India Inc Sets Up Social Media HQs to Cosy Up to the Millenials
Brands are increasingly investing in command centres that track online conversations and trends to help tailor-make their products and services to consumer requirements
New Delhi: About seven months ago, luxury hotel chain Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris approached digital outreach agency Mindshift Interactive to align processes for their social media command centre Taj.Live to improve customer experiences, and possibly increase sales and revenue through digital platforms in a more thought through manner.
To resolve queries in real-time, seize opportunities, track trends, watch out for competition and ensure things are handled in a seamless manner on the web, companies across sectors are considering investing in social media command centres.
Equipped with LED screens that display global heat maps, real time analytics, live streaming of tweets and web mentions, social media command centres are considered to be a centralised listening centre for companies aimed at tracking social media conversations and responses more promptly. They help brands in tracking conversations, managing queries, filter brand mentions and analyse brand sentiment in real time.
In a bid to stay ahead of the pack, Airtel set up its social media command centre, CTRL A in Gurgaon last year, while HUL used it extensively for Lakme Fashion Week.
“By listening to millions of conversations by consumers in their native environment, the command centre has enabled responding to consumer needs in real time. Today with CTRL A, we can view the user interaction through a single lens — take quick and actionable decisions and drastically improve customer experience,” said Rajiv Mathrani, chief brand officer, Bharti Airtel.
Mindshift Interactive has previously helped Sula Vineyards, Marriott and L’Oreal in setting up command centres and helping them with processes. The company is currently in talks with auto companies looking at greater personalisation on social media.
“Gradually brands have understood the value of real time conversations for improving customer experiences, resolving queries and tracking sales opportunities. All this has resulted in command centres being set up across sectors like telecom, FMCG, auto and hospitality. Brands like Nestle, Taj and Marriott have invested a lot of money in setting up command centres,” said Zafar Rais, CEO, Mindshift Interactive. According to Manveer Malhi, head of digital and partner at iGenero, multiple teams are involved to manage the command centres ranging from community managers, social media managers, content writers, designers, digital heads, PR heads, ORM/ command centre head. “The process needs to be functional and follow a lean model, where responses or escalations can be answered in real-time. The team needs to be trained on how they should handle/ manage data, policies and procedure,” he added. Rais said by tracking social media activity more closely, the centres work especially for fields like marketing, customer IMAGING: service and risk management besides enabling senior managers and campaign leaders to tweak their projects and architectural frameworks if need be. “Brands can track competition more closely and see who is leading by the hour and why, can direct sales opportunities to respective heads and can gain insights by collecting consumer data on a monthly basis. By resolving queries more promptly and in a more personalised manner, the ability to use real customers as evangelists for your brand increases dramatically,” Rais added. Malhi sees command centres tracking users’ digital journey to target ads based on online behavior in future.
“Earlier social media command centres were used to manage and control a negative reaction, this will evolve in coming time and brands will pro-actively engage users online. Visual data collection from command centres will become a crucial aspect for organisation’s to create a multichannel marketing strategy,” he added.