The best advice I can give organizations exploring the idea of a social media command center is this: build or find a model that best serves people beyond the social media team.
Sounds counter-intuitive, but your social media command center shouldn’t focus on serving your social media team. It should really serve the rest of the organization so they can understand social media’s impact on the company.
Prior to Golin, I helped to architect the command center at AT&T. It was a nine-month undertaking that resulted in one of the most advanced models of a social media command center.
During that process, I learned that our social team was already keenly aware of trends about the brand and across the industry. I mean, it was nice to have that data visualized and available at our fingertips. But the real value for the command center was getting other parts of the organization involved with social. It was getting the traditional marketing team, the PR team, the senior leaders to understand the value and impact of real-time conversations.
If the only team using the command center is your social media team, you’ll always need to advocate for social — constantly swimming against the current.
You make it virtual.
The command center of tomorrow will be less about the physical space. It won’t be a series of impressive screens in a room; it’ll live online and be readily available from your tablet, phone, desktop, whatever.
Having the physical ‘brand central’ space is still beneficial, but you need a virtual component for employees who don’t work at HQ. Most teams today are dispersed. If you want to break down silos and connect all parts of the organization, that virtual component is critical.
The command center of tomorrow is accessible wherever and whenever and involves every department across the organization. It acts as a connective tissue, enabling your brand to make better decisions as one — to move forward as one.
Chris leads the Western Region digital and social communications at Golin and works closely with a variety of clients in automotive, gaming, consumer goods and technology. Prior to this, he was head of social media at AT&T and before that worked in digital marketing at Wunderman, Digitas and Pfizer. His real passion, however, is finding amazing gas station tacos.
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