As a retained executive search firm in a rapidly shifting digital age, we are often asked where social media fits in. Questions we hear include:
Should the ability to create, manage, and execute social media programs and campaigns fall into your marketing suite, or corporate communications?
Or should social media skills form a separate division of their own?
If you’re a brand leader, you’ve got multiple responsibilities. How can you also take on social media expertise—and find the time to meet your brand’s business objectives?
That these questions persist shows how deeply much of corporate America has accepted social media as a necessity. But to truly leverage this tool, you cannot isolate it in any way.
As executive search consultants, we’ve learned that social media isn’t just about advertising, branding, and promotion—it’s also about customer service, product development, market research, internal/external communications, and the like. It’s a wonderful, universally unprecedented tool for engaging with customers: listening to them, and letting them know who you and your brands are. It’s a front line that should feed out of—and back into—all customer-facing aspects of your company. It allows you to initiate and join conversations that help your loyal customers feel more connected to your brand, and enhances your overall market presence.
So rather than relegate social media into the marketing or corporate communications suite, you need to evangelize and integrate the skill set into all departments. Ideally, you would have social strategists to create and drive your programs and campaigns, and community managers to actively listen and respond.
Feel free to share your experiences in shaping your corporate social media functions. What have you found that works for you, and what doesn’t?