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Who Should Own Social Media at a Company?

Who should manage a company’s social media presence? According to a new survey by The Creative Group, it’s a tough question. When advertising and marketing executives were asked which department is best suited to oversee an organization’s social media efforts, the response was divided: 39 percent of respondents said public relations/communications and 35 percent said marketing. Only 15 percent said customer service.

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In your opinion, which of the following departments is best suited to manage a company’s social media efforts?” Their responses:

Public Relations/Communications……………………………………..   39%
Marketing……………………………………………………………………….   35%
Customer Service…………………………………………………………….   15%
CEO/Owner……………………………………………………………………     5%
Don’t know…………………………………………………………………….     6%

A separate survey by The Creative Group suggests companies will be channeling more dollars toward social media, so having professionals with the right mix of skills and expertise to maximize these investments is crucial.

The Creative Group offers four tips to help companies delegate social media activities:

1.      Make it a group effort. There are many aspects to corporate social media — including posting updates and engaging with followers, responding to customer queries and complaints, and analyzing activity — and it’s a lot for one person, much less one department, to handle. Create cross-departmental working groups to manage social media activities, leveraging the strengths of different teams. Also be sure to establish clear success metrics and accountability for reaching them.

2.      Scout for internal talent. Identify current employees who have expressed an active interest in social media and can help drive the effort — whether from a strategy, execution or maintenance standpoint.

3.      Communicate best practices to all employees. Even if you plan to rely solely on a select group of people to represent your brand via social media, all staff members should be provided with company guidelines regarding posting content, managing feedback and handling negative commentary. Employees equipped with these best practices may become your company’s strongest brand ambassadors, even if they’re tweeting and posting from a personal versus corporate account.

4.      Bring in reinforcements. Social media moves at lightning speed and your current staff may not have the time or expertise to keep up with the constant activity. Bringing in highly skilled freelancers who have experience developing, launching and managing social media campaigns can help alleviate the workload and provide outside expertise your team may lack.

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