Don't Pack Up the Social War Room Just Yet

The term “war room” has entered the lexicon for social media marketers surrounding any and every large event that falls under the nation’s spotlight. The Super Bowl, the Academy Awards -- and most recently, The World Cup -- have become stages on which brands (Adidas and ESPN, to name a few) do their best dances, attempting to win over audiences with quick content and brilliant wit.

These large events come and go. The war rooms follow. The games in Brazil end, and social media managers return to their desks and traditional workdays. While I appreciate the overwhelming sigh of relief that marketers experience when they’re able to put down the 24/7 radar and pick up the monthly content calendar, I see no reason to ever fully deflate the so-called “war room.” That being said, we can build a better one.

Rather than a temporary high-alert system, the war room should be a steady living, breathing extension of all social media marketing efforts. While the World Cup may only occur every four years, every day has real-time moments that brands can own, as long as they’re on the lookout for them. A weather forecast for Texas shows thunderstorms in the area, the Red Sox have just pulled ahead of the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth, a certain contestant on “The Voice” is trending on Twitter -- these can all be highly localized content opportunities for brands to own.

Sound time-consuming? It doesn’t have to be. If we’re going to have a 24/7 war room built into our strategy, let’s make sure it’s an efficient one. While it’s unrealistic, and frankly wasteful, to have individual social media managers monitoring dozens of potential data points for the sake of publishing content in real time, it’s relatively easy to carry out the same task with technology.

We can build a smarter war room that employs data feeds to do the heavy lifting for us.  I’m talking about a certain portion of our media efforts aligned to content that’s tied to real-time data -- be it sports scores, pop culture trends, or even your brand’s own organic content performance.

Imagine a brand is launching a new “ultra-refreshing” summer flavor for its most popular soft drink. Using this model, this brand could run a campaign with national, pre-planned blanket messaging about said beverage alongside a real-time, hyperlocal campaign that promotes content to any city where the temperature rises above 85 degrees. It’s no World Cup, but it is content that’s both timely and resonant for users.

Still, no algorithm will ever create beautiful pictures and great copy. Creative service teams will always play an integral part in social media success. While we can hand over the publishing reigns to automation, these teams must first and foremost create great content to have in the queue.

By combining the art of content curation with the science of programmatic content publishing and ad buying, we can elevate the war room to be a more efficient and evergreen tool.

The World Cup is over, but real-time content opportunities are here to stay. The only question is whether your social media command center is ready to make the most of them.

1 comment about "Don't Pack Up the Social War Room Just Yet".
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  1. Scott Huber from Postano, July 15, 2014 at 11:24 a.m.

    Great post and I'd definitely agree. We find that creating a separate room for brands to monitor social media feeds across several screens, and also the ability to see what is published (including from fans) creates an amazing transformation for sports teams and brands looking to engage their fans.

    If you'd like to see a command center in action for ASU, watch the video at the top of this page.

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