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Inside 7 Companies’ Social Media Command Center

Inside 7 Companies' Social Media Command Center cover

One of the in-house innovations that large companies have invested in is the social media command center.

These rooms have allowed brands like Gatorade, Cisco, Edelman Digital, Dell, Intel, Salesforce, and IBM to engage with their social media fans (current and potential customers) in real-time.

Gone are the days when a social media community manager would alone engage with the digital community the entire day.

Nowadays, these managers sit in a state of digital art center filled with screens along with a customer representative, salesperson, marketer, and maybe even legal counsel in what is now a sophisticated operation.

One can argue that the Oreo blackout tweet kicked off this real-time brand engagement phenomenon.

Oreo's social media engagement on Twitter

These social media command centers allow real-time monitoring of social trends and customer interaction so the brand can quickly react and be part of a trending 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 in 2010.

Gatorade bottles
Photographer: John McArthur | Source: Unsplash

Inside Gatorade’s Mission Control, there are approximately five team members. They watch a series of big-screen televisions tracking how the brand has been perceived and interacted worldwide.

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.

Social media command center helping Gatorade engage with athletes
Gatorade Mission Control

The brand is dedicated to their sponsored athletes and (surprisingly) high school athletes to engage with these local community influencers.

Interview with Morgan Flatley, former Gatorade CMO

This dedicated social media control room has helped Gatorade change its 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 worldwide.

Cisco’s digital manager team is responsible for tracking social media customer engagement, focusing on Cisco conversations and what social media influencers say about the company—and keeping on track with current trending topics on social media.

Of course, these social media command centers require an executive buy-in.

“This is the future of how customers engage with companies  going forward, regardless of your industry” – Blair Christie, CMO

Cisco has implemented a two-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.

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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.

Edelman Digital

As a public relations firm with various clients, a convenient social media command center. Clients have also often commended the firm on their real innovative engagement.

Edelman Digital utilizes its command center to gather data and information to inform their real-time analytics and team briefings, client content strategies and development, community management, trends, insight reports, crisis management team, planning, and client execution events and campaigns and employee training and consultation.

According to Edelman Digital, these social media command centers evolve into call centers directly to customer feedback.

4) Dell’s Social Media Command Center

The Dell community managers scour through over 25,000 conversations about Dell daily.

With Dell’s social media command center, the community managers follow aggregate conversations in 11 languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

These conversations track their brand conversation, reach, sentiment, conversation subject matter, and sites where brand conversations occur.

This data-gathering process allows the command center to aid in identifying customer support needs as they happen. They also recognize the product development cycle.

5) Intel’s Social Media Command Center

In 2009, Intel followed suit and became another big name for a social media command center.

The company started to lend its attentive ears to the conversations doing circles in the virtual world. Being such a giant company, it is understandable that it set up a social media command center.

The company wanted to know what its followers were talking about and what they expected soon.

Across various Facebook pages, Intel has more than 38 million fans worldwide, making it critical for the brand to stay on its toes and heed the voices on social media.

As Intel is a B2B company, the purpose of its activities on Social media isn’t just collecting likes and followings.

The goal is also to gather information from different platforms, which helps the brand develop new products and services that align with customer opinion.

6) Salesforce’s Social Media Command Center

Being a CRM company, it becomes even more critical for Salesforce to watch social media happenings and discussions. It is a control room for social media practices and processes commenced or observed by Salesforce.

Professionals run the command center, community managers, and customer support representatives of the company.

Large-scale research and surveys are conducted to ensure that the flow of information doesn’t stop and that much-needed changes are undertaken in due time.

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Also, the Salesforce social media command center has proven to be the connecting link between the company's different departments. All these departments co-operate more significantly, whether Sales, PR, or Customer support.

The professionals and managers ensure that the partnership benefits the company by using the data to turn insight into action.

The company believes that many questions would have gone unanswered daily without the command centers.

Salesforce mentions on social media exceed 50,000 daily. The data outlines how important it is for the company to monitor social media activities and practices.

7) IBM’s Cognitive Social Media Command Center

IBM’s Cognitive Social Media Command center is among the market's most sought-after and efficient social media readers.

The center investigates what drives the customers and provides them gratification.

According to IBM's technology manager, IBM Watson analyses loads of data doing rounds in the social world, which helps their cognitive command center ingest a variety of feeds across different social media platforms.

It effortlessly separates the information gathered and classifies them to fuel the brand's social media campaigns.

In 2016, the IBM cognitive command center brought The Wimbledon to its fans in real-time. The mental command center captured more than 3 million data points across 19 playing courts during the tournament.

The response time for the collection and ingestion of the data was sub-seconds, which proves their command center's efficiency and how easily they gather vital information from the social world.

Other early adopters of the social media command center concept include Toyota, Pepsi, Movistar Colombia, Clemson University, and the American Red Cross. Through innovative customer relationship management, companies like Salesforce provide the technology and training, and building these command centers is relatively simple.

In Conclusion

The organizations that we have highlighted have all embraced the power of real-time engagement. These have also proved that social media community management is, in fact, vital for organizations and not just nice to have.

Most companies have been at the forefront of innovation when implementing social media command centers. These successful companies implemented these centers in big companies a few years ago, which does not mean that it's outdated.

Social Media is getting stronger, and it's been one of the most critical touchpoints with consumers, especially for big brands.

Although these platforms could be expensive, currently, there are many tools out there that can replace a complete fortune-500 command center. Smaller platforms can still make a significant job monitoring engagements, crises, campaigns, or consumer complaints on your social channels.

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Check some of the top social media management and monitoring tools that can get you started.

Do you have any platform suggestions for our readers? Feel free to leave it below!

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