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Digital Monitoring Centers: The Response to COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, operations centers are hard at work. Critical in global monitoring and response, command centers including those in hospitals, local emergency operations centers, and even cyber security and social media have a role to play in handling pandemics. Join us as we begin this series exploring how each type of mission critical center is responding to the current situation.

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Digital Monitoring Centers: The Response to COVID-19

We began our series with a look into how emergency operations centers are responding to the outbreak and the increased responsibilities placed on cybersecurity operations centers. Next, we’re diving into the world of digital monitoring.

What are Digital Monitoring Centers?

Also sometimes called social media command centers or social media listening centers, these dedicated hubs are where operators monitor and respond to the conversations taking place online. These relevant conversations can range from dialogue around a company, to consumer sentiment, to global trends. These social media brand awareness centers and the information they track can drive real value by leveraging the wealth of data made available through internet connectivity. In comparison to even just ten years ago, brands today operate in a hyper-connected space online, and these hubs serve as a touchpoint.

Brands that have prepared themselves through a monitoring hub can quickly execute any number of pre-developed strategies for a number of possible scenarios that may arise. With an increasingly vast digital landscape, it can be easy for a brand without a central hub to get lost in the shuffle. Having a physical space that utilizes state-of-the-art brand monitoring technology can make a world of difference when it comes to making a digital impact as a brand.

All kinds of organizations can house social media brand awareness centers, from Gatorade and Dell to universities and the American Red Cross.

Social Media Listening is Important in Times of Crisis

Social media, in combination with more traditional methods of public health information gathering, creates an immediate and comprehensive picture of the state of the public’s health and mindset. This information proves invaluable to many key players in the public sphere.  Better information means better response, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, response is critical.

Social listening can be helpful in identifying proper response or identifying critical community needs. Even before the proliferation of social media listening centers, the power of conversation was used to track the spread of disease. Back in 2002, Ronald St. John created the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), which mined news and public health reports across the world for information about possible disease outbreaks..

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 60% of initial reports of outbreaks come from unofficial and informal sources, which are then verified. While GPHIN primarily sources from news reports, health tracking networks in general agree that social media plays a significant – and growing—role in data collection for public health.

Dr. John Brownstein has been one of the earliest advocates for using platforms such as Twitter to glean insights on a number of interrelated public health issues such as disease detection, quality of patient care, and more. These insights become even more invaluable during a pandemic. Brownstein and his team of more than 50 researchers found that Twitter can also be critical during emergency situations to provide real-time data that affects healthcare, emergency department preparations, and more.

Information gathered from social media posts and apps can be used to provide information about coronavirus and public health to relevant authorities. In turn, this can help inform its treatment and prevent the spread. When it comes to COVID-19’s rapid and expansive impact, social media has been instrumental for tracking, assessing, and responding.

Brands, Social Media, and COVID

Social media listening is not only helpful for the public sector during this time, it also helps inform brands’ communication with their customers. With pandemic gripping the world, it can be difficult to know how to appropriately communicate.

As both individuals and brands rely on social media more than ever before, it’s vital to add genuine value to interactions. Content during this time needs to come from a place of helping community, rather than coming across as opportunistic. During times of uncertainty, people seek connection.

Using a brand communication center to understand what currently resonates with your audience allows brands to choose the right kind of messaging. The ability to monitor sentiments of customers during this time also enables brands to keep their customers – and their feelings – at the forefront of decisions.

Social Media’s Role in Information Distribution

Nowhere does disinformation proliferate better than on social media. With a global pandemic at hand, organizations are doubling down to make sure that the right information gets out and any misinformation is prevented from spreading. The WHO has partnered with social media platforms, from Facebook to Twitter and even TikTok, to reach audiences and detect any spreading misinformation. The goal is to make trustworthy information readily available wherever people may look for it.

In digital marketing and social listening centers, a dedicated team of operators can track real-time data for mentions of coronavirus, keeping an eye out for speculation and misinformation. Having immediate data on hand allows moderators to deal with “fake news” immediately to help prevent speculation from spreading.

On the flip side, social media centers also facilitate the dissemination of helpful information as well. Operators can use data on what generates highest engagement to inform how and when to distribute critical information to their audience. In 2019 the Pew Research Center reported that over half of U.S. adults get their news from social media. This means that social media companies and brands can use their reach to help important facts and tips reach the most people possible.

Constant’s Operations Centers

Moments of crisis often remind us how invaluable the multiple types of operations centers involved in emergency response can be. It’s important that emergency operations centers, medical command centers, and social media monitoring centers be up-to-date in order to provide efficient, reliable response. If your mission critical environment hasn’t been updated in several years, the technology may not be as reliable as it should be for round-the-clock use in a crisis situation.

Should your mission critical operations center be in need of a refresh, Constant is here to provide video wall integration, console furniture, project management, and service to ensure your center is best equipped to serve the public good.

The team at Constant is continuing to manage projects and support our clients through these uncertain times. If you would like to discuss your digital monitoring center requirements, our expert team is here to help.

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Stay Tuned

We are continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and the responses aided by various types of command centers. Continue to check back as we explore these responses in the coming days with the continuation of our coronavirus series.

About Constant:

Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs, installs and services projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.