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The shifting consensus on which department should handle a company’s social media

Social media must clearly be managed by the best on your team, but which department should be in charge of the strategy and execution?

social media marketing

social media marketing

A shifting consensus on which department should manage social media

One of the newest debates in business management revolves around your social media accounts. Who should be in charge? Should it be marketing or PR? Maybe it should be the CEO. What about customer service reps?

Although there probably isn’t one right answer to the question, and social media practitioners have been debating this for years, when The Creative Group, a staffing firm out of Menlo Park, California surveyed over 400 advertising and marketing executives in the United States, it found that more of these individuals thought social media belonged in the PR Department.

Top answer: The PR department

In 2013, The Creative Group found that 39 percent of respondents thought the PR or Communications Department should be in charge. The Marketing Dept. came in close behind at 35 percent. This year’s survey found that 51 percent of respondents identified the PR/Communications Department as the one to take command. Marketing lost its stronghold by dropping to 28 percent.

social media survey

Corporate social media accounts are part of the brand imaging, which is directly related to public relations. This makes sense. What happens on social media has an effect on the company’s reputation. If you don’t believe that, just do a search for corporate social media blunders.

DiGiorno Pizza tweeted “#whyIStayed You had pizza” and lost a lot of their reputation when they realized the hashtag was referring to domestic violence. United Airlines tweeted a NSFW image. They shut down their Twitter account for months while they dealt with the fallout.

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Big picture: Social media must be managed intelligently

What’s important here is that you do have someone managing your social media accounts. Customers want updates on products and information about your services. They’re using social media to make connections with your company. It may take a team to handle all of the social media activity.

If you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, you need to make sure it’s being taken care of. Make the most of these platforms when you have someone in charge.


Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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