The economic uncertainty of late has led many organizations to downsize, restructure and rework their organizational structures. Along with this, some functions and even departments have been outsourced or greatly decreased. While it might seem logical that social media would be part of organizational cutbacks, many brands have recognized the importance of social media in their marketing strategies and are keeping the function largely intact in their organizations.
But where should social media fit into your organizational structure? Depending on the organization and the scope of social media usage, it may be housed within a PR department/operation or under marketing. But it is important that social media be included with the other marketing distribution channels.
At a basic level, social media should probably reside with marketing, because that is where most other owned channels reside. But consider these hurdles when placing your social media team:
- Skill-set based placement. You wouldn’t put the IT team under sales or PR. Social media has its own set of skills. Putting social media with content marketing and ensuring that content marketing is collaborative with all the channel distribution methods will save time and trouble.
- Silos. We’ve all heard that silos are bad. But depending on your organization’s overall structure, having decentralized social media teams within disparate departments or business units might make sense. But for centralized organizations, it makes more sense to have an assigned social media team that works across all channels and departments/business units.
- Outsourcing or in-house? Using an outside social media agency can be a good way to provide adequate resources, especially when having an in-house social media team isn’t feasible. But if you do go the outsourcing route, it is crucial that your internal person or group working with the agency is stable and collaborative.
- Cohesive content planning. We talked about silos earlier, and it also applies to content planning, not just social media teams. Content planning and strategy should be coordinated across distribution channels.
Where does social media live in your organization?