There has been a historical lack of effective ways to monitor information on certain demographics. In more recent years, the ongoing digitisation of almost all information has established numerous methods in which people can properly observe the political spectrum. The quick dissemination and sharing of information through Twitter is one example of this phenomenon, as are the various tools and analytics software packages used to monitor and maintain the flow of this data.
Technology such as this has largely changed how information is reported through-out different facets of the media, with important stories breaking from first-hand witnesses. With so much information being submitted by people around the world, there has been a growing need to properly analyse what is being said. Major organisations and corporations have begun to realise the benefits, both in terms of profitability and development, of monitoring this relevant information online, which has subsequently spread to the political spectrum.
Famously, Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign reached out to the American public using social media channels. On top of this, the campaign also made use of various social media metrics and analytics tools to understand more intricate statistics such as which areas of America were discussing Obama, and which relevant topics and articles were trending. This newly-relevant method of analysing voters, including insights into important demographic information such as age, location and gender, soon spread to different political parties around the globe. As such, the adoption of political monitoring software has become crucial to understanding otherwise mystifying target voters.
Social channels have proved effective in the past using this method for analysing advertising markets and voters can be targeted in a similar way. Corporations also use monitoring tools with new technologies to utilise social media, as well as other pre-existing news platforms, and better understand the socio-political and regulatory issues that directly affect their businesses or operational objectives.
The continuously evolving natures of legislative measures adopted by authoritative bodies are often disseminated to the public through the ensuing conversations on social media channels and online blogs. Subsequently, it has become more valuable for political parties, corporations and public organisations to monitor and analyse this feedback as closely as possible, using tools that specifically target mentions across various platforms.
Corporations also use these tools to keep themselves up-to-date on rapidly changing legislature, preventing the chances that operational objectives will be severely influenced or clash with radically new laws. As such, the continued use of monitoring software, applied to social media and beyond, helps prevent accidental breaches of legislation that could damage a company.
As an example, campaigners who have long been utilising Facebook to petition for changes to carbon output have caught the attention of various energy groups on multiple occasions. Consequently, these businesses used the information gathered from the groups to develop new approaches to continuous emissions monitoring.
Rapidly changing approaches to gathering intelligence has seen social media take precedence online. Many online groups which seek to spread information can now easily be picked up by relevant organisations, as well as echoed by major news outlets. Many of these groups have pre-set motives, such as environmental or political action. During election season, social channels represent a massive portion of ongoing discussions and debate compared to almost a decade ago.
These changes show just how effective platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are for guiding public opinion into a meaningful dialogue with politicians and corporations. Using technology to monitor this data is valuable to these entities, and without restrictions, consumers have unbridled access to a means of effective communication that can invoke meaningful change.