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Published February 7th 2014

Q&A: How Brands Can Monitor The Entire Social Media Ecosystem

We recently sat down with Michoel Ogince, Director, Platform & Product Strategy at Big Fuel, an award winning marketing company. During our chat, we discussed the challenges businesses face in today’s social media landscape and how they can successfully overcome them.


1/ What has changed for brands that are trying to manage their social channels over the past couple of years?


Complexity! Back in the day Facebook was the only playing ground.

Today brands are also leveraging Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Linkedin and even chat messaging apps.That means more strategy, content, monitoring and measurement.

To add – there are security and risk management nightmares associated with each channel.

Furthermore to be successful in social, brands only needed to run owned and earned media campaigns.

Today paid media and its fusion with owned and earned is the primary Chess Board (1)


2/ With respect to social channel management what challenges do large brands with thousands of staff face that smaller ones don’t?


For large brands social is touching every part of the organization: marketing, corporate communications, digital, customer support, executive and IT. That’s making content strategy and management more challenging.

Global brands also have geo and language specific social channels – which means they need social monitoring systems with multilingual capabilities.

Channel governance also surfaces here: more employees (from more business units) accessing social channels increases the likelihood of channel hacks, inappropriate content publishing and other security risks.


3/ What would you identify as the main value in having a social media command center in place?


Tough to narrow it down to one main value, but if I had to do so: The Command Center makes real-time and actionable data accessible, whether it be in the Command Center itself or remotely from a mobile device.

This data can then be used to inform both short and long term content strategy.

4/ How does a command center streamline operations within an organization?


The Command Center enhances cross-functional team workflow around big data. Workflows include:

  • Social listening
  • Social engagement
  • Social activation
  • Media strategy

Furthermore – a Command Center that houses social, digital, sales, email marketing and other forms of data unites business teams and fosters collaboration around different digital channels.


5/ Do you see social media command centers sitting alongside or working with data from sources other than social?


Absolutely! Social touches every part of a corporate entity and integrating data from other sources optimizes marketing strategy.

For example: for a retail brand, aligning foot-traffic and sales data with social can define the ROI of a social campaign and plan for subsequent campaigns.


6/ What role do command centers play in changing the attitudes of the C-suite and executive staff with regard to social media?


Critical metrics, in real-time and at anytime can only change the attitudes of the C-suite for the better!

No spreadsheets, complicated workflows or PDF’s to storify data, just the right metrics across owned, earned and paid via the Command Center visualizations.  


7/ What do businesses need to consider before establishing their own command centres?


Alot! First up is a business plan – which needs to answer what is the purpose of the Command Center?

Examples include: customer care, real-time engagement, a catalyst for owned content creation, competitive benchmarking and paid media strategy.

Other factors that need to be considered include: end-users (business units that need to access the Command Center), mobile access (iOS, Android and browser based) and building the Command Center from the ground up so it can accommodate additional data sources in the future.


8/ You evaluate a fortune of social media technology – in your opinion what’s unique about Brandwatch’s Command Center technology?


From the perspective of the technology build, most Command Centers are fragmented. There are usually two main pieces: the data source(s) and the visualizations, and there are two challenges with a build like this:

  1. At a high level, once the visualization are designed, built and deployed – that’s it. There is very little opportunity to add parameters, make changes or even add new visualizations without making backend development and incurring costs.
  2. The data source(s) feed into the visualizations via API’s. Any change in the API’s can crash the visualizations. I have personally witnessed this scenario and it’s costly to mend.

In contrast Brandwatch’s social listening tool feeds the visualizations. The entire system exists under one ‘house.’

Beyond overcoming the aforementioned challenges, what’s really awesome here is: any advancement in the listening platform can automatically be pushed to existing or new visualizations.

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Existing customer?Log in to access your existing Falcon products and data via the login menu on the top right of the page.New customer?You'll find the former Falcon products under 'Social Media Management' if you go to 'Our Suite' in the navigation.

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Brandwatch acquired Paladin in March 2022. It's now called Influence, which is part of Brandwatch's Social Media Management solution.Want to access your Paladin account?Use the login menu at the top right corner.