With the social media fast becoming the buzzword in the new government, the Prime Minister’s Office — in a bid to keep a “finger on the pulse of the nation”— would now be keeping a close watch on issues trending on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
Beginning June 25, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry is sending detailed reports on social media trends to the PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat. “The social media hub in the ministry has started sending eight-hourly reports on issues trending on social media to the PMO and Cabinet Secretariat. The first report of the day is sent every morning by around 9.30,” an I&B ministry source said.
A team of around 20 people in the I&B Ministry’s social media hub has been tasked with monitoring and making reports on the social media trends. “These professionals are doing content-analysis and trend-analysis on issues that are being talked about by people on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. For instance, they monitor tweets on issues like rail fare hike and prepare a detailed report on the kind of reactions the move is eliciting from the masses. Subject-specific reports are then being prepared to be sent to the PMO,” a ministry source said, adding that some of the most thought-provoking messages (either tweets or FB posts) are being mentioned in these reports.
Those monitoring these social media trends are also keeping a close vigil on people tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their tweets or mentioning him by name in their Facebook posts or blogs. “The PM has already conveyed that he wants to know the pulse of the nation on issues that are being discussed or debated online. He is also keen to know when somebody is directly trying to talking to him, either by tagging or by mentioning his name in a post,” another source said.
Having started with preparing eight-hourly reports, the I&B ministry is going to soon start sending four-hourly reports on what all is making waves on the social media.
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“The social media is an extremely dynamic medium. What is trending now may not even be talked about three-four hours later. We realise that we need to capture the mood of the people in real-time and will soon start sending reports every four hours,” the source added. Further, the ministry is planning to make this monitoring of social media trends a 24×7 exercise.