Social Media Governance: Show me your Social Media organigramm and I tell you about its success!


In several articles on SMBR we have conducted the tough fight between the different social media teams of a brand, fighting through the forests of metrics and waves of followers and unfollowers.
In this week we want to have a closer look on the organisational aspects of social media teams that are in charge for the appearance of their brand in certain social media networks.

Independent form the amount of networks a brand decides to publish content, it becomes clear that even for a single network an organizational structure has to be defined to be in charge for social media marketing. Authors like Oliver Blanchard describe different methods of starting a new social media channel, e.g. taking over an existing and non-paid page which was run by motivated employees, or starting with using the greenfield approach. For most companies, the journey has just begun after starting one page or account successfully and several further questions arise:

– which social media networks are we entering?
– what is our code of conduct in terms of user generated content, especially customer care – and complaint management?
– what is the frequency of published content by the brand?
– what is the companies target and what are the expectations of the different stakeholder?
– what are the obstacles when entering social media marketing?
– how do we track the success of our social media campaigns?
– and many, many more.

These questions should be posed and answered very crucial by the top management o the company. Consequences of a laissez-faire behaviour by the top management can have a huge impact on the brand reputation.

Very specific when it comes to the questions how large firms handling the gap between local adaptation and central thoughts of brand identity. This thought should be discussed within this article.

When we have a look on SMBR’s different Battles of the brands, we already noticed brands that have a central account for all languages and countries, and some that have one in each country.

Some brands even try to reflect the organisational structures within their social media appearance. So does BMW have an account for the BMW Group, one for each brand, and the most frequent selling subsidiaries of the countries. Others are using also their pre-cut portfolio as leading instrument for social media appearance: so does Renault have one for formula 1, for cars, for electro and so on. So far, so good. But which implication does it have on the brand reputation?

But when comparing the different accounts with some, very limited criteria, it becomes clear that the organisation beyond the brand is not the same. So do frequency, language and tone, used material, and involvement of the customer already indicate a gut feeling for the follower. In a globalized world this might cause some negative effects on the brand itself: from marketing theories we know that integrated marketing is the key to success in a very overcrowded world of information.

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