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Why Social Media Centers are Worth the Investment

Social Media Command Center with video walls and consoles in the background
Constant Technologies

What exactly is a social media command center?

Social media command centers, also called digital monitoring centers, social media listening centers, or brand awareness centers, are dedicated hubs where operators can monitor and respond to the conversations taking place online that are relevant to their brand. These relevant conversations can range from dialogue around a company, to consumer sentiment, to global trends. These social media listening centers and the information they track can drive real value to a brand by leveraging the wealth of data made available through internet connectivity. In comparison to even just ten years ago, brands today operate in a hyper-connected space online. Both opportunities and challenges can emerge without any advance notice. And the ideal window for responding to them can close just as quickly. Brands that have prepared themselves through a monitoring hub can quickly execute any number of pre-developed strategies for a number of possible scenarios that may arise. With an increasingly vast digital landscape, it can be easy for a brand without a central hub for brand communication to get lost in the shuffle. Having a physical space that utilizes state-of-the-art brand monitoring technology can make a world of difference when it comes to making a digital impact as a brand.modern social media listening center with large video wall and multiple desks as well as collaboration area

What kind of organizations have social media command centers?

Organizations of all types and sizes have recognized the value of brand visibility command centers. The value of keeping a finger on the pulse of digital conversations through a single touchpoint spans across otherwise dissimilar industries.

  • Gatorade’s Mission Control Center is one of the first pioneers of social media command. Created in 2010,the command center monitors campaign impact to inform their advertising and digital marketing strategies. It also serves more conventional functions like optimizing web pages for performance and engagement.
  • Computer giant Dell has used their social media control room for market research, using online conversation to inform choices for their products. For example, complaints online about the positioning of a key led to a redesign of one of their keyboards, thanks to the monitoring from their social media command center.
  • National Australia Bank has a dedicated team staffing their brand awareness center,monitoring for conversations surrounding customer service and campaign promotion.
  • One of the more unusual applications is Clemson University’sSocial Media Listening Center(SMLC), which opened in 2012. Unlike centers that are built to increase profits, Clemson’s SMLC is used as a tool for learning. University students man the command center and conduct research projects, giving them hands-on experience in the new direction of marketing, media, and customer service.
  • Another unexpected social media command center belongs to the American Red Cross.The insights they can glean from real-time information on social media allows them to more effectively respond to disasters as they unfold.

If you don’t see an organization similar to yours on this list, it doesn’t mean that a social media monitoring center wouldn’t be applicable to your use case. In fact,this list only scratches the surface of companies that use online conversation to inform important decisions. As more and more conversation transitions to the internet, it becomes a more relevant source of real-time information for all types of organizations.person on public transportation using smartphone

What are key applications for social media monitoring centers?

The capabilities that come with brand monitoring technology are vast. Some potential applications for the data tracked in these centers includes:

Opportunities tracking

Organizations can use social media command centers to find new prospects by monitoring mentions of keywords that indicate an intent to purchase such as “I’m looking for” or “I need to find.” Knowing when and where these conversations are taking place can allow you to gracefully enter and offer your solutions.

Proactive Customer Service

A lot of social media-based customer service so far has been reactive, only responding to messages or comments. A social media listening center allows you to monitor brand mentions even when you’re not directly tagged. Having this visibility of customer feedback allows you to be proactive with reaching out to people who may need help.

Real-time brand awareness

Brand awareness includes the performance of your brand’s social media and content, but it also encompasses the general social perception of your brand. Are there positive or negative mentions? This will inform your brand communication center’s strategy.

Monitor competitors

One of the benefits of social conversation listening is that not only can you track conversation surrounding your own brand; you can also track what people say about your competitors. Do they compare you to them? This can provide useful opportunities for your own responsive marketing.

Pulse on trending topics

What are people talking about on social media? What about in your industry? Whether directly on your social pages or not, these conversations can provide valuable insight into opportune chances to enter into a highly relevant and timely dialog.

Identify potential PR crises

Monitoring online mentions allows you to have a heads up as potential PR crises are developing. This real-time knowledge allows you to rapidly respond and alert the proper teams.

Inform content strategy and development

Tracking online trends can inform your content development. If there is a sudden uptick in mentions relevant to your products, your marketing team can quickly distribute timely content.

Tracking ad campaigns

Online listening allows you to gain real-time, unsolicited feedback on your ad campaigns. This allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your ad campaigns more comprehensively.

Give stakeholders a quick understanding of your brand health

Installing a command center somewhere that grants visibility to your brand’s key stakeholders allows them to have understanding at-a-glance of key performance indicators regarding your organization’s online brand health.

Connect with key decision makers

Having data related to social, PR, marketing or more all in one place allows for streamlined communication with decision makers.social media and app logos on phone

What departments use digital monitoring centers?

Effective social media listening centers enable dedicated teams to efficiently share insights with the rest of the company, promoting internal collaboration across departments. A social media command center may feature representatives from – or interface with – departments such as customer service, marketing, and public relations. However, the planned use of your social media hub can also determine the departments that work within it. For example, the value of crowd-sourced information online can also prove valuable to security and law enforcement officials. For applications like the digital listening center used by the American Red Cross, departments coordinating emergency and disaster management use social media data to better serve the public. The short answer to the question of “what departments use social media command centers?” is: any department that can benefit from crowd-sourced, real-time data online. There are constantly new uses found for data sourced from social media. That means that there are also constantly new departments to whom this data could be considered useful.

Social media and the power of real-time

Regardless of how you might plan to use a social media command center, one thing is clear: relationships are more important than ever in the digital world. With the immediacy that people have come to expect from the internet, remaining relevant and responsive is harder than ever. The speed of online trends and interactions means that a streamlined, focused strategy is necessary to stay on top of the conversation surrounding your brand or its operations. Every organization has different goals for their command center, but they all have one thing in common: the need to react quickly and to gain actionable insights from captured data. In the digital world, problems can go viral fast. But with a social media command center, problems become opportunities to showcase your team’s diligence and dedication. Social media command allows for rapid response, leading to real-time resolutions.operators in social media command center collaborating with video wall

How to build a social media listening center

By now you might be convinced that a brand monitoring center is an invaluable asset to your brand. But where does one start when it comes to creating your own? That’s where a mission critical expert like Constant Technologies comes in. With over 30 years’ experience creating 24/7 operations centers, we have the expertise to implement these projects in a variety of industries. The focal point of any listening center is a large-scale video wall. A centrally-located, high resolution video wall will display real-time data from a variety of sources. With a sophisticated audiovisual system, all operators in the space will be able to easily collaborate on the digital data. In addition, the furniture selected for these spaces can also make a difference. Durable furniture with a focus on ergonomic design features makes long shifts in 24/7 monitoring centers feasible. An experienced control room designer like Constant Technologies can also conduct a sight-line analysis, ensuring that the placement of console furniture in relation to the video wall is in keeping with ergonomic standards to reduce neck and eye strain for the operators. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can create a social media command center that is both effective and an aesthetic representation of your brand, contact us today.

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About Constant:

Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+ years of experience, we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.