You Ask, I Answer: Social Media War Room Displays?

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You Ask, I Answer: Social Media War Room Displays?

Martha asks, “What software and what content should we put on our displays in our social media war room/command center?”

An interesting question. The answer is, it depends on what decisions you need to make. War rooms are very often just for appearance, and they tend to be an expensive waste of money unless you’re making real-time decisions and need visibility across many different channels in order to intercept problems.

Two partners I recommend – FTC disclosure, my company, Trust Insights, is a partner of both and earns a small referral fee if you do business with them through us:

  • Talkwalker, for great visualizations and rollups
  • Zignal Labs, for when you need an actual command center with under 60 second polling times and strong anomaly detection

You Ask, I Answer: Social Media War Room Displays?

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In today’s episode Martha asks, What software and what content should we put on our displays? And our social media War Room slash command center? An interesting question and the answer is it depends really on what decisions you need to make remember dashboards without decisions are decorations, right? And you can buy all sorts of useful you know, decorations like art if you want to just have something on the walls, social media war rooms and social media command centers in the past have been very often for appearances sake, you put one in to show off to your senior executives to your board to your customers.

Look, we’ve got this great thing What the hell, all these screens and it looks like something right out of the movies? Well, of course we also know that the movies are fictional but an awful lot of people like The way they look, it’s a very expensive use of money.

War rooms and command centers are useful for real time decisions.

So if you are running, say a big event, and you need to make a decision in real time, and you need to see a lot of screen real estate, you know multiple TVs showing multiple screens.

Though that’s a valid use of command center, you’re doing something really big that you’re just you couldn’t do on just one single monitor or even a couple of displays, you need eight or 12 displays just to get to have the relevant information in front of you.

Now in terms of what you should be displaying, there’s three categories of information.

Number one, you should be displaying anomalies.

So any good social media management software is going to collect data and present to you in some fashion the better packages of software are going to Show you anomalies, if you normally get, you know, five likes on a post in the first hour, and you get 10 or 15 or 20 something as a multiple change into what’s normally there.

That’s an anomaly.

So, anomaly at speed of engagement is something that you want to have in a command center so that you can see there’s something going on with that post and we don’t know why.

Let’s keep an eye on that.

And you should then be able to take that post and monitor that specifically in the responses to that you want to monitor content types are people there sudden spike or anomaly in the responses to you, right? people responding with videos, if so, you should probably watch those videos and see if you know there’s some kind of known problem that people are sending you video evidence of.

And the third anomaly to watch the sentiment.

Even automated sentiment, which is here percent accurate, it’s not great.

And that’s a whole different topic.

But even that can detect like, hey, something’s taken a sudden sharp down turn a sudden sharp turn to the negative, or sudden sharp turn to the positive you want to be able to see that you want and you want the system to identify.

This is an anomaly.

This something is unusual, that stands out from all the other statistical data that you’re collecting about the different social media channels you’re on.

Second thing you’re going to want to display art trends and trends are best generally displayed is like liner bar graphs, and you want to be able to see in very short intervals, what’s happening.

So your software should be pulling your channels at anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute to five minute intervals, depending on on how fast you need to make a decision.

And being able to see those trends over time rolling averages of engagement of responses, things like that, again, you’re looking for changes out of the norm.

Something that’s happening that like, That’s weird.

And it’s one of those things that you should be able to see and understand through good color coding, like, yeah, something’s up there.

The third thing to have on any dashboard, particularly a command center are your KPIs.

And remember, KPIs and number four, which you are either promoted or fired.

And that should probably be on its own screen, just sort of a scorecard of what’s happening so that you can see, okay, these are the things that have been happening, and the things that we need to pay attention to.

So you probably need at least three different screens, to display anomalies, trends and KPIs.

And then, more important is you need to have procedures in place when an anomaly occurs.

What do you do what is the playbook, they should literally be a binder sitting out on a desk somewhere that everyone has been trained on it says when this happens do this when this happens do this when somebody shows sends us a video of a person spinning on load employees food sent, you know, this is the policy and procedure manual for handling that.

A command center is only as good as the commands you execute.

So you need to be able to have those written out in advance, ready to go.

And the command center screens shouldn’t require a whole lot of reading the software that use whatever software you use should be using color coding should be have very obvious displays, so that if you’re standing across the room, you look like hmm, there’s all of our social posts and their normal code, but there’s five of them that are red.

Okay, let’s go take a look at the five red ones.


That’s the kind of thing that at a glance, you should be able to see something’s up.

It is no different than if you look for example, at how an airplane cockpit is designed.

There’s not a lot of access, right? Even though it’s complicated.

There’s not a lot of excess in an airplane.


There are everything there is essential and therefore a reason and a well designed dashboard in a cockpit when a vehicle should have the most important things placed in front and center and obvious alarms when something is not right.

So give that some thought when you’re thinking about a command center, you’re designing one.

Now whose software should you use, there’s any number of vendors out there that do excellent dashboards.

To that we recommend that my company is partners with so FTC disclosure.

If you buy from either of them through us you we get some small financial benefit.

Number one on the I would say is price Talkwalker.

So you want to check them out for their dashboards and widgets.

And then if you want really, really good real time, like we be 2024 Olympics, and you absolutely need to know within seconds that something is up, you want to check out Zignal Labs those would be the two that I would recommend the so Talkwalker for really good roll up summaries, and like really nice lobby displays.

And then if you have to have an actual command center, because and you need 62nd response times or less, take a look at Zignal Labs, those would be the two that I would recommend.

Good question.

Be clear on what you’re going to do in the command center be absolutely clear how you’re going to use it and make sure that the expense you go to is going to have a positive return on investment for that expense because they are expensive, and very often people have them for the wrong reasons.

So as always, please leave your comments below.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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