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4 Reasons You Need Your Own Social Media 'Command Center'
By: Christine Geraci
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Super Bowl 2012 will likely go down in history as the first major event to include a social media command center, otherwise known as a marketing team using social channels to communicate information and answer questions for game attendees, as well as TV viewing audience members.
Yes, social media marketing pros will be monitoring, responding to, and analyzing online chatter to gauge the effectiveness of Super Bowl ads. But the folks in the command center will be offering up useful info such as traffic reports, good places to eat in town, where to park, and how to navigate the scene. 
Now that's pretty darn convenient. Imagine tweeting a simple question to an official account (@Superbowl2012), and getting a quick response. No more having to rely on website info you printed out, or a friend of a friend who lives in town and may or may not be reachable by phone. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you're golden.
I think organizations have already started to create social media "command centers" of their own on different levels. Even if your command center consists of a computer and one dedicated social media nerd, it's still a good idea. Here's why:
It's good customer service. You are providing a quality service to people who are savvy enough to like and follow you. The more you help them, the more likely they are to stick with you.
It will set a great precedent. How you handle social media chatter surrounding a big event your organization is involved in should give your followers a good idea of how you'll handle things on a day-to-day basis. If they get useful responses and enjoy the conversation, then they will stick around to get more of that after the party's over. 
It shows you care. Sure, they could go to your website for directions or look up local restaurant reviews to find a great place to eat after the event's over. But in the end, serving up this info to your customers even when the business day is done will put you on the fast track to winning fan loyalty. 
It gathers valuable insights. You'll know right away if things are going right or wrong within any aspect of your event, from parking to the lines at the bathrooms. Maybe you can do something about a problem, maybe you can't. But either way, you'll know for next time — and you'll be there to apologize on the spot, instead of a day or so later. 
Do you have a social media "command center?" What does it look like?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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