Sunday, May 20, 2012

What Businesses Can Learn From the Super Bowl XLVI Social Command Center

It's hard to believe it was only a couple of weeks ago now that the city of Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl XLVI. By all major media accounts of the big game and the days leading up to the game, Indianapolis put on one heck of an organized-good time!

Raidious - Super Bowl XLVI Social Media Command Center

One of the goals of the Super Bowl 2012 Host Committee was for our Super Bowl to be the most socially connected Super Bowl in the history of the game, which really shouldn't have been that hard to do since the previous year's host city, Dallas, was the first to really do much at all. I believe the city achieved that goal with flying colors! The question will be whether or not the effort from Indianapolis will remain as the bar to aspire to for future host cities. I believe it will.

Super Bowl XLVI can proclaim having the very first Social Media Command Center, setup and managed by local company Raidious, got coverage on not just social media and digital sites like Mashable, but also giant media outlets like CNN, Fast Company, ESPN and many others.

As much as we can all agree that the command center idea was a success and will probably be repeated for future events, what can businesses learn from what was accomplished?

  • Plan Accordingly - it was no surprise there would be a large potential audience of people looking for information related to the event. Develop a plan for how you will identify, interact and inform that audience.
  • Staff Appropriately - one of the challenges we frequently see with organizations is the ability or willingness to put manpower behind the effort to engage with your customers and potential customers. If you're not interested in "being social" in your position, find the entry-level person that is and take advantage of their skills and interest in monitoring the different platforms. Make appropriate staffing decisions based on projected volume. One or two people weren't going to manage the volume of communication coming in for the Super Bowl.
  • Equip Your Team - making sure your team has both the technology in place to monitor communciation effectively as well as training to use that technology efficiently as possible. Whether that technology is the latest and greatest social media monitoring software, or dual-monitors and Excel spreadsheet. Identify what's needed and works best for your team.
  • Organize Information - when questions were identified, the ability to quickly find the appropriate answers and supporting documents, images, websites or list of FAQ's saves your team time to help more people and not get trapped in bottlenecks of support.
  • Engage Brand Ambassadors - a group identified as #Social46 was organized and invited into an inner-circle of leaders to further help and spread the word about all the activity surrounding the Super Bowl. Identify and encourage your own brand ambassadors to extend your message and interactions further into their own networks.
  • Get Out of the Way - once you've developed your plan, put your team in place, equipped and trained with the information they need... get out of their way and let them do their thing.

Your business may not be putting on the next major sporting event, but you do have an audience of existing customers and potential clients that are searching solutions or products that you provide.

Your "command center" may be an intern with a laptop sitting in a cubicle outside the breakroom, but the purpose and the effectiveness for your business remains the same. As Jen wrote about last week, don't consider something as being a "dead" idea just because it wasn't managed or implemented correctly in the first place.

Have you established a command center for your business? Have you thought about it? What are the challenges you've thought of and either overcome or the ones still holding you back?


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