One of the in house innovations that large companies especially B2C companies have invested in is the social media command center. These rooms have allowed brands like Gatorade, Cisco, Edelman Digital and Dell to engage with their social media fans (current and potential customers) in real-time.
Gone are the days where a social media community manager sits alone and engages with the digital community the entire day. Nowadays, these managers sit in a state of the art digital center filled with screens along with a customer representative, salesperson, marketer and maybe even legal counsel in what is now a sophisticated operation.
As a matter of fact, one can argue that the Oreo blackout tweet kicked off this phenomenon of brand engagement in real time. The point of these social media command centers is to allow real time monitoring of social trends and customer interaction, so the brand can quickly react and be part of a trending or larger conversation in the digital space.
1) Gatorade’s Social Media Command Center
Gatorade was one of the first brands to create a dedicated social media command center way back in 2010. Inside Gatorade’s Mission Control there are approximately five team members at a time, who watch a series of big screen televisions that track how the brand is being perceived and interacted with around the globe. Their jobs include tracking and reporting campaign analytics, tracking and reporting web analytics, social media outreach with their athletes and top social media influencers, tracking brand attributes, monitoring the sports landscape, tracking and reporting media performance and tracking sports trends and buzz in the digital space.
The brand has a focused dedication on their sponsored athletes as well as (surprisingly) high school athletes to engage with these local community influencers. This dedicated social media control room has actually helped Gatorade change their online perception from flavors and hangover cures to sports performance and protein recovery.
2) Cisco’s Social Media Command Center
Cisco’s social media command center enables the company’s employees, customers, partners, and visitors to view real time Cisco conversations around the globe.
Cisco’s team of digital managers are tasked with tracking social media customer engagement, highlighting Cisco conversations, tracking what social media influencers are saying about the company, and keeping on track current trending topics on social media. Of course, these social media command centers require executive buy-in and Cisco has implemented a 2 screen kiosk in front of their CEO and CMO’s offices so company leaders can see what is being said about Cisco in real time. Cisco manages over 70 Facebook pages and over 100 Twitter accounts globally.
3) Edelman’s Social Media Command Center
Edelman Digital is the interactive and digital arm of Edelman Public Relations, the world’s largest independently owned public relations firm. As public relations firm with an array of clients, a social media command center comes in very handy and clients have often commended the firm on their innovative real engagement.
Edelman Digital utilizes their command center to gather data and information to inform their real time analytics and team briefings, client’s content strategies and development, community management, trends and insight reports, crisis management team, planning and execution of client events and campaigns, and employee training and consultation. According to Edelman Digital, these social media command centers are really an evolution of call centers with a direct line to customer feedback.
4) Dell’s Social Media Command Center
The Dell community managers scour through over 25,000 conversation about Dell on a daily basis. Through Dell’s social media command center the community managers follow and aggregate conversations in 11 languages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Through these conversations they track their brand conversation, reach, sentiment, conversation subject matter, sites where brand conversations are happening.
This data gathering process allows the command center aids to identify customer support needs as they happen and even the product development cycle.
Other brands that were early adopters of the social media command center concept include Toyota, Pepsi, Movistar Colombia, and even institutions like Clemson University and American Red Cross. Through innovative customer relationship management companies like Salesforce who provide the technology and training, building these command centers are relatively simple to build. The organizations that we have highlighted have all embraced the power of real time engagement and have proved that social media community management is in fact vital for organizations and not just a nice to have.
Article by Walter Godinez