Shane Vega is the Market Manager for Corporate East at AVI-SPL’s Control Room Group. He has taken the lead on the incorporation of social media into command centers for the company.
TD: What is a social media command center?
SV: A social media command center, albeit relatively new in the market, is a room dedicated to the purpose of providing a visual representation of key organizational metrics. The benefit is that these metrics are typically able to be analyzed, disseminated, and analyzed in real time on a global scale, in turn providing a truly customer-centric experience.
TD: What metrics would a social media command center typically measure?
SV: For the most part, you’re taking feeds from all the relevant social media markets —whether it be Facebook, Twitter, campus specific social outlets created for universities — and we take that and provide, in short, brand awareness. That’s the primary focus point. You’re trying to figure out what people think about your company, what trends are happening, even what your competition is doing and how well they’re doing. It also provides the ability to receive complaints as well as call center type applications, people having trouble, want to replace a ticket, want to know what’s wrong with xyz, whatever issues they might behaving internally. It will capture all of that, and will even have data analytics running so that they can provide graphs and easily tell what is trending, how they are responding, can they do better in certain areas, things like that.
TD: Why would a company want to spend the money to install a social media command center? How does ROI warrant such a thing?
SV: I think a good example of this, and it’s a big one so not everyone is going to have the same impact, in 2012 the Super Bowl is a really good case study for this. They spent two weeks with 50 experts for 15 hours a day monitoring social media. They were able to monitor 64 million social media impressions, answering most of those within three minutes. They were able to quantify that into 3.2 million dollars in positive press, and a 12.5-percent increase in consumer sentiment. You couldn’t do that simply by monitoring data feeds or Twitter feeds or things of that nature, because it’s just too much information on social media, especially when you’re a global conglomerate. You need not just the ability to have a room and monitor, but they’re investing in analytics to be able to display these in graphs and various visual aids to quickly disseminate that to the proper people. The ROI is huge because an organization, especially in the corporate world, is only as good as its brand. So knowing what people are saying, knowing what is trending, and knowing how you can immediately impact your organization by making some quick and efficient changes is proving to be very useful, and the Super Bowl is just one example.
TD: How does a social media command center differ from a traditional command center?
SV: One of the reasons that we’re focused on this, and one of the reasons that I’ve taken it upon myself to be at the helm, is that within the control room of AVI-SPL we’re already providing the foundation of what they need. These have become mission critical, and one of the reasons that we didn’t focus on this before is that mission critical had a very specific definition to us internally, and it didn’t involve social media. Social media used to be a small piece of a mission critical control room. We are providing the mechanism for the visualization, whether that’s the video wall, the software to control the content, the integration to the remainder of the organization for collaboration, is another huge benefit to what we’re already doing as a company.
To give you an example, right now we’re able to provide a control room that’s ready for 24/7 use, and we’re able to tie that into a few different conference room, and they’re able to collaborate on that data. Right now we’re able to monitor social media, and we actually have a case study where they’re able to flag an emergency, send it to one of their conference rooms in another country, and let them know that we have a crisis. Their off-site location knew about the explosion before the local police did. We’re a company that’s already involved in unified communication and collaboration. This is just taking it to the next level.