the platform. The Ads API helps you develop ad campaigns, while the Retweet API allows you to retweet other user’s posts.

To gain access to a wide variety of data, you will need to sign in to your Twitter account.

As a social media manager, API integration for social media can facilitate your processes at work, bringing a lot of benefits.

  • Time saving
    Via API integration, you will have all the data you need in one place, being more efficient when retrieving insights for your marketing campaigns.

  • Automation
    API integration empowers the collection of information, integrating it from one app to the next. This means the automation will eliminate the use of the manual component, taking a lot less time to complete the tasks.

  • Reduced errors
    The secured transfer of data with API integration for social media can also reduce errors when it comes to data collection.

  • Scalability
    With the use of API integration, you boost your business’ possibility to grow. Social media API integration it’s the starting point from where you can further expand your analysis and reporting for your business, facilitating scalability.

  • Reporting and communication
    When you need to see all the insights and metrics in one place, developing a monthly, quarterly or yearly report, API integration is what you need to make everything more efficient.

Open APIs are the ones which are available to the public (like WordPress API and Google API), being accessible for everyone without getting the approval of these apps.

When it comes to partner APIs, they require you to obtain licenses and rights before using them. That is why they are only available to particular parties. A great example here is the Airbnb API.

Internal APIs are APIs developed by companies in order to use them internally. This way, all the softwares in that company efficiently work together, facilitating the needed exchange of data.

Composite APIs, just like the name suggests, is a mixture of different types of API requests that group in one API call. The purpose here is to increase efficiency and data exchange.

Instead of just making different requests for the server, you can make a single API call that includes a bunch of requests and get only one response.

Final thoughts

This guide on social media API integration helps you better understand how you can make the process of collecting data more efficient.

Due to APIs, you can look at the data that offers you the results of your marketing campaigns. And this can only help you grow.

When having your own report with the feedback regarding your previous campaign, you will be able to spot what worked and what didn’t work with your marketing plan.

Hopefully this social media API integration article will come in handy next time you will be wondering how third-party tools work. Take advantage of them and all the benefits they can bring.

They can definitely ease your work. And who wouldn’t want an easy process with data collection?

In case you have any questions, remember that we are only a few clicks away.

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