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Social Media Command Centers are Coming of Age Commentary

Commentary By Joel Windels on February 12th 2014

‘Social media command center’ is one of those flashy-sounding buzzwords you’ve probably come across if you work in digital marketing.

You may even work at a brand that already has one, or is thinking of installing one.

The term has been around since the last decade, and the concept gained significant momentum after Dell, Gatorade and other brands showcased their own custom builds.

But what has changed since then, and are they more than a simple vanity asset for brands looking to ‘do’ social?


What exactly do they do?

 

Some may argue that the name is misleading, but it really depends upon the use-case.

Social media command centers

We’ve seen command centers set up with seemingly no practical purpose or actionable process, which in our view would be more of a data visualization.

The function that they all share is acting as a central, visual hub for social data, but the ways brands use it may differ dramatically.


What’s changed?

 

First off, social media has changed a lot over the past five years. Facebook and Twitter in particular have transformed information distribution and human interaction, meaning stories spread quicker and wider than ever before.

The extent of a brand’s marketing exposure – positive or negative – has never been greater, or more fleeting, than in today’s social media environment.

social media command centers

Furthermore, social media monitoring and analysis technology that powers these centers is much smarter and more sophisticated than ever before. The result is that the information gathered is more relevant, more powerful and of higher impact.

Those best positioned to harness the potential that these changes have wrought are the innovative brands that implement technologies such as command centers.


How are they being used?

 

The use-cases for effective command center integration at major brands are manifold.

From crisis management via identification and escalation of potential negative issues online to managing important real-time marketing campaigns, we’ve seen brands set up command centers for a number of reasons.

This AdWeek article shows how Jaguar, along with agencies Spark 44 and Mindshare, used a Brandwatch command center to manage its Super Bowl marketing during the sporting event. This was all done in real-time, an endeavor which inspired this interesting thought piece on real-time marketing by Brandwatch CMO Will McInnes.

Social media command centers

Chief among the reasons to implement a command center however, is using them to catalyze the process of embedding social into an enterprise.

In plain English, this means that organizations can display social data in lobbies of headquarters, regional branches, executive and C-suite offices, marketing departments and other key physical places of business operation to showcase a brand’s digital footprint, in real-time.

Getting multiple teams, locations and departments exposed to the discussion made by real people – their customers – will help each to better understand what the company reputation is really like.

Instant feedback about what customers are talking about, which trends are emerging, the latest customer complaints, the top press hits and news stories, how competitors are faring – this data is all displayed widely across the company, in a stunning and meaningful way.

Some setups will even empower marketers or other staff to customize what displays on which screens, and where, giving them the ability to escalate different data points and messages to senior staff or particular teams.

Placing social data right there in front of those staff with the power to react to it helps to provoke the cultural shift requires for large businesses to become a truly social business.


For more on how organizations can take advantage of the benefits of social media command centers, download our free report specifically for the financial services sector.


Joel Windels

@LinkYeah

Joel is the VP Marketing at Wandera, the innovators in enterprise cloud services and security. He ran a marathon once, and has a wide range of Pokemon in his Pokedex.