Who really owns social media in an organization?

Who really owns social media in an organization?

It’s different in every company and in my experience; the term “ownership” has negative connotations and is the cause for organizational conflict, hurt feelings and a decline in productivity.  This is one of the downfalls in working for a large company.

So, back to ownership … is it marketing, PR or the business units who are out there building community? I really don’t know and I really don’t care.  Implementing social media within in an organization requires a paradigm shift.  It requires employees at all levels – starting at the very top – to change their thinking and embrace online relationships; as well as the conversations that blossom.  It requires those who touch social media to communicate and share what they are doing internally. Working in organizational silos only harms the effort.

Maybe even asking this ownership question just fuels the fire; and maybe no one but those who actually participate in social media own the relationship.

More to come on this topic.  : )

About Michael Brito

Michael Brito has been making things happen online since 1996 with a legit hustle. He gets mad when the 49ers lose, really mad. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

  • http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com Josh Bancroft

    Great post. Here’s something I wrote elsewhere a while ago on the topic of who “owns” stuff:

    It’s dumb to talk about who “owns” processes, projects, and programs. It’s better to talk about who *does* what, who *decides* things. Who’s held to *answer* when things go wrong. A person who boasts about “owning” something in a company is probably just trying to take credit, unless they’re also the one who does, decides, and answers for things. That’s what really determines “ownership”. And it’s not easy to just arbitrarily transfer that to someone else. It takes time and effort. You have to earn it.

  • http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com Josh Bancroft

    Also, um, why are there two “subscribe to comments by email/receive replies via email” boxes? :-)

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com Nick Stamoulis

    I agree, it also requires a great deal of time and patience. Using social media to your advantage def. requires a strategic approach.

  • http://www.kgbadvertising.com KGB Advertising

    Very nice post. It is wonderful to read things like this as we start rolling out our social media plan.

    One thing we have found successful in our office (which is on the small side), is to treat all social media as a community effort. All blog posts and tweets are attributed to the office as a whole, which helps remove the idea of any one person owning that piece of social media.

    It makes sense to us. Social media is all about building communities, so why should generating it be about the individual?

  • http://www.janetfouts.com Janet

    The recent panel discussion for the Social Media Club in SF on this topic was very interesting. http://www.socialmediaclub.org/2008/10/21/who-owns-social-media-sfsv-panel/ It quickly became clear that both marketing and PR think they own it. Marketing seemed to have the impression that they created it and PR delivered it, but I’m not sure PR agreed.

    The fact is, once you put it out there you don’t own it anymore. If it’s a good discussion the people who carry the discussion forward own it from then on. Trying to control it and own it too much can kill the conversation.

  • http://www.janetfouts.com Janet

    I attended the Social Media Club’s panel discussion on this in San Francisco ( http://www.socialmediaclub.org/2008/10/21/who-owns-social-media-sfsv-panel/ ) and it quickly became clear that both marketing and PR are certain they own it. Marketing seemed to say they build the message and PR delivers it, but I’m not so sure PR agrees.

    In my opinion once the discussion starts both PR and Marketing have to let go of it or risk killing the value of additional discussion. Once it’s out there it belongs to us, the participants.

  • http://www.widedriven.com Gregory

    Social media is not a tactic. If it were, you could assign it to a department. It’s a phrase to describe a broad array of new tools that let you talk to, and hear from, your constituents in a variety of new ways. Asking who owns social media would be no more fruitful than asking who owns writing. Each part of the organization needs to re-evaluate the way they communicate and see how social media opens up options for them.
    —————-
    Gregory

    Guaranteed ROI

  • http://www.Graham-Cox.com Graham “Ultimate Footer Ad” Cox

    Thank you because I think it’s the first time for most of us to ask : Who really owns social media in an organization? …. But also I think the answer will be who cares.

  • http://www.Graham-Cox.com Graham Cox

    Thank you because I think it’s the first time foe most of us to ask about owners of a social media , But I agree with you who cares.

  • http://www.va4growth.com/blog Marney Lewis

    Great Topic and some interesting points, as well as some of the comments people have made, shows its a topic of discussion of the world. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  • http://www.tmpdm.com Local Search Marketing

    Great article! Here’s another blogpost I found on this same subject. Pretty cool to see different perspectives on this and see what others think. Here’s the link for anyone that is interested: http://www.searchperspective.com/pov/who-owns-social/

  • http://www.15miles.com/ Social Media Marketing

    This is a great topic to explore. Because social media is somewhat new, it is hard to really determine who this belongs to. I recently read a post on this on the 15miles blog, Search Perspective: http://www.searchperspective.com/2008/08/22/who…. You should check it out.

  • https://www.wristbandsnow.com/ wristbands

    I attend a social media discussion last week in San Francisco it's good and i learn more about social media.

  • http://www.cygnismedia.com/web-application/ Web Application Developer

    HAHA yes very true its all time fight who will acquire this!!!

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