With over 5,000 social mentions a day, FedEx’s main way to monitor content was by having the social media team stand over a handful of computer monitors, but with not enough computers on hand, the team was missing out on opportunities for online engagement. “If we have a space that’s dedicated to social media, we can provide better monitoring and reporting, deliver better content, and better crisis support,” said Brian Johnston, communications adviser at FedEx.
Once Brian received approval to build, he was left with the question, “now what?” Brian answered this question in his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit, where he detailed the steps and process involved in building out a social media command center. Here are a few of his key ideas:
- Start with offline research: Before building, Brian visited other successful command centers, such as the American Red Cross and NASCAR. Although both centers focus on vastly different industries, the exercise allowed FedEx to visualize what was possible.
- Define the data you want and the tools you need: After seeing how other companies used command centers, FedEx asked themselves: What data do we want to show? What can we do with existing tools? What new ones do we need?
- Plan for staffing and daily management: They planned how staffing would work and how escalations would be treated. Currently, Brian has a dedicated seat in the command center and encourages others to work from there. “Command centers should not be a place to run to for a crisis,” says Brian.
Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company, GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world’s biggest companies, including SocialMedia.org and SocialMedia.org Health. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing that teaches you how to earn the respect and recommendation of your customers.