COVID-19 Social Monitoring Toolkit

provided by Fathm

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Setting up a monitoring operation

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You can find valuable content on social platforms in two main ways:

Often active search can be adapted for passive monitoring, so you can follow developments on an ongoing basis. In the section below we’ll guide you through social monitoring best practices that work for both passive monitoring and active search.

Getting Started: Building Search Strings

Finding valuable content and voices on social platforms means putting yourself in the shoes of a person experiencing something you want to report on. A good place to start is to answer the questions: What words would they use to describe their experience? What language do they speak?


“Self-isolation” is a less common phrase than “stuck at home”
“Symptomatic” is a technical way of saying “have a dry cough” or “have a high fever”
“Social distancing” might be described as “staying at home” or “not going out”

Using simple operators you can be more specific with your search terms:

Using simple operators you can also combine search terms:

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Getting Started: Curating Sources

Different social platforms have features that let you build comprehensive lists of potential sources, pages and groups that might be useful in your social monitoring.

Twitter Lists are a great way to follow groups of people posting about a specific topic, or from a specific place.


Facebook groups are also popular places where people gather to talk about their #COVID-19 experiences and share stories.

Using Facebook, enter your search term (in the relevant language) and filter by “Groups”. Another way to search Facebook groups is to use Google's site specific search. Example: (القاهرة AND COVID 19)


From there we can find this group, with some potentially useful content:

Using Facebook or Twitter, you can curate lists of “official” sources in your country that are authorised to provide statistics or updates that are most relevant to your story.

In Crowdtangle (more on this in the Monitoring Tools section below) you can make a list of groups that you can follow in the app, sorting by overperforming content or through keyword search.

Pay close attention to geographies where maximum cases of deaths or casualties from an accident or disease outbreak are being reported. If there is a local language that’s spoken in that region make sure you are considering that language while drawing up key search terms.

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Monitoring Tools

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