Nissan’s unconventional approach to social media listening has breached departmental silos and brought the benefits of social media to the entire organization.
Social media monitoring is typically housed under public relations or marketing or sometimes under customer service. The Nissan monitoring team is not part of those departments. “We’re based in the headquarters building, but we’re not a part of consumer affairs — we’re not even in the same vertical. We’re not in marketing, and we don’t report to PR, but we listen on behalf of the entire organization,” said Bryan Long, Nissan North America’s senior manager of social media customer strategy, in his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brand-Only Summit.
That strategy, what he calls a hybrid approach, has worked well for the company, Long said.
Social Media Command Center Benefits
Nissan’s Social Media Command Center, opened in 2015, has helped spread social media benefits into the overall organization. It was designed to be a wide open space. As Long describes it, when you step off the elevator, “you’re right in the middle of it.”
The open layout helps demonstrate what social media listening can do. The group provides tours to representatives from other areas of the company and has hosted 40 different presentations to different groups. The social media team makes a point of asking visitors what information they need. It also hosts a “social media monthly meeting” for anyone interested in learning more.
“We’re trying to integrate ourselves into the business as opposed to getting them to integrate into social media,” Long said.
Integrating social media data is one of the major hurdles to gaining the full benefits of social media monitoring and measurement, experts say. PR or marketing departments, which frequently oversee social media monitoring, often fail to share social media data with sales, customer service and product development departments that can also benefit. Other departments often obtain information or insights from media clips that the PR department may miss.
Sharing information is especially important for proper crisis management. “I cannot express enough how critical coordination is with all teams involved and that social is just one of the pieces of an effective crisis communications plan,” writes Rachael Rensink, manager of social marketing strategy and engagement at Delta Air Lines, in O’Dwyer’s.
Connecting Disparate Pieces
Considering the huge amounts a large auto marker like Nissan spends on advertising, allowing its message to fall short would be dreadful. And there are many places where its message can fall apart — advertising, management decisions, the company websites, dealer websites as well as dealership lots.
“There’s not a better tool to manage and connect all of those pieces together than social media. That’s our goal, to make sure we’re tying those pieces together,” Long said.
A few news and social media monitoring and measurement services share Nissan’s commitment to distributing media data and insights across the organization. The new measurement dashboard from Glean.info (formerly CyberAlert) makes it easy to share mentions among departments, brands or countries. The dashboard allows each unit to set up its own profile with its own search queries and distinct metrics. It also allows an overall profile that everyone can check and enables separate profiles for special projects or crises. Although Nissan does not use the Glean.info tool, the new dashboard clearly embodies the automaker’s concept of making social media data available to every part of the organization that can use it to make better business decisions.
Bottom Line: Learning about how Nissan runs social media listening can help organizations improve their own social media monitoring and measurement efforts. A top Nissan executive relays how the auto-maker handles social media monitoring and integrates its benefit into the entire organization.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.