The Marketing Strategist:

Research Results: Marketing's Role in Social Media Leadership

July 12, 2010

The leadership of social media has fallen to marketing. However, marketers are not the only ones who should be using social media. Subject matter experts (SMEs) can talk to customers through social media channels, HR departments can use social media for recruiting, internal teams can use it to collaborate on new ideas and improvements, and companies can handle customer support with it. The entire organization needs to start leveraging and getting involved in social media, and marketing needs to lead that effort. Many marketers already understand this intuitively. According to our recent Social Media survey, 68% of marketers said that they are the catalysts for social media usage in the company. Additionally, another two-thirds of respondents said they are responsible for identifying the appropriate subject matter experts and assigning them to engage with their target audience and influencers in the online conversations that are happening online. Social Media Leadership However, if marketing will truly be the catalyst for social media in the organization, many things will need to change. To be effective, you must define new processes, roles, and competencies for marketing and play a large role in leading social media for others inside the organization. ITSMA has identified five major areas that marketers must focus on to lead the rest of the organization effectively:
  • Research on your target audience and their social media behavior, as well as research on these new channels
  • An idea and content engine that will help the new demands for content and help the SMEs with their online conversations
  • New roles for marketing, such as a director of content and a community manager
  • Governance for social media, including formal policies as well as councils for collaboration and best-practice sharing
  • For all employees involved in social media, training on the tools and strategies for using these channels
To learn more about the ways that marketers need to lead in social media, look at the archive of our online briefing Why Marketing Must Be the Catalyst for Social Media—and How to Do It or look at our social media survey report.

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