Since many organizations lack the resources to hire dedicated social media professionals, I see this question quite frequently. I don’t think the answer is as straightforward as some would say, but for sure there at least are several guiding principles to consider for anyone making this decision.
Internal vs. External
First and foremost, if at all possible, the best case scenario would be to have the organization’s social media channels managed internally. In the case of a small business, this might not always be an option. Time constraints or unfamiliarity with the different social platforms can seem daunting. Eventually, managing social media internally would be a great goal to set. After all, nobody knows an organization like its employees. They should be able to represent the brand with the most enthusiasm, authenticity and efficiency.
If internal management just isn’t an option, an established digital or social media agency can help. The agency selection process should be entered into with the goal of developing a long-term relationship so that the agency personnel can fully learn the business and represent it most effectively.
Marketing vs. Public Relations
If an organization has marketing and PR professionals, which group should manage social media? Many organizations have professionals that have both marketing and PR responsibilities. If so, these would be the ones to take on social media as well.
What about larger organizations with separate marketing and PR departments? Generally professionals with PR backgrounds would be better suited to manage the social media activities. Their training and experience in communicating with various publics in many different types of situations would serve the organization well in its social media communications.
Introvert vs. Extrovert
Neither one would necessarily be the “ideal” personality type. The person or people should however have a desire to be social, have an understanding of the platforms and how to use them effectively, along with a desire to be pleasant, helpful and committed to representing the organization well through social media.
Let me know what you think. Anything you would add?
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.