Social Networks and Social Monitoring

Queensland PoliceThe Queensland Police Service (QPS) is a government organisation responsible for law enforcement in Queensland, Australia. As most government organisations in the western world today, QPS maintains a strong web and social media presence to inform and educate the public. A quick Google search revealed the following Queensland Police Service related websites:

socialbakersSocialbakers is a social media analytics platform that allows companies to monitor their social media usage statistics, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. This is an invaluable tool for measuring the success of a social media campaign and for optimising a company’s social media activities to achieve the best possible results. The page allows the viewing of a few basic statistics for free, but the whole range of data is only available to paying users subscribed to the Analytics PRO account.

The service is extremely easy to use; after entering the URL of the Queensland Police YouTube channel in a Google-like search box, a page appeared summarising the viewing statistics of the uploaded videos. It turned out that as of 20 September 2013, the Queensland Police Channel had 1905 subscribers and 508 uploaded videos in total. The total number of all video viewings was 1,608,696, which is an impressive number compared to the 4.5 million population of Queensland. The free version of the search displayed two very informative timelines about the number of subscribers and uploaded video views in the last six months. These graphs are very useful in spotting general trends and they are an excellent marketing and monitoring tool:

Queensland Police YouTube Channel Subscribers

Queensland Police YouTube Channel Subscribers

Another very useful platform for monitoring social media presence is Socialmention. The service operates in a very similar to way Socialbakers, the user only needs to enter the name of an organisation and the service does the rest. Entering “Queensland Police Service” into the search field gained the following interesting results, however the experience is not nearly as polished as Socialbakers’. This is very likely due to the fact that while the former is a free service, the primary goal of the latter is to gain paying customers, so the bar is obviously set to a higher standard.


Both online monitoring services mentioned above provided some interesting insights into the online presence of QPS. It must be noted, however, that the availability of publicly accessible datasets was quite limited in both cases. In the case of Socialbakers, for instance, the owner of a particular Facebook, YouTube or Twitter channel can sign up a paid account to be able to retrieve extensive analytics that is simply not available for unregistered users.


Queensland Police Service (QPS)
Queensland Police Service YouTube Channel
Queensland Police Service Twitter Channel
Queensland Police Service Pinterest Page
Queensland Police Service FaceBook Page
Socialbakers – queenslandpolice YouTube channel statistics
Wikipedia – Queensland
Socialmention – “Queensland Police Service” search results


17 thoughts on “Social Networks and Social Monitoring

  1. Queensland Police do have a strong and positive social media presence (in my opinion), especially in Facebook. I imagine that all the negative responses were kept on the down low, either those responses are hidden from the public or were removed by Queensland Police social media admins. Do you know how the paid account is better? I mean surely most of the responses would be limited anyway due to privacy settings used by social media users.

    • Ah, I did not think of the possibility of them removing the negative accounts. I just thought they did a really great job 🙂 Answering your question, no, I don’t know the exact differences between the free and pro accounts. But that’s research for you 🙂

  2. Excellent blog, right to the point. It’s curious to see how those monitoring tools give out this information. But then again it’s all about the analysis, as like you said, it is entirely contextual e.g. the numbers weren’t big, but it is only relevant to a few million to begin with. What would be very interesting to see is a map showing where these tweets/discussions are being made, to see the polices presence and reach across Australia and Queensland.

  3. It’s important to be careful with qualitative results like those produced by SocialMention. The sentiment analysis doesn’t always get it right, and often statements aren’t really relevant to the brand or organization. But it is still a very powerful tool.

    • Yes, I was wondering about the reliability of SocialMention as well. Obviously it only does some simplistic keyword search to come up with the sentiment analysis results. Thanks for reminding me of that 🙂

  4. Hi and thank you for another interesting read. Never heard of SocialBakers so thanks for bringing that tool to my attention. As I wrote in my blog about Lego there are defiantly a lot of potential in using these tools but the analyser should still be aware of biased results. Do you know if it is possible to “check” some of the data for bias i.e. in SocialMention?

    • That’s an interesting point and I’m not sure what would the best way to check the validity of the results of tools such as SocialMention. Maybe using multiple similar tools and comparing the results would be a reasonably good way to validate the statistics.

  5. *”Social monitoring tools in police service are an interesting topic to
    mention. Social media monitoring systems become vital to a wide range of police
    services in order to gain information on community safety and security. On
    the other hand, most of the developing countries do not at present of this
    service, and therefore, are at high risks of crime”.

  6. Ah, the good old QPS pages – always provide a good laugh with some of the content. The way some of the posts are used to express important information in a humorous is a great fun way to release information and hopefully gain more followers through reposts. Social Bakers looks like a rather interesting tool for gaining insight into ones social presence. Its a shame we cant explore it further without purchasing a full license for it!

    The difference in statistics quality between the two services you’ve used is definitely apparent, and you are right, it probably comes down to the freeware versus premium situation. However, in our particular case, Social Mention seems to be the standout in terms of delivering free social analytic information, don’t you think?

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post 🙂 Yes, I would say it’s one of the best non-payware social monitoring tools. I have tried using other free tools as well, but decided not to include them in the present article because of the rather low-quality results compared to SocialMention.

  7. Hi there. Another good post. I did not realise that the QPS had such a plethora of different social media sites, what kind of videos do they put on their youtube channel? Analytics Pro seems like a very useful tool, you could definitely see the success of marketing campaigns from that type of data. On SocialMention, when it says 38% passion, what do you think this actually represents? How do they measure ‘passion’? I would really appreciate it, if you have time, for you to check out and give me feedback on my post for this week about Social Media Monitoring and Qantas: 🙂

  8. QPS is a good example of an organisation that could benefit from social media monitoring. I used Social Mention and found it really helpful in that it collected all Facebook posts, Tweets, blog mentions of the search term so you can see how people are mentioning you outside your page as well. And you can view negative only comments and address those specifically. How Social Mention determine that they are negative I’m not sure, but it’s a useful feature. It enables them to maintain positive public perception.

    For Social Mention, do you think that QPS can benefit from the left hand side information (top keywords, top users, sources)?

  9. The online presence of state organizations is crucial for the members of the general public to get the appropriate information and education on the operation of organizations. It’s interesting to see how the monitoring tools for online presence operate. However like in the earlier comment, the analysis of sentiments does not always portray accuracy and is not a representation of the brand or the organization. It is good read providing crucial information.

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