The next time you are at a restaurant, at a ballgame or even on vacation, your social media posts may be being watched by a number of Fortune 500 companies.
An increasing number of companies are "listening in" to customers' public conversations on social media as a way to better engage with them and increase their brand presence and awareness.
CNBC visited Marriott's corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, to check out their social nerve center called M Live. It's a control room where about a dozen employees are devouring Twitter feeds, Instagram photos and Facebook posts in an effort to join the social conversation, increase the hotel chain's brand presence and be in tune with the latest trends.
With the use of a technology called geo-fencing, they can see every public posting on a social-media platform done from within their properties.
For example, Karin Timpone, Marriott's chief global marketing officer, said if someone posts a wedding engagement photo from one of its properties, the M Live team will reach out and contact the front desk to let them know. The hotel will often then reach out to the customers and give them champagne, a room upgrade, a free appetizer — something to show that Marriott values them.
"It's really about creating a personal relationship with our customers," said Timpone.
If a guest is having an issue with a stay and posts about it, M Live will reach out to the customer care team and reach out directly to the unhappy customer.