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This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog

A social media command center can take on many shapes and sizes, from impressively sleek, glass-enclosed rooms displaying live-streaming tweets to a small group of desks in a room. No matter the size of your organization, a social media command center is scalable and has many uses and benefits. Here are 15 uses of social media command centers from well-known brands.

Use a Social Media Command Center to…

Dell's Social Media Command Center
1. Connect with key decision makers

Using the command center, Dell connects with IT decision makers. They join relevant conversations and engage. Doing so helps them uncover helpful information in order to better understand customers.

2. Give your executives an at-a-glance look at the social health of your brand

In addition to their own Listening Center, Cisco has also installed a 2-screen kiosk in front of their CEO and CMO’s offices so company leaders can keep one eye on the social health of the brand.

3. Stay connected

Clemson University’s Social Media Command Center was used by student researchers to monitor conversations about academics, NCAA athletics, alumni and student activities, and community programs.

4. Serve as the platform for your crisis communications plan

In partnership with Dell, the American Red Cross Digital Operations Center monitors and responds to 70,000 crises per year — everything from house fires to hurricanes. Red Cross staff and digital volunteers listen to online conversations, interacting directly with people who need help or have questions.

5. Inform Content Strategy and Development

Edelman Digital is the interactive arm of the world's largest independently-owned public relations firm. They've set up their own Social Intelligence Command Center (SICC), which monitors the social web to gather data for many activities, including content strategy and development.

6. Discover situations as they unfold and respond quickly

The Digital Operations Center equips the Red Cross to rapidly share life-saving safety and preparedness information and match up people to resources. It helps them spot trends to help disaster workers make smarter decisions about local needs and problems. 

The American Red Cross Digital Operations Center gets a visit from the President. Photo courtesy of Dell, Inc.
7. Change the way you do business with customers…for the better

As David Armano, Managing Director of Edelman Digital Group says, “Command centers are an evolution of call centers with a direct line to change the way business is conducted through customer feedback. Innovation in product development and customer service, increase in sales, decrease in call center volume, creation of efficiencies in supply chains; the intelligence from a command center is infinite, as long as you know how to use it.” 

8. Monitor the landscape

Inside Gatorade Mission Control in Chicago, five team members watch six large screens to see how the Gatorade brand is being perceived around the world. Among many other uses, Gatorade Mission Control monitors the sports landscape to keep an eye on their industry.

9. Change public perception and conversation

By intelligently listening and engaging their community, the Mission Control team has actually been able to slowly change the online conversation about Gatorade from flavors and hangover cures to sports performance and protein recovery. 

10. Be a helpful resource

Tens of thousands came to Tampa Bay for the 2012 Republican National Convention. To make sure visitors had the best possible experience, 50 to 70 local volunteer bloggers and social media personalities (called “The Herd”) were assembled in a massive social media command center. They sifted through thousands of Tampa-related messages, routing posts to “engagants” who responded with suggestions for lost, hungry or bored out-of-towners.

11. Increase positive mentions of your brand

For Tampa Bay, Tropical Storm Isaac delayed the Republican National Convention by a day but The Herd quickly created the hasthag #rainydayrnc and used it to spread ideas for enjoying the city during the downtime. The result? Positive mentions of #tampabay rose to 72%, with only 4% being negative.

12. Stream live information to customers

Tampa Bay's Social Media Command CenterKansas City made the 2012 MLB All- Star Game social with their All-Star Social Media Command Center. In collaboration with the Mayor, the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, Kansas City-based H&R Block and local ad shop Barkley, the site VisitKC.com streamed live Tweets so even fans that weren’t physically present could experience the game and Kansas City.

13. Be the talk of your next industry event

In September 2012, over 90,000 attendees went to Dreamforce, the largest cloud computing and enterprise technology conference ever. In order to both serve our customers and showcase our own social media products, Salesforce Marketing Cloud set up a social media command center in the middle of the main thoroughfare at the Moscone Center. Every 15 minutes, presenters shared how the command center worked as intrigued attendees watched the buzz around Dreamforce live on the big screens. 

14. Share metrics faster and in real time

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Media Command Center at Dreamforce '12With onlookers all around us, our social media team categorized and routed over 160,000 social mentions posts for faster resolution. We looked at the data around Dreamforce (#DF12) in real-time, pulling in insights, sharing metrics and demographics, and publishing our most popular tweets. Additionally, we displayed customized Twitter and Chatter towers allowing attendees to see their conversations in real-time.

15. Run your social media program from anywhere in the world

In addition to the Social Media Command Center at their offices, Movistar Colombia has a Social Media Command Center with a remote set up, which moves to and from their different events. They use their remote command center to monitor and manage social media and customer service issues.

These organizations above have discovered the power of a social media command center — and they’re all using them in a different ways. If you’re thinking about a social media command center or you have one already, what uses do you find helpful?