Building a succesful social media program
Discussions about the ownership of social media at the level of departments are archaic, exhausting and irrelevant, Christopher Barger, Christopher Barger, former Director, Global Social Media, at GM and author of The Social Media Strategist says . Social media marketing is teamwork. By definition, there are various stakeholders involved. It is about the consumer and your business objectives, not about turf wars. In practice, however, a social media team will often be more related to a particular division and even be led by it. It depends on the goals and even the background of who takes the lead.
Wherever it is placed within your company (ideally across divisions): a social media team is not an island. It requires a lead but not an exclusive one. Cooperation is crucial in all business functions and most certainly in social media (marketing).
The executive champion
Christopher points out the importance of an “executive champion”. No matter how you call them: they are the ones who have credible authority, can resolve disputes can raise the budgets, sell to the C-suite and be the liaison between social and greater strategy. It is someone who is ranked highly enough in the organization and has the power to make decisions. Remember that social media marketing is about real-time, you do not want hurdles in the form of slow approval and action processes. The executive champion works very closely with the social media team and especially the social media evangelist.
The social media evangelist
The role of this social media evangelist is diverse. He can show and explain how to successfully use social media to improve specific business functions. He is more than an internal social media expert, who is actively involved in social networks. He is also more than a community manager. He is a bridge builder and a strategist with a business focus. He knows how to delegate and looks at the interests of the company and brand, instead of at his own. He has proven expertise instead of a visible public ‘status’.