Having worked with multiple global and UK companies traditionally social media has sat with marketing. But with so much content now being produced online, who has the final say? Like most marketing plans communication get involved in how it’s said rather than when, where, what and why. How communications are written includes ensuring that there are no brand infringement and acts as a policing of content. When communications and messages are broadcasted, where those messages appear, what the nature of the copy is and why that copy needs to exist falls part of a wider marketing plan.

And here’s why truly ask yourself… do communications really get involved at a decision making level on ALL communications? E.g. sales patter, live chat responses, blog articles, email communications and customer service communications? From my experience the answer is no so why is social media any different?

Digital strategist’s and marketers have been incorporating the bought, owned and earned model which includes social media for some time and for many this is part of a day to day life, even outside of work. Social media has many benefits that fall outside of just communicating with a social group.  Two of the core examples are the lead generation opportunities and the impact social engagement has with the long and short term purchase journey along with the impact on link building. Many people might be thinking that lead generation via social is a myth but having the right balance of customer care, engaging content, analytics and amongst all else having the ‘return factor’  acts a good recipe for a solid social media foundation. Here are some other benefits of marketing owning social media.

  • Marketing would traditionally build social media into a wider marketing plan in order to do any of the following: drive sales, create buzz, building up anticipation, maintaining interest and essentially ensuring that the message got out there in line with the wider plan
  • Marketing understand the paid for mechanics that are constantly evolving within the social media landscape
  • Understanding the value of SEO and the influence social media has on link building. Understanding where those links are coming from then influences a recruitment drive for blog and site relationships
  • Good analytical marketing teams would be able to monitoring and measure the impact of social traffic within the customer journey and lead effectiveness
  • Marketing (digital specifically) understand how user generated content (reviews, check-ins, posts) appear in the SERPs and effect rankings.

The most undervalued element of these points is the value of analysis investment in social media. Marketing should understand and plan content that will compliment and contribute to the SEO, rankings,  internal link building, thought leadership and ultimately should be able to measure how these individual aspects effects the bottom line. This can be done one of two ways sophisticate attribution modelling or simple UTM tracking values and a clear consistent naming convention. Being able to deliver an ROI and justify future content investment in areas such as thought leadership, general blogs and competitions should be a fundamental approach before any social media strategy should go live for those that have ROI in mind. How would a communications team truly understand the truly value of social media if they do not understand the value of the traffic they are driving and content they are pushing?

It’s worth highlighting now that the value a good communications team can provide is setting up clear guidance for client facing communications that are in line with the brands dedicated tone of voice and overall brand objectives. Whilst being able to understand the real time nature of social media and generally policing and auditing content. But owning social media when it has so many facets doesn’t seem the most productive given the expertise explained above.

In the future I can’t see this changing. Marketing teams will have more access to social data and with advertising opportunities increasing and diversifying marketing need to guide social media more than ever.

This is an interesting debate and I would love to hear your views on where content and social media should sit?