Information about the organisation's approach to monitoring social media and online forums / blogs.
1) Does your organisation monitor social media and online forums/blogs for mentions or discussion about the organisation?
The Scottish Government Communications Division does not monitor social media or online forums / blogs for mentions or discussion about the Scottish Government.
2) Do you employ a third party company to do this monitoring work, or do you do it in-house?
The Scottish Government Communications Division uses a tool called Brandwatch to deliver social monitoring to monitor reactions to paid-for-media marketing activity conducted by the Scottish Government, as and when appropriate, to evaluate the effectiveness of activity.
3) How do you keep track of this - do you use a specific software or programme, or manual searches for key words or terms?
The Scottish Government Communications Division uses a tool called Brandwatch to deliver social monitoring.
4) What do you call this monitoring? For example, some organisations call it 'social listening' although this might not be the common term you use.
We call it social monitoring.
5) Please provide the full list of words, terms, phrases, websites and usernames you monitor in order to do this work.
The Scottish Government does not monitor any specific websites or usernames on any platform. The Scottish Government monitors reactions to paid-for-media marketing activity conducted by the Scottish Government, as and when appropriate, to evaluate the effectiveness of activity. The words or terms used to monitor reactions to paid-for-media marketing activity conducted by the Scottish Government depends on the policy topic of the marketing activity.
6) If you employ a third party to carry out this task, please say which organisation and how much you pay them for the work.
The Scottish Government Communications Division uses a tool called Brandwatch to deliver social monitoring. Brandwatch is a digital consumer intelligence platform. The annual cost of the Scottish Government’s Brandwatch license for 2023-24 is £32,400.
7) Please tell me how long you have been doing this monitoring work for as an organisation and whether it is covered in any policy you have within the organisation. If it is covered, please provide a copy of the policy.
The Scottish Government Communications Division first purchased a license to use Brandwatch in 2018. The Scottish Government doesn’t have a specific policy covering social media monitoring activity. However, agreement to the Brandwatch terms and conditions is a condition of the license. This includes an agreement that the Scottish Government will not:
(a) knowingly display, distribute, or otherwise make Supplier Data available to any person or entity that it reasonably believes may use Supplier Data in a manner that would have the potential to be inconsistent with that individual’s reasonable expectations of privacy;
(b) conduct research or analysis that isolates a small group of individuals or any single individual for unlawful or discriminatory purposes;
(c) use Supplier Data to target, segment, or profile any individual based on health, negative financial status or condition, political affiliation or beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical affiliation or beliefs, sex life or sexual orientation, trade union membership, data relating to any alleged or actual commission of a crime, or any other sensitive categories of personal information prohibited by Applicable Law.
Full terms and conditions of the Scottish Government’s contract with Brandwatch can be viewed here: Service Appendix | Brandwatch
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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