Social Media – Who takes responsibility in the corporate environment

I have been involved in LinkedIn Groups (if your not on LinkedIn get signed up) for a while now and make a point of contributing where I can when I feel I have something useful to add.  Just recently Reginald Bautista asked the question:

Who’s responsible for Social Media Activities? Marketing or PR?

This question has provoked quite a debate among the members of the Pro Marketers – For Marketing Professionals Group with various views and opinions.

Most are of the opinion that it is a duel responsibility between the respective departments, while personally I am of the opinion that a complete “mental overhaul” is required regarding social media and corporations, its practices and application, its inherent value, and the implications of social media in business, separating it completely from the traditional practices by departments of Marketing and PR (but that’s a whole over post for another day).

One person in particular has obviously thought long and hard about what Social Media can bring to the table and has quite rightly pointed out that by trying to focus on it as a Marketing or PR tool is actually a mistake and the bias that exists within companies as they struggle to understand the reach and implications of social media outside of these two areas.

I hope that Dean Guadagni, Business Director for Inner Architect, will not mind me quoting him directly. I feel he has an essential understanding of what social media is, can be and will become when its full application is properly considered;

Social Media functionality is so MUCH more than marketing or public relations. Yet, most corporations limit their belief of the functionality of social media to marketing or public relations.

Savvy companies understand the multiple opportunities within social media. They create leaders for each department, with strategic goals, and the ability to collaborate with their counterparts in each department.

Whether they use a wiki or an internal, password protected, blog the idea is to “crowdsource” your own human capital. Prior to launching that type of effort, guidelines are created so that everyone is on the same page.

Corporations are beginning to understand the multiple business applications of social media:

1. Project Management
2. Crowdsourcing ( Dell
3. Breaking News
4. Customer Service
5. Internal Communications
6. Internal Monitoring
7. Product Development
8. Recruiting
9. Reputation Management
10.Policy Notification ( Britain’s Social Media Move )

An excellent, concise list of where Social Media could be utilized in a variety of different functions within the corporate environment  when the social media bigger picture is analysed properly. Well said Mr. Guadagni.