Here’s a great business debate for you: which department within an organization should own social media? Marketing may immediately come to mind, but what about customer service or sales? While convincing arguments could be made for each of these departments, it’s more impactful to make social media a team effort with specific contributions from each.

Before we look at the potential responsibilities for each department, it’s important to remember that social media should always be customer-centric. It should not be based on a department’s or organizational function’s goals, rather it should always be about the customer’s goals and what they need, want or expect from your business.

Also, social media teams – no matter which departments comprise them – should always be aligned on messaging. Take the time to ensure that all members of the team are on the same page and share the same mission for social media marketing.

Marketing

In most organizations, marketing will be the primary owner of the social media function. Marketing, or perhaps communications/public relations in some organizations, will post content based on a social media calendar and work to make social an integrated part of marketing campaigns and strategy. Engagement is also an essential part of marketing’s social media function. The marketing team should seek to be a part of conversations on social surrounding your business or industry and engage with individuals who want to connect with your business.

Customer Service

Marketing has a big part in social media engagement, but customer service has a unique role to play. Consider that 67 percent of consumers have used a company’s social media sites for customer service, according to J.D. Power. While marketing can respond to everyday questions and social media mentions, customer service is better suited to responding to customer complaints. Customer service team members have a deeper and more direct knowledge of the company’s relationship with individual customers, thus allowing them to craft more personalized responses and solutions to customer complaints.

Sales

Sales team members may not be posting to your company’s social media profiles, but their role as part of your social media team is important all the same. Social selling has brought social media to the forefront of sales tactics and resources. If your sales team is using social media to identify, engage with and nurture prospects, they should understand the role that social plays throughout the organization and the messaging that is being used in order to ensure consistency.

While the departments that make up a social media marketing team may vary by company and industry, the most important point is that to be most successful, a company’s social media presence and efforts shouldn’t happen in a silo. In addition, utilizing social advocacy is a great way for all employees to be involved in amplifying company messaging and extending brand reach.

Happy Marketing!