Consumers’ embrace of social media has taught brands that listening to what is being said about them online is crucial for guiding decisions including marketing strategy, operations, budget allocation, and products and services.
But the speed at which social data pours in is lightning-fast, which means it’s not enough to have a few employees occasionally monitor a company’s social feed. That’s not listening. Many companies are taking it up a notch by relying on social-media software and tools. And then others are taking things one step further by building physical social-media command centers for real-time, continual monitoring of their social channels.
Here are five examples.
(Image via Mashable)
In 2010, Mashable covered the launch of the Gatorade Mission Control Center, which lives at the company’s Chicago headquarters. The room is right in the middle of the Gatorade marketing department, and it allows the brand to monitor conversations about Gatorade and topics relevant to it in real time.
Day to day, the command center enables Gatorade to optimize experiences for consumers. Mashable reported that Gatorade was able to increase engagement with its product education (mostly video) by 250 percent and reduce its exit rate from 25 to 9 percent. For special events, the social command center shifts into a mission-control war room.
(Image via MasterCard)
The MasterCard “Conversation Suite” is the company’s version of a social-media command center. A 40-foot LED display shows all of the conversations going on about the brand in real time, and MasterCard has four dedicated employees monitoring it at all times.
The monitoring tool, itself, is Web-based, so any MasterCard employee can access it. Mostly the team works on putting together ad hoc reports for the company’s various business units, such as marketing. For example, the Conversation Suite analyzed about 85,000 conversations online before MasterCard's announcement of the MasterPass digital wallet at Mobile World Congress in 2012. The insights gleaned guided MasterCard’s strategy around the announcement.
3. Edelman Digital
(Image via Edelman Digital)
Edelman Digital calls its social command center the Social Intelligence Command Center (SICC). It enables the company to conduct real-time monitoring, engagement, and content development. The SICC was built for brands (Edelman clients) that may not have the time or money to build their own command centers. Edelman listens to what’s being said online about its clients and then helps them use the data and analysis to inform content strategy, creation, aggregation, and transmedia storytelling.
4. Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company)
Adobe’s social media command center is dubbed the Customer Listening Post (CLP). Bing Han, customer experience program manager at Adobe, told CMO.com that the CLP brings together a wide variety of customer touch points, creating transparency around the customer experience and mobilizing teams across the company to action by increasing visibility into customer insights and trends.
Teams collaborating in the CLP, and remotely, can access the voices of their customers, synthesize the information to form actionable conclusions, and determine which actions have the greatest impact at key points in the customer life cycle.
From real-time social-media monitoring, to understanding the service and support experience for a particular customer segment, to providing a “mission-control” role during critical product launches, the CLP plays a significant role in Adobe’s ability to analyze, assess, and act on opportunities for continuous experiential improvements.
5. The Red Cross
(Image via Red Cross)
The Red Cross built out a social-media command center back in 2012. It was founded to expand the organization’s ability to engage with the public during emergencies. Tests run during tornadoes in the Midwest enabled Red Cross team members to determine where to position workers on the ground. Tools such as heat maps also helped visualize spikes and prevalent themes in social conversations, contributing to relief-response strategies. The DOC helps the Red Cross source additional information from affected areas during emergencies to better serve those who need help. It also enables the organization to spot trends and better anticipate the public’s needs. Finally, it allows the Red Cross to connect people with the resources they need, including food, water, shelter or even emotional support.