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Social Media Monitoring Explained

Blogs, message boards, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter are popular because of their wide reach and ease of use. Just about anyone, regardless of age, location, or expertise, can share news and information on social media.

Social media monitoring (also known as social media listening) is the act of capturing data from these open public platforms designed to allow personal expression and information sharing. Law enforcement/security professionals, as well as brands, have an understandable interest in monitoring social media posts and comments.

Social media monitoring is the topic under review in Tom Meehan’s most recent column for the January-February 2017 issue of LP Magazine. Meehan describes some of the reasons why law enforcement may want to practice social media monitoring regularly. From the article:

Local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as security and loss prevention professionals, often use social media monitoring for criminal investigative purposes, monitoring civil unrest, managing crisis, and responding to natural disasters.

Generally, law enforcement and security professionals have used social media monitoring specifically designed to link individuals and track activity. One example you can use is simply the name of your organization. Let’s say you wanted to see every time the words “XYZ Company” and key phrases like “gun,” “bomb,” and so forth were used in a post. Social media monitoring could help you to identify threatening or informational posts regarding your business. Social media is used by 81 percent of terrorists.

Meehan goes on to describe a bit about how the technology works and dispels a few of the myths surrounding social media monitoring. Check out “Social Media Monitoring: How Does It Work?” to read the whole column. You can also see the Table of Contents for the January-February 2017 issue or sign up for your free subscription to the print or digital magazine.

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