4 Key Benefits of a Social Media Display, and the Questions to Ask Before Creating One
A bright, beckoning social media display in your lobby or department can be a big hit with visitors and colleagues.
We've all seen these displays - large screens showing a map with social media posts popping up from specific locations; shifting word clouds related to a brand or topic; real-time thoughts from consumers crisscross the large screens and trending hashtags materialize.
There's no shinier object for social media managers than a social media command center or display, and there are several benefits of having one of these glowing walls in your office:
1. It shows your organization takes social media seriously
Building out a social media command center or display is expensive. Only organizations with a certain level of social media maturity would make such an investment.
2. In your face, real-time data
Most data you'll find on a large display can be just as easily accessed from a laptop or mobile device, but when that data is on a 6-foot screen that you walk by 15 times each day it's much easier to spot trending topics that should be of concern.
3. Promote the importance of social media to executives
Your organization's leadership will also see the display several times daily and begin to understand how social media data can be useful.
Regardless of the usefulness of the data being shown, a social media monitoring display adds a 'cool' factor to any office or lobby and makes an impression on employees and visitors.
There are plenty of options at varying price points for social media displays - from wall to ceiling touch screens to a single screen on a rolling stand, there's something to fit every budget.
But before you engage a contractor to build out a monitoring wall and start calling vendors for software, there are a few fundamental questions you should answer to help define the scale and objectives of the project:
1. Why do we need a social media display?
This question should define your objective - are you doing it purely to make your office more welcoming to visitors, or will the data displayed be used to make critical decisions?
2. Who will see the display?
This will determine what kind of content is displayed. If it sits in a lobby your customers frequent, you probably don't want an unfiltered flow of comments about your brand - some of which could be negative.
But if your display will be used to show real-time customer issues internally, you want a true, uncensored look at what's being said about you online
3. Where will the social media display go based on the above two questions?
Determine how much space you have, and whether you think the display will live there permanently.
Scale the project to fit your budget and objectives. The information you want to display will also determine how many screens you need and how large those screens should be.
4. If you hire an external vendor, shop around
There are many vendors who will build out a social media command center or display, as well as vendors who specialize on software to crawl data for your screens. Talk to several of them, be sure they understand the objectives of your social media display and don't try to sell you a one-size-fits all solution. You may have in-house resources to source your screens and hardware. If this is the case, you'll still likely need to buy the software solution for your screens.
When your display is complete, make a big deal about it. Let your employees, vendors and customers know about the new feature. Host an event in front of the display to educate your stakeholders on what it does, why it's important and how your organization will benefit from it.
By educating your internal organization and leadership, you'll raise the profile of social media in your organization.
Follow Phil Watson on Twitter