The structure of the social organisation
Every part of an organisation is a source of content and item on the social program, says Meltwater’s Ambera Cruz.
Before taking the first step in building and scaling a social media program, you should always have in mind that even though social programs typically fall into the marketing or PR department, they are more than that.
You’ll want to map out your social program as it relates to a variety of business activities.
One of the reasons social media can get complicated quickly is because it overlaps with more than just the marketing or the communications department (which typically houses most social programs). But don’t let this throw you for a loop – you’re not expected to be in charge of social media for all of these departments (at least not yet). But you will be called upon to advise these departments, collaborate with them or even just alert them to posts that require their attention.
As Andrew Caravella, vice president of marketing at SproutSocial points out, a siloed social program will never reach its full potential. “Because social is a communication channel and not just a marketing tactic, its integration into so many departments is critical.
“Social should have a primary home, probably in marketing, communications or support, but should not be relegated strictly to those disciplines. The potential for various teams to play a role in social is very real: support, sales, product development, talent development, research… the list goes on.
“Depending on where social resides within the company, that primary team has a responsibility to further social into all parts of the business and encourage adoption deeper into their organisation,” Caravells says. “Finding early adopters, vocal advocates and point people across departments is an effective way of increasing participation.”
In the table below you’ll see a breakdown of some of the functions and departments in a typical business and why and how they can contribute to a social program. Another useful exercise to undertake before embarking on a social program is to ask yourself a few key questions.
Define the word ‘social’ and leave out ‘media’. Social is about building relationships, so what kind of relationships does your brand want to build?
What are your company goals, culture and DNA? Next to each goal, cultural value and strand of DNA, list the ways you can utilise social to execute.
Where is your audience? Meet them there. Don’t waste time on social channels that your audience isn’t showing up to. Again think social, not media.
Click table to enlarge.
Ambera Cruz looks after marketing at Meltwater.