The discussion of who owns social media activities within an organization is not a new one.
I can only imagine that when the dinosaurs put together their companies and brands, the triceratops in HR were fighting with the brontosauruses in the PR department while all the velociraptors in marketing were off doing their own thing unbeknownst to everyone else.
Eventually the CTEO (Chief Tyrannosaurus Executive Officer) had to be brought in to show his teeth. Even the Customer Service Compsognathuses (Compies) were pissed and thought they should be in the running, after all they are the most customer-facing branch of BeeCee, Inc.
If your company or brand has recently undergone adapting an enterprise social media framework, you’re probably familiar with these kinds of “turf wars”. If your company has yet to take that step, get ready.
When it comes to a Social CRM, the same question of ownership should arise, but ironically the answer is more than likely going to be different than the one you landed on for who’s controlling social media.
You’re On My Lawn
The answer to this conundrum is “Sales, Marketing & PR”. This isn’t one of those posts that holds the answer from you until the end. Your time is precious, so now you know.
This is why…
Almost every department within an organization can make a strong case as to why they should be involved in social and that’s why most social teams should be composed of people from most involved parties and headed up by a strong social media leader. When it comes to Social CRM though, it’s going to connect and enhance your company’s current CRM, meaning Sales is going to have a large claim to a controlling piece.
In most circumstances, this is where Occam’s Razor comes into play, we say “Sales” and all head for the bar, but this is a Social CRM, so the rules are a bit different.
Marketing is a natural choice to add to the mix of who owns Social CRM because they understand almost better than any other department what the brand stands for and how the messages are best received. Additionally, the conversations and metrics obtained from the Social CRM will show marketing areas of interest and possibly new demographics to research and understand.
Be sure to have a conversation with your marketing director when you bring in the Social CRM and come to an understanding of what metrics they would like to see and conversations they would like to contribute to.
Sure, marketing and sales are pretty obvious choices, but the problem with both sales and marketing is that they know very well how to talk at people, but aren’t very trained in how to talk with people. That’s where PR comes in.
A well-trained PR person has frontline experience in dealing with people and thinking quickly on their feet in the midst of fires. Metrics might not be as important to your PR team member, but they’ll be able to correspond to those real-time issues with the company’s message and keeping the brand as a whole in tact in mind.
The A Team
So, that’s your team: Sales, Marketing and PR/Communications.
Make sure whoever is heading up the implementation of the Social CRM is in constant communication with those three departments and, with regards Social CRM, they work as one entity. Because, let’s face it, even though a company is made up of many different departments, in the customers’ eyes you’re one entity and if anyone is left out of the conversation, it will look bad on everyone.
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