The Blackberry outage as described in chapter 6 shows use of social media for discovering product problems. How would a marketing communication department use social media for customer communication?

A social media command center combines automated search and display of consumer feedback expressed publicly on social media. Often, the feedback is summarized in the form of “positive” or “negative” sentiment. Once the feedback is obtained, the marketer can respond to specific comments by entering into a conversation with the affected consumers, whether to respond to questions about an outage or obtain feedback about a new product offering. The marketing organization for Gatorade, a sports drink product, decided to create a social media command center to increase consumer dialogue with Gatorade.18 Big data analytics can be used to monitor social media for feedback on product, price, and promotions, as well as automate the actions taken in response to the feedback.

This may require communication with a number of internal organizations, tracking a product or service problem, and dialogue with customers as the feedback results in product or service changes. When consumers provide feedback, the dialogue can only be created if the responses are provided in low latency. The automated solutions are far better at systematically finding the information, categorizing it based on available attributes, organizing it into a dashboard, and orchestrating a response at conversation speed. Many marketers have initiated customer interaction with their customers using Facebook pages or other social media activities to encourage interactive communications with the customers. The successful ones are using social media effectively to create a buzz for the next product or the next promotion. In chapter 5, I showed some examples of situations in which these communications are the front-end for cross-channel collaboration. In a typical cross-channel collaboration, the orchestration is driven by the product managers, who use the communications department for customer interaction and coordinate their activities with the campaigns or promotions run at storefronts or other touchpoints.

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