Social Media – Who or What Department Should Control it?


Wednesday, 20 June 2012 09:53
In House Social Media Management
Sm team
A number of businesses choose to keep social media in-house. Some businesses handle Facebook and Twitter accounts because they feel the need to use a personal approach to every aspect of the company. The upside is that it helps build a small but loyal community around the business. However, this is only possible if the entrepreneur has a good understanding of how social media works. Lack of skill is usually the number one problem when it comes to in-house social media management.

It’s a common debate in many businesses. Just who should be responsible for managing my company’s social media presence? Sales? Marketing? Customer Service?

Marketing’s Involvement

By analyzing social media content pertaining to your company, you can track campaign success, gain market intelligence, measure sentiment of your products, discover trends in public perceptions, garner competitive intelligence, and respond accordingly. Your marketing department is likely to have the most proactive social media involvement, as marketing’s main use-cases for social media are promoting marketing content and offers, and engaging fans and followers. Be sure your marketing point person is sufficiently balancing updates about offers, educational content, and content that engages (e.g. questions, visual content, etc.).

Customer Service’s Involvement

According to eMarketer, 46% of customers want to solve a problem when they’re engaging with a brand on social media, and 39% are looking to give feedback about a product or service. No wonder it makes total sense for customer service to have significant involvement in your business’ social media presence. At the end of the day, the customer matters most and what better way to find out how they really feel than via social media channels. Take the opportunity to really listen to what they’re saying in in order to improve the customer service experience for them and answer the real questions they are asking.

Sales’ Involvement

Let’s not forget about Sales, folks. Your sales team is chatting it up with potential customers all the time, and knowing how to use social media to help them be more effective in the sales process can be a very valuable sales tool. And besides just responding to social media assignments from your marketing point people, your sales team should proactively be using social media to prospect as well as prepare for sales calls, follow ups, and nurture their assigned leads.

Risk Management’s Involvement

Issues in these areas include Phishing/Identity Theft schemes launched via social media channels, planned protests, executive threats and threats against psychical locations.
Identify potential safety risks and avoiding the creation of a media or PR scandal can easily be diffused when monitoring social media. Proper law enforcement can be called in when appropriate.

PR Department

When a reporter reaches out to the brand via social media, your organization must be prepared to respond promptly. If the reporter doesn’t get a quick response, he or she will move on to find another source. The PR team already handles inbound media requests, so they are prepared to coordinate interviews and provide the journalist with any background information for the story. The PR team also has a better grasp on which journalists have already been in communication with the organization or have written previous stories, and social media provides additional channels through which the PR practitioner and journalist can communicate.

Human Resources’ Involvement

Social media channels can be a valuable tool to glean information on potential employees, catch inappropriate discussion being conducted by employees, disclosure of confidential company information by employees, and more.

The Answer is:

All of the above. All of these departments have a distinct need and valuable use of social media both from a participation and monitoring point of view. Each could develop personnel that are talented enough to handle your social media presence and activities, but obviously centering that role in one department over another will result in a natural tendency to place one “agenda” over another. This obviously speaks to outsourcing that regularly meets with, understands, and balances the needs of all of the various departments within your organization.

Resource Articles
Who Should ‘Own’ Social Media at Your Company?
What Department Should be Responsible for Monitoring What in Social Media? | Social Media Today
4 reasons the PR team should handle social media | Articles | Main