Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 | 8 min read
Media-savvy brands have known for years that every Facebook post from a delighted customer or tweet from a disgruntled former employee represents a voice: a real person with family, friends, and meaningful influence in their respective networks. Social media command centers – dynamic displays of real-time social media activity – have allowed brands to harness these online voices, address their sentiments, and contextualize how digital conversations are trending and impacting brand value.
Technology, however, continues to change how human beings consume and experience information. This has caused brands to update social command centers in ways that allow them to be nimble and responsive in a mercurial world where customers, and their interactions with brands, wield tremendous power and influence in the marketplace. Here is what brands can do to ensure their social command centers are poised to adapt to and benefit from a future where connectivity with customers presents evolving challenges and opportunities.
Redefining Job Titles
Command center war rooms are where a brand’s key team members from different functions coordinate social monitoring activities and responses for brands, product launches, and new campaigns. Traditionally, brands have filled these war rooms with familiar job titles such as social media managers, content developers, research directors, and product and customer service specialists.
The speed and increasingly personal nature of digital relationships and online interactions, however, means that jobs that once managed collective swaths of responsibilities must be organized into a more streamlined and focused spectrum of duties. Though each brand has different goals and resources dedicated to their command centers, highly skilled teams within the command center should work collectively but as individuals who are trained in key emerging KPIs. Aligning personnel with technologies and integrating customer service across all channels and PR outlets means creating positions that mitigate process and maximize action.
The next iteration of social command center war rooms will feature enhanced roles and responsibilities such as:
Digital Influence Managers
Brands highly value influencers because they are trusted by consumers for their authentic opinions and honest feedback. Influencers offer brands an alternative to conventional celebrity endorsements and traditional advertising strategies that are losing relevance in an increasingly fragmented and noisy digital marketplace.
Influencers are powerful, credible brands themselves. War rooms should be staffed with digital influence managers who both specialize in quickly identifying and interpreting the impact of online mentions, but also with building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with influencers.
Relationships are the new currency in the digital world. Proactively cultivating ties with selected emerging and established influencers allows brands to become the agents of their own success in more impactful ways – in everything from special product promotions to strategizing major international campaigns.
War Rooms expedite the flow of information and help brands interpret what trends are developing, why, and how to respond to them. Today, brands live in a hyper-connected reality where unexpected opportunities and challenges arise without notice. Unprepared brands respond to these trends with informed guesses and hopeful responses; prepared brands execute informed strategies developed beforehand that anticipated an array of possible scenarios.
Trends are collective representations of consumer thinking and behaviors. Real-time trend interpreters are tasked with foreseeing trends, or the indicators of trends, through experience and training that is able to read the often meteorological signs that predict customer sentiment and conduct.
Social media channels that thrive on interaction, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can quickly generate a popular post, hashtag, or image that creates a trend weather event. War Rooms enable brands to augment relevance and amplify brand voice by steering online engagement and allowing trend meteorologists to interpret the scope of developing trends and glean insights from captured data.
Rapid-Response Crisis Resolution Experts
Bad news can go viral in seconds. Brands with protocols for unwelcome scenarios are more effective at mitigating unexpected problems. One upset customer with a quick wit or sagaciously calibrated attack on a brand can rapidly become a widespread PR liability. War rooms are ideal venues for visualizing SLA data and metrics on customer care, especially while tracking an unfolding crisis in real-time as a brand works through the steps to rectify issues.
Problems, by nature, are also opportunities. War Rooms that execute a rapid response to angry customers venting on social media about poor customer service or faulty products can boost brand affinity by publically troubleshooting those issues on social media.
A global team of rapid-response crisis resolution experts that offer 24/7 international customer services in every language relevant to the brand can rectify problems before they gain their own digital inertia. There is no such thing as 9-to-5 crisis management. The business of monitoring and responding to damaging developments requires a diligent team with skills sets that immediately recognize problems – from midday to midnight – and aggressively resolves them.
Command Centers of the future will empower brands by allowing customers from around the world to participate in and contribute to curated, shared experiences. By prioritizing the customer’s voice and providing a digital space to conduct meaningful dialogues through words, images, and videos on social media, brands are able to turn personal experiences into collective, widely shared events.
Sprinklr recently acquired Postano in a collaboration that combines Sprinklr’s deep analytical power with Postano’s compelling visual technology to create a robust platform that features all types of engaging fan content. As command centers evolve, images will play a more influential role in the relationship between brands and customers.
Prominently displayed, impressive visual screens – such as those at professional sporting events, political celebrations, and music festivals – serve as the collective epicenter for entire arenas. From a digital perspective, the seats are filled with customers offering social commentary and input regarding their individual experiences at the event, which can now be shared with everyone, in real time. (This kiss cam is about to have new boss.)
Through their authentic personal experiences, these fans can increase brand engagement and have their participation foster further engagement among fellow attendees at the venue.
In an expanding digital landscape, command centers are the visual and spiritual expression of a brand’s mission statement. The quality and efficacy of a command center is a public demonstration of how well a brand can execute its values and tell its story. Command centers aggregate the talents of an entire company’s staff, regardless of size, and use this synergy to lead conversations, explore customer sentiments and ideas, and work toward shared goals and vision.
By assembling a brand’s many attributes and assets in a single strategic location, command centers drive real business value that both measures the effectiveness of a brand’s response efforts in real time, and leverages the intersection of human behavior and digital connectivity. Whether at a major sporting event or on the mobile device of an emerging influencer, the next generation of command centers will create customer loyalty through intelligent data analysis, authentic customer service interactions, and the ancient art of storytelling.
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