We’ve heard it before: “social can be your best friend or your worst enemy”. This is never truer than during your peak period.
Whether you’re gearing up for the exhibition and conference season; Valentine’s Day; Mother’s Day; Spring Break; summer holidays; the back-to-school period; Black Friday; Thanksgiving; or Christmas/New Year, you will have ploughed through a lengthy to-do list. This might have included seasonal staff hire, website tuning to prevent load lag, crafting the shiny marketing campaign, cajoling PR to cultivate favourable copy from befriended journos, or even dusting off the crisis plan.
Having done all of that, I doubt you will have organised a social media command centre.
So what is a command centre? It’s the output of a strategic plan, cultivated from your organisation’s past performance data – a plan, defined by your historic social performance charting volumes of conversations; when they peak; what the themes and topics of negativity (and potential crises) are; and how they can be prevented and addressed to quell impact. Take all the negativity from previous peaks or years and turn it into your biggest and most effective marketing opportunity of the year.
Having amassed all the data required, you’ll need to define a robust taxonomy mapping your key insights and communications tree. Then it’s all about aligning your core business functions (typically C-Suite, operations, marketing, communications, IT and customer services) to bring unity and clarity into the strategy, how it will be executed and delivered during that peak period.
A command centre is a fantastic way of re-engineering your business processes to deliver greater operational efficiency during peak periods, which will yield improvements in brand sentiment, customer satisfaction, customer advocacy and customer loyalty metrics.
Peak periods should not be feared. In everyday business, innocent mistakes and errors will happen. How you’re equipped to deal and respond online to valid critique will define how your business is perceived by its customers. Harness this, manage molehills before they grow into mountains, and intersperse with the great work your business is doing, and you’re on your way to a successful peak period. You then just need to know how to gather and interpret past data, define a tangible strategy that converts past negativity to positive opportunity and have the bespoke systems in place to chart future conversations.