What is a Social Media War Room and why would you need one?
We’re going to reveal our secret sauce for a great Social Media War Room, but first: what is it?
Think of your social media war room as your NASA Control Center to monitor all conversations about your brand in real-time. By assembling a core team to engage in conversation, your brand builds strong relationships with its customers and amplifies your share of voice in that given time period. War rooms are serious business, and should be used under unique circumstances.
A Social Media War Room Can Be Great For:
- New Product Launch
- Brand Q&A
- Twitter Party
- Live Event Coverage
- Crisis Management
Your War Room Line-Up
- Ring Leader – The first person you need in your war room is a Ring Leader. The Ring Leader organizes and energizes the team. In your company, they may be an account lead, strategist, or project manager. They plan the war room from start to finish with clear objectives for the group and the ability to keep calm amongst the chaos. A Ring Leader is best equipped in front of a white board to take group notes. The really good ones will bring in food. It’s imperative that your Ring Leader be the central hub to plan the ‘run of show’ for the war room. They should arrange planning meetings and outline the war room objectives with the group, keeping the client top of mind. They also keep the room on-task and time for efficiency.
- Community Manager – The next person you need is a Community Manager. They hold the keys to your client’s social media accounts and speak in the brand voice. Unless there is an extraordinary amount of conversation, the Community Manager is the sole person responsible for tweeting, posting, snapping, etc. You get the idea. If you’re running a Twitter party, for example, this person can also have a mixture of scheduled content and live tweets. Both HootSuite and Buffer are great cost-effective options for scheduling your posts. Your Community Manager works with the Filter and Content Creator (below) to craft updates and posts. They should use a fellow team member to proofread any non-scheduled content. Even in the most chaotic war rooms, your process for quality assurance should still be used.
- Filterer – Third, you need a Filterer (is that word?) You could call it a monitor or listener, but we prefer Filter because not only are they monitoring conversation, but they’re also telling you what’s most important and what to respond to. Everyone in your war room can have a hand in this, but your dedicated Filterer will have their ear to the ground while the community manager is posting and the Ring Leader is keeping on schedule. Depending on the volume of your engaged audience, you may need two or three Filters to help comb through the noise. They alert the group to rich interaction opportunities. This is where the Ring Leader can keep a log for the team on a white board while the Community Manager and Content Creator are crafting responses. A paid monitoring tool set is ideal for a war room, but if you have to do it on the cheap, a free option like TweetDeck works as well. It is important to have all your tools up and running before your war room begins. Be sure to track for all keywords, hashtags, and mentions in your tool set. You can even assign different Filterers to watch for specific conversations.
- Content Creator – Next, you’ll need a Content Creator. This mastermind may be a copywriter or graphic designer, but their job is to produce content on the fly. Based on your war room’s objectives, this could be real-time posts turned into a musical jingle or a tweet turned into a funny meme. Whatever the case may be, your Content Creator will work hand-in-hand with your Community Manager to keep audiences engaged. If you are using a graphic designer, it will be helpful for them to have their full desk set-up moved into your actual war room. Make sure they have a set of headphones to keep focused to turn around creative quickly. Those Ring Leaders can get distracting with their pom-poms.
- Analytics Specialist – Lastly, you will need a numbers guy (or gal) to aid in your social media crusade. Your Analytics team member will be able to help with monitoring, pull out real-time stats, and keep a pulse on the overall conversation. They are also great to send your client updates on how the initiative is going. A member of your Analytics team is great to have on the day of, but if the war room is smaller they can bring their learnings to your post-mortem meeting. The Ring Leader should work with Analytics beforehand to ensure they are tracking all the appropriate channels and keywords.
- Bonus! Your Client – Inviting your Client is an excellent 6th man addition to your social media war room. If they aren’t local, make sure they can be on-call for quick approvals in case of a sticky situation. Ahead of time, work with your Client or brand team to come up with some scenarios and approved messaging framework. This makes your team more nimble on the day of. In a situation of a client crisis, you will need to work with their Public Relations team to craft responses that are genuine but keep on strategy in terms of messaging.
So there you have it: your all-star line-up for a successful social media war room. Let us know if you have anyone to add to the list and always feel free to reach out to our team and ask questions.