One of the joys (and dangers) of my job is that I get to search the Internet for interesting story sources. A recent infographic on business and social media caught my eye in a serious way.
The web designers at Go-Gulf.com put together a pretty nifty infographic based on research by Lawrence Ragan Communications. The topic? How companies organize their social media teams. For a topic that didn't exist half a dozen years ago, this has become something that is critical for IT departments, marketing departments, and the hybrid "digital departments" that organizations are creating because none of the traditional labels seem to fit. The results show that how companies deal with social media is still very much a work in progress.
The first thing that leaps out is the finding that only about a quarter of organizations have a team dedicated to social media work. That has a couple of implications. One is that a very important method for communicating with customers (and potential customers) is being added to existing workloads in the company. The other is that this important task is being taken on by people with varying levels of expertise -- and practically no primary responsibility for social media's success in the organization.
Next up are two results that aren't particularly encouraging. First up is that more than half the organizations polled say that they're just keeping their heads above water when it comes to social networking -- only 13 percent describe their current efforts as "advanced." That's followed by the statement that more than three-fourths of the organizations have absolutely no plans to hire new people to deal with social media. That leaves relatively few avenues available for improving social media performance for your business.
What all this means is that the IT department is going to have something between total and a little bit of responsibility for making social media work better for the organization. If your company is like most, it's safest to bet on the finger pointing in your direction if goals aren't being met. How, then, to make sure you're contributing to success rather than a blame-fest?
In IT, we tend to think first of technology solutions to problems. There are, in fact, technology tools that can help, and many of them are built around big-data and the skills that can enable serious data analysis. For most organizations, though, the biggest wins are going to come through training and strategy, areas in which IT often plays second-fiddle to marketing. There are a lot of historical reasons for that to be the case, but if anything is proving true about social networking it's that historical roles and rules are seldom sufficient for new-network success.
How is your company dealing with social networks? How do you think they should be dealing with social networks. Let us know -- and let us know how you plan to deal with your new marketing department partnerships to help your organization succeed. Perhaps the information in this infographic will help -- it should certainly be good for serious discussion with your peers!
Infographic by GO-Gulf.com