From “Too Much” to a Tool: Who Should Own Social Media?

When social media emerged it gained in popularity faster than most organizations could adapt. Now we live in a world of social media specialists, managers, directors, gurus, and sometimes even ninjas.  But as we are almost a decade in to the social shift online we are hitting a point where this tool is starting to be gracefully integrated into company workflows without the use of feudal japan’s help.  While some social platforms make moves to help facilitate this new culture, let’s take a look at the possible future of social media responsibilities -
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[/list]Organizers of our public image  and protectors of our organization’s own mouths, it is without question that PR played, plays and will still play a large role in social media.  PR was thought to be the obvious controllers at the beginning days of interactive forums and budding social media. But as content creation and the nuances of online communities began to grow without end in sight many companies separated these responsibilities.  Now as more and more PR professionals have been able to find themselves fitting nicely in the crisis communication and customer service arena we have seen a newly understood responsibility emerge.
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[/list]Content as a service to your followers was not truly realized until specialized social platforms  for companies and blogs started to blur together.  Now it is all you can do not to hear someone ask, “what is your content strategy?” As marketers naturally  are our brands’ first defence, it is only natural that they help manage the style and direction of the content you produce. This insures quality and message is consistent to the overall strategy.  Without this guidance your offline and online message will began to fracture and create an identity crisis not easily mended.
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[/list]Who would have thought, right? Well believe it or not even HR is taking the lead when it comes to social media. Many companies allow their HR departments to manage their professional social sites such as Linkedin.  Producing content as well as job postings that excite the right kind of people to join their company.  This kind of internal education and excitement also benefits current employee development. By encouraging the company to get involved publicly to demonstrate a positive and nurturing workplace.
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[/list]Let us not forget about yours truly.  While all of these professions are getting savvy enough start taking more of a roll managing the tool – online media is the backbone.  Creating content, managing users experience, and keeping up-to-date with the still changing online arena is vital to your company.  This creative crossed with a technological professional (or group of professionals) truly drive the online machine.

So back to the question – “Who should own your social media?” The answer should be obvious – everyone. Online media creates the experience, marketing manages the feel, PR insures the language/response, and HR elicits company support.

We have hit a point where we can not be intentionally bottlenecking and isolating our company’s online communications and content creation. We are living in a world where social is become an arsenal in the toolbox of communication and creative professionals. Working together and organizing our companies to use this tool as they would any other is the key to ensuring flexibility and talent is applied where appropriate.

[box style="info"]How do you currently organize your social media and online efforts? What direction do you think social and online responsibilities will go?[/box]