Fascinating to see social media climb from adolescence to the point where major corporations are maintaining Houston Control-like centers to respond to social media. From sports teams to corporations, this is the new reality. A CNN Money story cites Dell’s version:
Dell’s social media ground control and command center in Round Rock, Texas, has a total of 70 employees monitoring social conversations from around the globe, according to ReadWriteWeb. Scanning Facebook (FB), Twitter and other networks, the team processes 25,000 daily social media events about Dell (DELL) in 11 different languages, responding to most queries and complaints within 24 hours.
24 hours? Isn’t that forever in today’s world? As people become more social media savvy, that time span won’t be sufficient to sort through the information streaming in from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and more. What’s an organization to do?
Filtering and events
For one, they need to have smart filters that can bubble the important things to the top and not waste everyone’s time reading things like:
Getting people focused on the things that matter requires sifting through potentially an enormous amount of unimportant ‘stuff’. Through better filtering, social ‘events’ flow into an event processing paradigm that can see correlations, even across many sources and event types, and activate responses. The response comes more quickly and appropriately when sentiment analysis is working and intelligent automation is applied.
The only mistake bigger than ignoring an influential tweet is to pay close attention to everything. Which brings us to the next challenge:
Overwhelming the social circuits with tweets and responses diminishes social voice. Engagement is more about finding the people who will engage as a two-way activity, not just people who are too lazy to unlike your page or unfollow your Twitter account.
It isn’t about the number of followers or likes and is instead all about the level of engagement. Engagement can’t be faked and is as much the role of a ‘mission control’ as spotting problems. Besides, those you truly engage with are most likely to be your defenders in the event of negative social press. Apple has this in spades.
And before you think this is about the command center having the role of response, that’s missing the point. A good Mission Control funnels customer sentiment, complaints and questions to the right place in the organization where it needs to be managed and maybe, answered.