IT Department in charge of social media?Phil Biundo
IT Department in charge of social media?
Should the IT Department be in charge of social media account management? It won’t come as a surprise that social media is here to stay. Not only are businesses strengthening their brands and customer following on more social media networks, but they’re also investing much more in these platforms. In 2014 alone, social media advertisement investment topped $8.5 billion. That number is forecasted to reach $14 billion by 2018.
While social media advertising and marketing are an integral part of your business approach, , at its heart, social media is more of a platform for social conversations that lead to business partnerships and sales.
A question was raised recently in a forum about whether an IT engineer, business professional, or any individual could be assigned the task of managing social media and client accounts.
When an organization grows, it has to be very careful about hiring individuals with the appropriate skills for the right positions. Sometimes the person with the best expertise is not available or even employed by a company to perform an urgent task requested by a client. Project managers have no choice but to choose someone from the existing team to assign the task to in order to avoid late delivery to the client.
Usually, every company has an IT department which leads their entire IT infrastructure. When such a situation arises when there is no other technically qualified person available, the project manager will often call upon the IT guy from that department.
But social media management is a totally separate endeavor in any digital, professional, or creative services agency these days that requires a whole new level of expertise. The job requirements of social media management already exist for a client’s service, website, or brand.
The question is, if a qualified team member or social media management expert is not present, should anyone from the IT department be called upon to handle the client’s social media accounts and activities as the next best choice?
To find out, let’s examine the core job responsibilities of a social media manager and an IT manager and compare them to determine who is better suited to the task of social media management.
Below are few of the major job responsibilities of each job title:
Responsibilities of a social media manager
A social media project manager’s day-to-day activities include: :
- Curate appropriate content to reach the company’s optimal consumers.
- Create, curate, and manage all released material on social platforms (photos, video clips, posts and articles).).
- Monitor and respond to consumer and site visitor activity while growing leads and
- Conduct online advocacy efforts and maintain an open stream of cross-promotions.
- Develop and increase a pool of competent and engaging blog writers that speak to and promote the theme or service offering of the company.
- Oversee design (i.e., Facebook Timeline cover, profile photo, thumbnails, advertisements, landing pages, Twitter account, and blog site).
- Design, develop, and manage promotions and social advertising campaigns.
- Compile an ROI record for management.
- Become an advocate for the company in all areas of social media.
- Participate in discussions and answer inquiries when required.
Responsibilities of an IT Manager
- Manage information technology and computer systems
- Plan, organize, control and evaluate IT and electronic data operations
- Design, develop, implement and coordinate systems, policies, and procedures
- Ensure security of data, network access, and backup systems
- Act in alignment with user needs and system functionality to contribute to organizational policy
- Manage staff by recruiting, training and coaching employees, communicating job expectations and appraising their performance
- Identify problematic areas and implement timely strategic solutions
- Audit systems and assess their outcomes
- Preserve assets, information security and control structures
- Handle annual budget and ensure cost effectiveness
Both the IT expert and the social media account manager govern vital company information. The social media manager has the huge responsibility of protecting the client’s passwords and managing all outsourced accounts.
If they leak this information, , the company’s trust and image could be compromised. This could seriously damage the agency’s reputation in the marketplace.
So, should the seemingly easy and unimportant job of social media management be assigned to just ANYONE?
The answer isâ€¦
The majority of users in the forum related to the IT industry immediately responded with a resounding “no” to this unique question.
Social media management fundamentally belongs in the hands of marketers, not IT specialists. Aside from the creative task of developing valuable content and attracting site visitors, only one designated person should manage, update, and use a client’s sensitive login information across multiple social media sites.
That is not to say than an IT department isn’t also critically important as the backbone of any company’s online infrastructure. But a social media manager acts as the lead actor in a play as the public face of a company. A public presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. should be handled by expert marketers and communicators who advocate for and express the aims of a company.