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It has been a burning question for nearly a decade – who owns social media within the organization? Marketing? Communications & Public Relations? Human Resources? Customer Service? Among industries where firms have been historically siloed, this question is truly a difficult one.

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The following is an excerpt from the latest Socialight Marketing Whitepaper, The 2015 State of B2B Social Marketing. Download a sample report, or use ‘2015LINKEDIN’ for 50% off the full 40-page whitepaper.

In more digitally mature firms, all departments participate in social channels, and each group understands the role it plays in the larger picture.

That said, ultimately Marketing is responsible for establishing and overseeing a social media strategy and governance blueprint, as it represents the brand voice and a core element of the overall customer experience.

This includes flattening, integrating, and coordinating social media efforts across the organization, empowering Sales, Human Resources, Research & Development, and even Executive Leadership to participate.

In our 2015 survey, the average level of social marketing integration across departments was 27 out of 100. Look for this number to increase dramatically in 2016 as firms digitally mature.

The governance process can be daunting, but it is absolutely crucial to define before other teams jump in and start publishing content across the brand’s communities.

Of participating firms, roughly 40% said that a manager was the senior-most level responsible for social marketing activities, while just over 30% indicated that it was a director level position.

Going up the chain, 16% of participating firms have an EVP or SVP ultimately responsible for social marketing, while only 9% indicated it rolled all the way up to the CMO.

 

As content & community marketing matures across B2B industries, ownership will ultimately fall on senior leadership. This is because, while social marketing is tactical in nature day-to-day, it also represents a new paradigm in the customer’s experience, and that customer experience (CX) is strategic.

Click below to learn more about The 2015 State of B2B Social Marketing whitepaper and to get a copy of the report.

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Jed SingerJed Singer is the President of Socialight Media Marketing. He has been keeping his clients at the forefront of social marketing since 2006. He has worked with the world’s largest brands, including P&G, MasterCard, ESPN, HBO, and Humana. His team crafts award winning campaigns and designs strategies for content marketing, community building, customer engagement, and lead generation that connect social to sales.