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Big data and analytics are an integral part of social media marketing. Ever since millions of people started using networks, it became apparent to marketers that data is a valuable resource for advertising. On no network has this been more prevalent than Facebook, the network with the most users and the highest ad revenue in the world.

Hubspot pinpoints 2009 as the year Facebook realized the potential of targeted ads based on geographic and language data of its users. Businesses then gained the power to set up their own pages and manage their own ads, and Facebook’s revenue shot up to $777 million, while user count rose to 350 million. As of June 2017, that user count was 2 billion.

Since 2009, a host of advertising options have popped up on Facebook, including sponsored stories, mobile ads, and the Social Graph, which provides marketers with data when a user likes a post or engages in other ways. And since then, other networks have emerged as big sites for various forms of marketing, including Instagram, where influencer marketing is a huge draw.

Influencer marketing is one of the top social media marketing trends for 2018 (continue reading and you’ll see why this is very …

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