The importance of social media in marketing has now reached a fever pitch. Companies are scrambling to develop procedure and processes for keeping track of what the world is saying about them. Nearly all of the tracking that takes place requires fairly sophisticated technology, which is often beyond the comprehension of most upper-level marketers. But that does not seem to matter. Today, everyone is saying social media is essential to marketing and you cannot get left behind. Consequently, marketers are spending big time, whether they understand it or not.
And this spending spree has opened many opportunities for software companies to develop tools to collect and analyze what is being said; for social media consultants to offer advice to companies that have been slow to get on board; and for public relations specialist to interact with social communities.
For large organizations, the movement to emphasize social media has led to the creation of specialized departments, whose sole responsibility is to monitor what is being said and then respond when needed. A great example of organizations focusing on social media can be seen in this National Public Radio story. The story shows how major professional U.S. sports organizations, including the NFL and NASCAR, have spent heavily on managing social media. Copying the strategies undertaken by leading consumer products firms, these sports organizations have created social media command centers, which are supported by advanced data analytics software and are outfitted with multiple computer screens that display what is happening in real-time on social media.
From the information presented these organizations can respond quickly to rising issues. For instance, if sports viewers are tweeting something negative about the coverage of a televised NASCAR race, the production team can respond by adjusting their coverage. And as noted in the story, this is not something that only is managed on the day of an event, social media activity is watched all day, every day.