5 Ways To Organize Social Media

Posted on December 9, 2010 by Greg 1 Comment

A recent Altimeter Group report suggests that there are 5 different ways for larger companies to organize their social media marketing efforts. While this report is mainly geared towards larger enterprises, I still think there are learnings for mid-sized growing businesses.

Click the above graph for larger version

Social media management “ownership” tends to wander within organizations. Some companies want marketing to own it. Some want PR to manage it. Others envision a company-wide effort. However large or small your company is, the operative word is organization. Online marketing tends to work better when there’s a plan. And part of an effective plan means organization.

The 5 Common Methods of Organizing Social Media

  1. Decentralized – No one department manages or coordinates; efforts bubble up from the edges of the company.
  2. Centralized – One department (like Corp Communications) manages all social activities.
  3. Hub and Spoke - A cross-functional team sits in a centralized position and helps various nodes such as business units.
  4. Multiple Hub and Spoke (“Dandelion”) – Similar to Hub and Spoke but applicable to multinational companies where “companies within companies” act nearly autonomously from each other under a common brand.
  5. Holistic – Everyone in the company uses social media safely and consistently across all organizations.

Conclusion

Regardless of how you organize your social media efforts within your organization, consider appointing a social media director. This person needs to have open access to any part of the organization that touches your customer’s experience with your brand.

Larger organizations can hire a senior “social media czar” to oversee the social media strategy. But smaller organizations may consider hiring a marketing company to hep them get started, or bolster existing social media efforts.

The more I talk with executives at growing companies the more I hear their desire to work with an outside marketing agency that can help them get started with a social media road map: strategic planning with tactical activities that help them achieve the real business results they need to see.

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