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Your Social Media Command Center

You’ve planned, budgeted, and staffed your social media operation. You’ve invested in and mastered powerful social media software. You know what you need now. A social media command center, or SMCC. Of course! The digital marketing geek’s version of a “man cave,” the social media command center, was hatched in June 2010 by PepsiCo in its Chicago headquarters, for its Gatorade brand.

Dubbed the “Gatorade Mission Control Center,” it consisted of a centrally located, glass-walled room, glowing with the light of six huge flat-screen monitors displaying social media visualizations from Radian6 and IBM software. From there, command center staffers monitored brand mentions and trending responses to Gatorade commercials and content uploaded to YouTube and USTREAM.

The goal of the project, says Gatorade senior marketing director Carla Hassan, is to “take the largest sports brand in the world and turn it into [the] largest participatory brand in the world.” Gatorade’s intense focus translates into blazing-fast responsiveness.

When it aired its “Gatorade has evolved” commercials, which featured music by rap artist David Banner, Mission Control quickly noticed the tune was being widely discussed in social media. Within 24 hours, Gatorade had signed Banner to produce a full-length version of the song, which was distributed to Gatorade followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook.

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