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 where a social media community manager would alone engage with the digital community the entire day.
Nowadays, these managers sit in a state of the 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 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 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. They watch a series of big-screen televisions tracking 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 and (surprisingly) high school athletes to engage with these local community influencers.
This dedicated social media control room has 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 is responsible for tracking social media customer engagement with a focus on Cisco conversations and what social media influencers are saying about the company. And also, keeping on track 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.
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 a public relations firm with an array of clients, a social media command center comes in very handy. Clients have also often commended the firm on their real innovative 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 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 conversations about Dell daily.
With Dell’s social media command center, the community managers follow 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 to aids to identify customer support needs as they happen. Also, identifying the product development cycle.
5) Intel’s Social Media Command Center
In the year 2009 when Intel followed suit and became another giant name to have a social media command center.
The center was started by the company to lend their attentive ears to the conversations doing circles in the virtual world. Being such a giant company, it is only understandable that the company set up a social media command center.
The company wanted to know what its followers were talking about and what they expect from them 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 pay to 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 in its pursuit of developing new products and services that go in line with customer opinion.
6) Salesforce’s Social Media Command Center
Being a CRM company, it becomes even more critical for Salesforce to keep an eye out for social media happenings and discussions. It is a sort of 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 the much-needed changes are undertaken in due time.
Also, the Salesforce social media command center has proven to be the connecting link between the different departments of the company. Be it Sales, PR, or Customer support; all these departments co-operate more significantly.
The professionals and managers make sure that the partnership proves to be beneficial for the company by using the data to turn insight into action.
The company believes that without the command centers, tons of questions about the company would have gone unanswered daily.
Salesforce mentions on social media exceed 50,000 daily. The data outlines how important it is for the company to keep a tab on social media activities and practices.
7) IBM’s Cognitive Social Media Command Center
IBM’s Cognitive Social Media Command center is among the most sought after and efficient social media readers in the market.
The center is designed to investigate what drives the customers and provides them gratification.
According to the technology manager of IBM, IBM Watson analyses loads of data doing rounds in the social world, which helps their cognitive command center to ingest a variety of feeds across different social media platforms.
It effortlessly separates the information gathered and classifies them to fuel the social media campaigns of the brand.
Back in 2016, the IBM cognitive command center brought The Wimbledon to its fans in real-time. During the tournament, the Cognitive command center captured more than 3 million data points spreading across 19 playing courts.
The response time for the collection and ingestion of the data was at sub-seconds, which proves the efficiency of their command center and how easily they gather vital information from the world of social.
Other early adopters of the social media command center concept include Toyota, Pepsi, Movistar Colombia, and even institutions like Clemson University and the 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 make.
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 a nice to have.
Most of these companies have been at the forefront of innovation when implementing social media command centers. The fact that these centers were implemented in big companies a few years ago does not mean that it's something outdated.
Social Media is getting stronger and, especially for big brands, it's been one of the most critical touchpoints with consumers.
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 do a great job on monitoring engagements, crises, campaigns, or consumer complaints in your social channels.
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!