In recent times, if business is not managing their social media presence, then they are missing huge opportunity in grabbing market share. It is important to understand that how social media management is practically implemented in existing organizational structure. There are three levels of management in a typical organization. Top Management works on the vision, mission, and developing business strategies.
Middle management usually works on developing tactical plans or budgets at the same time this layer is the bridge between top management and lower management. Lower management is the ground zero of management who manages the doers of the organization. Typically lower management works on developing action plans, execute plans, monitor execution and control.
Social Media Management has to be in the aforementioned structure so that it is seamlessly integrated with current organizational structure. Social media structure usually starts from middle management and is always aligned with business goals and objectives set by Top Management. Although there is representation of social media strategist at top level of management but works under marketing head. Since, social media does not require widespread human resource and can be maintained from centralized location as it is done on internet, but there is a catch in this that social media should be distributed on the basis of variation in cultural norms geographically. It is vital to understand that social media interaction will result in successful outcome if social media professionals ensure adherence to cultural norms. Otherwise, there may be a reaction in response to the marketing campaign in that specific location.
Hybrid approach is used in modern organizations, which blends both principles of “Functional Reporting lines” and “Administrative Reporting Lines” together. There are certain aspects of the organization, which is usually distributed geographically like operations, logistics, collections and customer services. However, there are number of processes, which are centralized and usually managed from headquarters like strategies, policies, procedures, and business plans. All management positions in the organization have generally two reporting lines as said above. Social Media Management should start from headquarters, as there is a requirement of strategies and policies. One thing pertinent to mention is that all social media strategies should be aligned with business goals and objectives or in other words derived from organization marketing strategy so this position will become Functional but not administrative in nature. Furthermore, creating content is very crucial aspect of social media marketing and it should be done centrally so that uniformity is ensured but content development is done in middle management after receiving strategies. Social Media officers are the resource who practical works on different social media platforms like social networking, blogging, media sharing, social bookmarking, social news and document sharing. Social Media staff will report to conventional marketing reporting lines administratively but functional they will report to the structure mentioned above.
Social media is future medium for sales and marketing as people around the world will be spending most of their time on this media in times to come.