Who Owns Social Media (Take 2)

Society for New Communications Research Fellows were asked yesterday to review the year's biggest trends, and predict what's coming down the pipeline over the next year or two. You'll catch them all in an upcoming blog post from SNCR, but one topic that came up was the imminent re-emergence of the "who owns social media" debate, fueled by the growing realization of the impact that social media and Web 2.0 can have outside of the marketing department.

Not to continue harping on customer service, but here are a few examples of the impact improved customer service programs can impact the top line (courtesy of social commerce vendor Bazaarvoice):

  • Reviews led to a 20% decrease in PETCO’s return rates.
  • Customer Q&A decreased product returns 23% for automotive retailer JC Whitney.
  • Canadian Tire decreased customer service costs by 81% with Bazaarvoice Ask & Answer.

And that's just customer service -- social media can impact HR, finance, engineering and many other departments. So, this begs the question: who owns social media? This question was beaten to death back in 2008, and yet the answers were not consistent. Are we ready to finally settle on the answer? Everybody owns social media, and therefore the CEO owns social media. Any questions?

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