Within any company, the objectives tied to social business vary from one department to another. While marketers want to drive visibility and engage audiences, sales teams need to connect with prospects and recruiters hope to source new talent. This means that having the social media or marketing team pilot all social activity is no longer the best solution. Given the importance of social networks for all teams, department-specific leads need to benefit from autonomy and control over their team’s strategy on social networks.
The Added Value of Social Business – for All Departments
The value of social business is twofold: first of all, it allows individual employees to reach objectives by accessing content that informs decisions, engaging with new and existing professional contacts, and developing an image of expertise through thought leadership activity. And secondly, it enables companies to promote brand messages, showcase the employer brand, unlock business opportunities, and boost credibility by empowering employees as brand ambassadors.
But in order for this to work on a company-wide scale, the implementation of social business strategy must be driven by leaders within each department. Real digital maturity means progressing from a strategy driven by a dedicated social media team, to one that allows department-specific representatives to take the lead in terms of content production, promotion and engagement initiatives.
The Distribution of Social Media Management Roles
Social media is now too integral an aspect of business activity to be managed by one team on behalf of all others. Companies need to empower individuals to incorporate social media into their daily workflow – whether it’s by listening to market conversations, engaging with clients and prospects, or communicating about the employer brand. In short, there are simply too many sub-activities within social business for the latter to be managed by the social media team alone.
This isn’t to say that one department (most likely the social media, marketing or communications team) can’t be in charge of social business from a global point of view, and act as the glue that synchronizes all activity. In fact, most of the time this is necessary. Nevertheless, the agility of individual teams – and their ability to really make the most of the opportunities social media presents – is dependent upon the distribution of social media management roles across departments.
Whether you give the responsibility to team managers or open up the opportunity to other individuals, having social media leads within each department is key to making the most of social business opportunities. Now that the value of social media for business has been recognized, the next step in digital maturity means empowering individual departments to use it to their advantage.