Social Media War Rooms

Post world cup, it’s official, the term “social media war room” is on the tip of every brand marketer’s tongue. So what exactly is a social media war room? Technopedia describes it like this:


“The social media war room concept is simple: Garner attention by gathering a large group of 10 or more people to blast a message or campaign through business and personal social media accounts. Such an effort is well planned and generally completed in a short period – usually a day.”


Social Media Strategists & Community managers can simplify that to mean – get the key team members for a brand in one room to produce content in real time to leverage big cultural moments.


Social media War Rooms In Action

During this years world cup we saw how powerful a social media war room can be for brands. Below are three examples of real time content marketing on social media executed as a result of social media war rooms during the 2014 world cup with great success.

  • Hyundai had a 40% increase in daily twitter followers during this years world cup from their #becausefutbol campaign.

  • There was Snickers with their “More satisfying than Italian” tweet which scored them around 48,000 retweets and an increase of 5000 followers in two days.

  • Adidas was the most mentioned brand on Twitter during the world cup with 1.1 million mentions on twitter, Adidas also increased their online media expenditure by about half, versus the fifth which was spent during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Social Media war rooms are essential for live events as pre programmed content can only be so vague. In order to capitalize on potential brand opportunities, such as the world cups’, brands set up a social media war room outfitted with all necessary the resources to create gifs, memes, and videos. The investment results in the ability to leverage the moment and promote your brand’s cultural relevance.

Just like Snickers and their snicker worthy joke about Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini

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Many brands and organizations created banks of potential content before the games for potential scenarios such as certain star players scoring or for every winning outcome. Pre planning sometimes backfires as those brands hoping to leverage the assumed Brazil win in the Brazil vs. Germany game would have benefited from a social media war room to quickly update their content.  Many of their pre-composed Brazil tweets never saw the light of day though due to Brazil’s upset performance.


Be Cautious in Real Time

When executing real time marketing tactics, it is easy to succumb to majority rules vs. considering risk mitigation. Avoid group-think in the social media war room to reduce the chance of producing something off brand or offensive by assigning one member of the team to be quality control. As we saw with Dutch Airline – KLM’s World Cup Twitter photo, backlash is a very real outcome in real time marketing.


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The general response across the social media landscape was that the photo was an “unsportsmanlike” thing to share. Key learning in this anecdote is to prepare to counter negatives responses before they happen. Consider how your brand will field the issue prior to posting your original piece so the social media war room is armed with a working escalation matrix.


The Mexican airline AeroMexico responded extraordinarily well with this tweet which said they were proud of their players performance and welcomed them home.

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This year’s world cup was evidence that the social media war room has officially arrived, and becoming a mandate for social media marketers.


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