The recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wasn’t just about next-gen hardware and sleek gadgets. Catching the visitors’ attention was the Social Media Command Center, located at the start of the CES Instawalk in the North Hall. The command center with giant LCDs showcasing live feeds and social media updates generated great hype and many conversations around it. For corporate managers, present at the show, investment in Social Media Command Center, already topped their business agenda. With consumers flooding social media and companies integrating it into their corporate strategy, Social Media Command centers are fast proving to be inevitable for organizations.
Social media command centers are dedicated, state-of-the-art, physical hubs that allow brands to monitor and respond to the huge influx of social commentary and queries flooding in via various social media channels. The command centers deploy various resources to track a torrent of real-time statistics and indicators, ranging from conversations around a company, to social media market share and consumer sentiment. Other applications range from competitive analysis, community management, crisis communication and tracking ad campaigns.
The concept was first pioneered by Gatorade that deployed a mission control center in its Chicago headquarters with six reporting screens and five workers. Currently, the company uses it to understand and analyze product reception and connect fans/followers with star athletes via Twitter. Similarly, during the 2012 Super Bowl, deployment of a massive 2,800-square-foot social media ground control , by the organizers, generated a 12.5% boost in consumer sentiment. Nearly 50 social media experts handled 64 million social impressions at the Super Bowl command center which was outfitted with more than a mile of Ethernet cable.
Interestingly, social media command centers are becoming popular even among public services like Red Cross and the education sector. Clemson University recently developed a social listening center, where students manage half-a-dozen screens pooling data for, among other purposes, on how to better respond to campus emergencies.
Meanwhile, members of the C-suite, already see great value in deploying command centers which are at the heart of marketing and customer interaction strategies. In the days to come, as companies deal with the data overload to derive useful insights across a variety of business verticals, it won’t be long before social media command centers become standard equipment.