The Evolution of Social Media Monitoring in Corporate Security
Organizations in almost every industry worldwide stand to benefit from employing social media monitoring, and many have already jumped on board. The world we live in is becoming increasingly digital, and social media has given people a place to meet, connect, converse, or just post their thoughts. With billions of existing social media posts and profiles and more being created daily, social media is one of the richest sources of information that organizations can use to aid in everything from loss prevention and asset security to customer engagement and brand awareness.
Social media monitoring tools have been around for a while, but mostly in the hands of marketers using them to track brand mentions and measure campaign effectiveness. Social media, however, contains so much more than just marketing insights. People post anything and everything on social media, including information about themselves, who they’re with, what they’re doing, what they plan to do, etc. that can help corporate security groups in an expanding variety of ways.
Adding The Context of Location
Being able to find and search through the vast amount of social media data is one thing, but the introduction of location-based social media monitoring products has been a game-changer. Now it’s possible to limit your searches to only the areas that are of interest to you, automatically stripping away all the billions of irrelevant social media posts to get to the information you really care about quickly. Instead of monitoring the entire social media universe for risks or threats specific to your company, you’re able to limit that search to specific locations such as the company headquarters or regional facilities where threats would be more imminent.
By adding the context of location, social media becomes a source of intelligence that corporate security groups can use to monitor facilities, assets, locations of interest, etc. In a matter of seconds, it’s possible to discover pictures on social media of products being stolen from a warehouse, locate the warehouse where the crime is taking place, and notify/dispatch the appropriate personnel to handle the situation. Having access to this real-time information can be the difference between nipping a situation in the bud quickly or taking months to solve it, and between a few thousand dollars or a few million dollars in losses.
Loss prevention is just one of the many areas where location-based social media monitoring can have a significant impact. Monitoring certain geographic areas before executive travel or future business expansions can provide on-the-ground insights and help determine whether plans should move forward or be changed. Knowing what is being posted from within your office complexes can also prevent IP leaks and private company information being broadcasted over the Internet.
Becoming a Necessary Security Tool
As social media monitoring has evolved, the tools used to monitor the social media universe have advanced as well to provide detailed analysis behind the people and their posts. With little additional effort needed on the part of the end user, the tools have progressed to complement the role of analysts and investigators, helping them discover, analyze, investigate and solve cases faster and more efficiently, or prevent threats from becoming disasters.
Location-based social media tools help provide security groups with the who, what and where, but the evolution of these tools allows the groups to understand the why behind the posts and the people who are posting them. It’s now possible to understand the sentiment behind an individual’s or community’s posts, or visualize a person-of-interest’s social media network and how often they communicate with certain individuals.
This deep knowledge can be instrumental in the energy industry, for example, when planning and building a pipeline through certain areas, such as a small town. The company can limit the social media search to the proposed area. Using keywords and monitoring the discussions in that area, it becomes easy to determine community sentiment surrounding the future pipeline, identify threats against the company or plans to cause destruction to company assets, and ultimately decide whether to advance the project, put it on hold, or scrap it altogether.
Social Media Monitoring is Here to Stay
In the grand scheme of things, social media monitoring is a relatively new concept, but the benefits can ultimately impact the bottom line. From protecting C-level executives, to preventing losses and identifying workplace violence, social media provides corporate security groups the ability to pinpoint and understand problems, react quickly to minimize the effects, and ensure the safety and well-being of both the organization and the employees.
The days of the CMO using monitoring tools only to track global brand mentions and sentiment are long gone. Today, every corporate security group must leverage the robust, unfiltered insights playing out daily on social media to effectively protect their organization and proactively manage risk. Modern location-based social media monitoring technology can bring any organization into the 21st century and scale with the dynamic nature of this environment.