Where should a company's social media operation fit?

By MHP

Given the way in which social media cuts across customer services, PR and marketing there is no one size fits all answer to where social media operations best sit in a company.

Looking at what companies actually do, there is not even one clear favourite route being taken as the new survey from Econsultancy demonstrates.

Their Social Media and Online PR survey reports that a third of companies (35%) manage their social activity through their digital marketing team whilst just over a fifth (21%) manage it via their PR or communications team. However, when it comes to using agencies to manage social media and online PR, traditional PR agencies (15%) are used by more firms than digital agencies (11%), specialist online PR agencies (8%) or specialist social media agencies (4%).

With no natural one place for social media to sit, there is an obvious role for teams which cut across these different departments. However, less than one in five (19%) of companies use cross-functional teams to manage their social media activity. That is a number that could and should grow significantly over the next year.