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It’s the musical question that everyone seems to be asking these days. And the answer depends on what you are trying to do. Too often, people ask that question, assuming that what they have in mind is all that can be done with social media. So, when a PR person asks, they look at social media as a communications mechanism. Marketing people want to run a social media campaign. Customer service people want to help customers on Twitter. Who’s right? Yep, all of them.
Social media starts wherever the most interested person works. Often it is a PR or marketing person, but I’ve seen it start in customer service, in product development, in market research, and maybe other places if I think about it longer.
But we need to think about social media beyond each individual use case and treat it more as a tool to accomplish business goals. People often argue about which group should “own” social media, which misses the point. In your organization, which group “owns” the phone? Yes, building facilities owns the wiring closets, and customer support owns the call center, but all employees have phones on their desks.
Social media is similar. Some groups will need specific expertise in social media to carry out their duties, but all employees will need training to use this tool, just as people did not know how to use phones when they were invented.
So, when you think about how to get started with social media, don’t worry about it too much. Start wherever you think it makes sense and has business value. Soon enough, you’ll be struggling with the problem of how to make it bigger.